The 10 Commandments of Magnetic Managers | Be The Boss

The 10 Commandments of Magnetic Managers

Mel Kleiman


Jun 22, 2017

The main reason most great employees quit is because of their bosses. That’s why we often hear the saying: “People join companies, but leave their managers.”

Managers who cause good people to quit can be guilty of sins of omission (not acknowledging outstanding performance, failing to keep a promise, etc.), sins of commission (favoritism, criticizing in public, etc.), and of the sin of accepting mediocrity (A-players don’t want to work with or cover for C-players).

When I asked over 300 attendees at one of my presentations how many of them had a great boss, about 25 percent raised their hands. I then asked that group, “Would you consider leaving that great manager and taking a new job if someone offered you five percent more money?” No hands went up. “How about 10 percent more money?” Still no hands. “Fifteen percent more money?” Finally, about 20 hands went up. Then, for a 20 percent increase, almost all 75 hands went up. As you can see, it takes a lot of dough to pry great people away from what I call “Magnetic Managers.”

So, what makes a Magnetic Manager? Research studies, employee surveys, and my own consulting work agree that the following are the 10 commandments Magnetic Managers live by:

1. Thou shalt manage people the way they want to be managed. Some prefer lots of coaching and collaboration while others do their best work independently with minimal feedback.

2. Thou shalt not fail to be generous with recognition. Acknowledge every job well done.

3. Thou shalt communicate. Keep everyone in the loop and on the same page. No hidden agendas or information withheld.

4. Though shalt insist on accountability. Hold yourself and each of your team members accountable for accomplishing specific goals and tasks.

5. Thou shalt fail fast, learn fast, and fix fast. We learn far more from our failures than our successes. Whether it’s a pet project or a bad hire, cut your losses immediately, figure out what went wrong and how to keep it from happening again. If the fix doesn’t take, repeat the process.

6. Thou shalt never settle for mediocrity. Your best people will always do their utmost to meet your expectations, so make your expectations specific and keep them high. Then don’t negate their efforts by keeping mediocre players on the team.

7. Thou shalt teach your people how to manage you. Do you thrive on constant interruptions and have an open door policy or prefer regular, scheduled meetings?

8. Thou shalt not shoot the messenger. If the battle is going badly, the people on the front lines will know it first. Ask questions constantly and encourage the troops to keep you abreast of all developments, both good and bad.

9. Thou shalt be a mentor. Your success depends on your people. Find out their goals and aspirations and do all you can to help them get where they want to go and they’ll make sure you get where you want to go too.

10. Thou shalt remember to make work fun. Friendly competitions, celebrations, traditions, team t-shirts, a bell to ring when something great happens. Put on your thinking cap. No one leaves the party when they’re having fun.


Certified Speaking Professional Mel Kleiman is an internationally recognized consultant, author and speaker/trainer on strategies for finding and keeping the best hourly employees. He is the president of Humetrics, a leading developer of systems, training processes, and tools for recruiting, selecting and retaining the best hourly workforce. Kleiman is the author of five books, including the best-selling "Hire Tough, Manage Easy." For more information, visit or call (713) 771-4401.