In a recent viral letter written to his employees, Elon Musk of Tesla displays various qualities that are key to successful management. In conjunction with recent events and heightened safety concerns, Musk addresses his workforce in a manner that shows he genuinely cares, using language like “No words can express how much I care…” and “…we lead from the front line, not from some safe and comfortable ivory tower.” You can feel the sincerity of his promises and concerns for his employees and highlights the important role managers play in a successful company by caring for their team.


At Next Level Performance, we also like to practice what we preach. Here are just some quotes on what our own teammates have to say about their managers when surveyed on “What about your manager keeps you engaged and motivated at work?” that made us one of the Best Places to Work in New Jersey:

  • “Mine [provides] recognition and independence.”
  • “My manager is an effective communicator and is good at defining project goals. [My manager] delegates the work appropriately while giving us the freedom to work independently, which is effective at keeping us all on the same common goal. This helps me get more done and is the motivation that keeps me active throughout the day.”
  • “I stay engaged because no two days are ever the same. My manager sets the bar very high in what we deliver to our clients and how we deliver it. [This person] has an incredible amount of expertise and I learn something new every day. And there is still A LOT more to learn.”
  • “My manager gives me the authority and autonomy to accomplish my tasks and goals any way I feel is most appropriate (and professional!). Allowing me to work in this way motivates me to do more because I don’t want to let anyone down or have my manager feel like his trust was misplaced. I want [them] to continue to trust me to get my work done and have a positive impact on the work we do here.”
  • “[My manager] encourages an entrepreneurial spirit within his team. By challenging us to bring any ideas we have to the table that might improve our product, makes us a part of the growth of business in every sense.  That latitude and engagement fosters a greater sense of pride in the final product, and a desire to see it succeed not just for professional reasons, but also for that feeling of personal accomplishment.”
  • “Knowing that I make a difference in not only my team, but in the whole company is a huge motivator. When my manager allows me to learn, grow, and independently contribute to the overall success of the company, I feel like doing my best work and working hard. I think good managers know the workload and also the potential of each of their teammates, and delegates tasks and responsibility accordingly to have the best success possible for everyone.”
  • “I always appreciate receiving e-cards [recognition] from my manager. They encourage and motivate me to continue to perform at my best!”

There are several attributes that distinguish a manager as a leader. An effective manager must display accountability and emotional intelligence, inspire their team, practice what they preach, give honest and thoughtful recognition, and put the needs of the team first. Many companies find engagement drops off when it comes to manager recognition. Now more than ever, employees are not leaving the company, but their manager. At Next Level we take this seriously and take steps to ensure all of our managers are great managers. We can help you achieve the same culture of engagement.

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About the author

Shannon is a Marketing Associate at Next Level Performance, working on the front lines to provide consultation and recommendations for sales incentive, customer loyalty, and employee engagement initiatives. She made the leap from social worker to B2B sales person, and brought along the problem solving and service skills needed to find the best solution for clients. Favorite travel destination: Anywhere with a beach.

Shannon Prekop
Marketing Associate
sprekop@nxlperformance.com

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