I'm constantly seeking ways to become a better manager. What are some tips that could help?

First, consider yourself a leader, not just a manager.

First, consider yourself a leader, not just a manager. Leaders foster a culture where expectations are high, but so are the rewards for those who perform. To motivate your team, you must remember that most people went into PR because it's fun. People work harder and smarter if they love what they do and respect the people they work with, so it's important to cultivate that spirit with those you manage.

Help people succeed by steering them toward work that suits their strengths, while helping them address the areas they need to improve. Poor managers avoid tough conversations and decisions. Leaders address them head on. Hold people accountable and celebrate victories, both large and small.

Successful managers should be tough when needed, but always be fair, respectful, and ethical. Take the time to teach, not simply dictate. Set clear expectations and measures of success, then step back and watch people shine. Delegation, however, does not mean walking away from the details, since a manager is ultimately responsible. Challenge people to do their best work, then lead by example in doing the same.

John Fitzpatrick is EVP and senior partner at Stratacomm.

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