No one said leading a group of people was easy. Yet in the business world and well beyond, the success of a team often comes down to who their manager is, and the leadership qualities and overall effectiveness that person brings to the role.

For our ongoing “12 Business Days of Salesforce” series, we polled Salesforce employees on what they think the qualities of a successful manager are. We also included the thoughts on this subject of some well-known leaders throughout the last century: 

Keep reading for the full list of nine attributes of a great manager:

1. Champion 

“Having a great manager means having someone champion you and coach you to success. Having someone who gives you positive reinforcements when you do good work, who supports you when you need her/him to go to bat for you, and who is constantly challenging you to work to your potential and continuously develop your skills.” - Kelly B., Manager, Web Experience

2. Problem Solver

“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.“ - Colin Powell, 65th U.S. Secretary of State and Retired Four-Star General, U.S. Army

3. Empowering

“The best managers I've had have empowered and entrusted me to make decisions and take action. Another big one that I appreciate is when my manager allows me to take risks even if they're not completely comfortable with the direction I'm heading. Even if I fail, it allows me a learning opportunity for the future.“ - Regina B., Senior Manager, Technology Marketing and Branding

4. Booster

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.“ - Sam Walton, American Businessman and Entrepreneur

5. Developer

“A great manager coaches and develops people, constantly gives credit, has high integrity, establishes clear goals and empowers you to attain them, encourages you while goading you to do your best, generates enthusiasm, says ‘WE,’ and always has your back.“ - Sunil G., Director, Customer Success Executive

6. Grower

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.“ - Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric

7. Communicator

“A great manager genuinely cares about the professional development of each team member. They are honest and transparent in their communication. Most importantly, they will have your back and provide support as needed.“ - Holly B., Senior Manager, Marketing Automation

8. Intuitiveness

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.“ - Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

9. Empathizer

“I think the best managers make an effort to picture themselves in the position of their direct reports. For example, if an employee is having performance issues, take the time to find out why. Once you find out why, imagine how you would feel and what you would do in that situation. Use that thought process as a coaching opportunity for the employee. It can work in the other direction as well, managing up. If you can have some empathy for your boss, it can help with that relationship as well.“ - William G., Manager, IT Techforce

If you have missed any posts in the “12 Business Days of Salesforce” series, click these links for day one, day two, day three, day four, day five, day six, day seven, and day eight.

The job of a sales manager can be a daunting undertaking. Download this e-book for tips that will make both you and your sales team more successful.