9 Key Behaviors Transforming Good Managers into Great LeadersBalancing management and leadership has been a focus of our work stretching back through many of my books and our keynotes and workshops and leadership team retreats.

Zenger Folkman’s research on the “differentiating competencies” that separate the bottom 10% from the top 10% shows that emotional intelligence is a major factor in leadership effectiveness. Good managers produce better results than poor managers. Employee engagement, sales, profits, turnover, safety, customer service, and discretionary effort are good or mid-range.

On the other hand, great or extraordinary leaders performing at the 90th percentile produce extraordinary results. Their results are exponentially higher than just good managers. It’s been said that good is the enemy of great. As Michelangelo warned, “our greatest tragedy is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

One of the main reasons I reconnected with Jack Zenger a few years ago and The CLEMMER Group became a strategic partner of Zenger Folkman is their research-based methodology — a road map — for helping good managers become great leaders. Here’s what we’ve seen emerge from this work:

Good Manager

Great Leader

Pushes for results Inspires outstanding performance
Directs and controls Coaches and influences
Solves problems Guides problem solving and owning solutions
Gives feedback Gives and asks for developmental feedback
Focuses on fixing weaknesses Builds and leverages strengths
Sets high goals and standards Energizes with compelling vision and strategy
Builds strong teamwork Fosters a culture of extraordinary effort
Uses his/her technical expertise Develops strong expertise in others
Reduces turnover and increases engagement Attracts and retains the very best people

Are you working to be “good enough” to get the job done or to be extraordinary? What about the managers in your organization? If you could transform yourself and your managers from good to great leaders, what kind of impact would that have?