The concepts attached to extraordinary management skills are simple to remember, if one pays attention to the basics. Focus on communication—particularly the listening end of it—and be prepared to act.
Some managers stand out for their finesse, and executives say excellence starts at the top, with a team approach. In short, they agree: excellent management is the result of putting all of one’s energy into achieving that result.
C. Jerry Ragosa, president of The Niles Company in Canton, Massachusetts, says creating a cohesive, well-trained team is often behind successful management. “It’s important to instill a team concept, which goes a long way when there are issues—a snowstorm, a borderline hurricane. Everyone here pulls together and will go the extra mile in support of their office-mate, and it really has paid dividends over the years.
“I feel like I’m a coach of a professional team. When I interview potential new personnel, I’m looking for that personality trait where the person is not only interested in growing in their field but also in knowing what the firm does as a whole, realizing that it’s this sort of joint effort that produces the best results. It comes from the top. I played college sports, and I just know it works here.”
Part of his approach is making sure every member of the team knows what is going on at the properties—all of them. Frequent meetings and discussions disperse that knowledge, enabling any manager to know what a caller’s complaint might be about, or what has already been done to alleviate a difficult situation. “We bring them along to inspect properties, and they come to board meetings, frequently, so when someone calls about an issue, in their mind’s eye they can view the property, know its status, and immediately deal with the issue.”