Identifying Your Assistant Manager

Behind every good manager there’s an effective assistant manager – a go-to resource with a knack for making the boss look good regardless of the circumstances. Part girl Friday, part boy wonder, this person has the across-the-board skills that make running a successful business easier.

What traits might these be, you ask? We look at several of them here:

Mind Reader

There’s a synergy between a manager and assistant manager that transcends normal communication. The effective assistant manager knows what you’re thinking beforehand and anticipates next steps. Your competitor advertises a buy-one-get-one special on a Sunday? Come Monday morning your assistant manager will be ready to implement your counter strategy.

Ability to Yang

While you’ll see eye-to-eye with your assistant manager, the effective sidekick will not be a carbon copy of you! If your strength is operations and your Achilles heel is marketing, the effective assistant manager will help you compensate. When evaluating candidates, look for strengths that minimize your weaknesses. A yang to your ying is a win-win for your business.

High-Functioning Workaholic

An effective assistant manager isn’t a clock puncher. In fact, he or she doesn’t really think in terms of time or a traditional workweek. To him or her, the job is a continual source of intoxicating, rewarding thought – the kind that generates ideas scrawled on nightstand tablets at two-thirty in the morning. While work isn’t the end all be all for a good assistant manager, the satisfaction of a job well done certainly comes close.

Not A Brutus

To the good assistant manager, it doesn’t matter if you rule with a smile or an iron fist. Your word, your rules and your policies are gospel, and what you preach is what they trust to be right. A good assistant manager won’t stab you in the back, but certainly has yours without question.

Multiple Heads

Atop every good assistant manager is a head that’s worn several hats – chapeaus earned while learning different aspects of the business. Wide-ranging job knowledge is key to ensuring your business stays running, for instance, when you’re away conducting business, out sick, or simply unavailable. With many hats comes peace of mind only a seasoned assistant manager can deliver.

A MacGyver Gene (or two)

Resourcefulness and creativity pulled Richard Dean Anderson out of many scrapes in the television show MacGyver. These traits can help a successful assistant manager do the same for your business. As cliché as it sounds, the ability to think outside the box and look at challenges from a variety of perspectives are crucial. The ability to make do with what’s at hand in a crisis is also a plus.

Winning Smile

A strong assistant manager likes to win and knows how to motivate and support those team members who can help your business achieve success. Part charmer, part politician, he or she is the kind of person who presents well with clients and identifies with workers; the kind of person people like to work with and work for.

Are you in the process of choosing an assistant manager? Whether it’s someone you promote or someone you hire, if they possess the traits outlined here, chances are they’ll be successful.

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