What makes a good manager, good?

^ There is such a thing as tenure at financial firms? I thought that only applied to professors and doctors.

Stallion is right. Although I don’t work at a giant company, the ones I am having trouble with recently are inherited because I have taken on some additional responsibilities and reports recently (4 months or so). I can’t fire anyone yet because my boss wants me to work with them for about 6 months to see if they can be salvaged. So far, one of them has responded while the other one, not so much.

As for “should not have hired them” comment - sure, hindsight is 20/20. I don’t blame my predecessor because I know no one can say they are batting 1.000 on their hiring decisions. I would say I am fairly good at reading people (have good poker game), but I can say I’ve made poor hiring decisions and recommendations and will likely continue to make them. Hiring someone isn’t a science and based on 3 or so rounds of interviews, it’s not easy to just know if someone will be good or not. Anyone who has been through a hiring process or even have some general life experience would know this.

^ Definitely hindsight is 20/20 and I don’t fault you at all if these were not your hiring decisions. If you are not already- you should build a file on each individual you are in charge of where you log performance and the details of every instance in which you corrected them on a mistake or praised an achievement. This will give you some ammunition for when/if you need to recommend a firing or request a promotion/raise for them.

Yeah, for sure, there are documentation if I need to go down that route and it really doesn’t matter who made bad hiring decisions because it happens all the time and will continue to happen.

The only point I am trying to get across is that having been at both ends of the stick, I feel like managers do get the short end (maybe rightly so because of better compensation and etc.). One example is that there are tons of articles on what a good manager should be (appeals to the masses that don’t like their manager), but I don’t see many that talk about what a good direct report should be (the need for employees to self-reflect). Even in work relationships, like all relationships, both parties need to put in the effort and compromise to make it work instead of continually expecting your boss to make things easier for you or to “inspire” you.

Managing-up is an important skill of subordinates. I never learned this (in undergrad) until reading an WSJ article about it.

In my experience, a good manager :

  • is someone that members of the team wish they would become as he is leaps and bounds beyond everyone (in terms of competence and charisma) and inspiring.

  • is someone that the team wants to please, because they like and respect him, not because they fear him.

  • is someone who has respect from the whole firm, and ESPECIALLY the hierarchy above him. Watching your boss get shitted on affects the respect you have for him.

  • is someone who is fair and predictable.

  • EDIT : I forgot that one : who sticks to what has been discussed and decided, i.e. clear decisions. Even if it means taking more time to decide. Going back and forth is annoying as fuck. We don’t just decide to change to 5Y-floating rate from 7Y-fixed rate on the date of signing because you read an article on refinancing risks yesterday evening.

  • is someone who always remains professional.

I once had a boss like that and I miss him. Absolute wizard in modelling. Yet the dude was so smart and charismatic that when he was out of his depth, he usually obtained what he wanted from other departments and clients and partners anyway simply by being so damn likable.

The downside I guess is that all these exceptional qualities hid a very autocratic and self-absorbed personality. The guy was essentially a one-man show and we were all littles pawns in his shadow. But what do you expect from a guy who on top of all that was almost 2 meters high, young and handsome and built like an Olympian ? No homo BTW (NTTAWWT).