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How to identify good managers from bad ones

24 Feb 2011

How to identify good managers from bad ones

Whether you recruiting or carrying out an internal reorganization, failing to take adequate measures when evaluating managers can be an expensive mistake for any business. While management roles may vary from job to job and from company to company, good managers all have certain qualities in common – and it is well-advised to evaluate these in an objective manner. 

The following is a list of the key characteristics:

1. Global Vision

Most employees see only the part of a project in which they are involved. A good manager, however, views every project within its overall context and brings it to fruition. In contrast, a bad manager allows employees to continue with an unfocused, unproductive approach.

2. Setting Clear Objectives

Most employees need detailed instructions and challenges in order to make progress. Effective managers know how set clear objectives and realistic time frames, delegate, and empower employees. Bad managers define only approximate objectives because they are distracted by their heavy workload.

3. Insightfulness

Insightfulness is a manager's third eye. An astute manager can identify inconsistencies in important details. For example, if a salesman claims to have made 100 prospecting telephone calls, are these actually successful calls or are they just attempted calls? This type of perceptiveness is part of the critical thinking that can be assessed by psychometric tests.

4. Retaining Talented Employees

Good employees are becoming increasingly mobile and demanding, which is why it is crucial for companies to hold onto their talented employees. As opposed to a bad one, a good manager can identify employees with the greatest potential and delegate projects best suited for their skills.

5. Collective Intelligence

Good managers value all their employees' skills as well as promote and facilitate creative dialogues within their teams. Bad managers, however, put a brake on the development of such collective intelligence because they believe it will diminish their own control.

6. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand ourselves and interact harmoniously with others. Accordingly, good managers will collaborate with their teams and involve them in the internal processes, while bad managers will attempt to unilaterally impose change. Our Corporate Emotional Intelligence Test will help you assess the E.Q. level of your managers.

7. Effective Performance

Statistics demonstrate that at least one in ten employees work at a less than optimum level. Good managers are vigilant enough to spot any lost sheep and return them to the fold. Bad managers, however, do not pay enough attention, usually because they are too trusting.

8. Negotiation

A manager must be a good negotiator in order to protect the interests of the company. Studies carried out using the Professional Profile personality test show that the best managers are more resolute than pliable in negotiation.

9. Innovation

A good manager anticipates and prioritises the need to innovate. Such managers must be up to date with the different facets of modern communication and be able to identify new opportunities for the evolution of goods and services.

10. Passion for Excellence

Recent studies show that passion for excellence is one of the principal characteristics of a successful manager. Does your manager rigorously pursue excellence? Do they set high goals and attain them? Our CTPI-Pro personality test, designed for executives, assesses their desire to strive for more and exceed established standards.

In light of the above characteristics, it is crucial to remain vigilant about your managers and their skills. Using a range of professional indicators when recruiting or internally reorganising allows you to reach an informed decision about your candidate. Our online psychometric tests bring this objective insight to your organisation. 

To discover these tools, take advantage of our free trial offer at

Patrick Leguide
Founder and CEO
CEO and founder of Central Test, Patrick has two degrees, in Cognitive Psychology and in Management. He is the head of the Research and Innovation department, and is actively involved in the creation of tests.