When I landed my first management position, a mentor of mine sat me down in his office and asked me the following question:
What do you think is the most important skill for a manager to have?
I thought for a moment. “The ability to hire smartly,” I answered with confidence.
“No,” he replied.
Now my mind was racing. “Motivation?”
“The ability to delegate?”
“Good communication skills?”
Still, the answer was no.
The senior executive looked at me very seriously and told me something that would forever define how I approached management:
“Sincerity,” he said. “The most important skill for a manager to have is sincerity.”
Throughout the course of my professional career, I have made sincerity one of the key principles by which I operate. And I have witnessed first-hand the important role it plays in effective management. This is why I have actually developed entire management training courses based on cultivating this essential trait.
When you’re a manager, you encounter many different situations that demand you make decisions speedily and decisively. Sometimes you’ll do things right and sometimes you’ll make mistakes. Occasionally, you’ll make the wrong call or you won’t communicate things to your team effectively.
But at the end of the day, if the people you manage sense that you are sincere, they will go to the ends of the Earth for you. Employees will do anything for managers who they believe sincerely care about the work and about them.
Try to fake sincerity, and you’ll quickly lose their respect. But when you’re actually sincere and genuine, you establish a personal connection with your employees. Employees who feel that you sincerely care about them will truly want to help you in return. If you’re sincere, they will go above and beyond to make sure the work is done to the highest level.