Effective managers are cut from a different cloth than other employees. These leaders exhibit a particular set of personality traits that mix emotional strength with hard work and positive attitude. High on the list of personality traits these leaders display are assertiveness, work drive, teamwork orientation, extraversion, emotional stability and optimism.


Assertive managers approach problems directly, speak their minds and are not afraid to take unpopular opinions if they think they are right. They are comfortable influencing people and speaking up in meetings. They say the things that need saying and boldly face the challenges that ensue.

Work Drive

Managers are also expected to work long hours, work hard and accept no shortcuts. They lead by example and are often the first employees to arrive in the morning and the last ones to leave in the evening. Leading by example, they apply the same tough standards to themselves that they expect from their employees and the teams under their purview.

Teamwork Orientation

Taking tough stands and working hard are not enough to make an employee an effective manager. Increasingly, workplaces operate in teams. Leaders must mentor those working under them for the success of the team and ultimately the company. Managers often act as intermediaries between the company’s top leaders and its rank-and-file employees. As such, managers cannot focus solely on their own advancement.


A socially adept, empathetic manager can make long work hours and ambitious projects less daunting. Energized by working with people, extrovert-leaders displaying also have the skills to mediate disputes between employees and keep teams working cohesively.

Emotional Stability

Conflicts and stressors are part of the daily work experience for most managers. Often caught between high- and low-level employees and in disagreements between them, leaders must also maintain a level head when dealing with stakeholder demands. These skills also are essential for managers, who must mitigate conflicts and navigate around and through crisis situations.


For effective leaders, a positive attitude is a must for holding the wide range of personality traits described above together. Managers are best served by adopting a problem-solving orientation.

There are significantly more personality traits that contribute to effective leadership. However, If a pre-employment test reveals your new hire has most or all of the personality traits described above, the chances are that you have recruited a manager who will be up to the challenges of his or her job and help your business run smoothly and productively.