How do you really spot a good manager?

I recently read a great article on what makes for a good manager. I found myself in complete agreement and probably can’t do better myself, so I’ll let you read it directly:

The biggest thing I can emphasize are three of his points regarding how to make sure you are working for a good manager:

  1. Pronoun choice. First person singular is a warning sign. Plural is encouragement. This one isn’t an absolute but I’ve found it to be an incredibly high correlation.
  2. Ask about management style in the interview. I’ve found every boss I’ve done that with – and had a good conversation about it – turned out to be a good boss and it facilitated our eventual working relationship
  3. The openness to hire people with greater potential and/or skills than themselves and not worry about it. This one is one of the best signs available. I once had a hiring manager explicitly say that he was “hiring his replacement”. He had no immediate plans. But he knew that a) someone capable of doing his job (soon) would do the job at hand well with minimal supervision b) having a replacement made it easier for him to get promoted himself. Both were true.





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