I have had a total of 6 managers over the course of 21 years. By now I have a very solid idea of which qualities a good manager should possess. I have run from one extreme to the other, my worst manager was fired for stealing, and my best manager has been promoted 4 times since I last worked there, and is an outstanding asset to the company.
The basic understanding that a manager needs to have is an objective view. This is extremely difficult to do as emotions cloud our every thought and action. It is possible, and the result is employees that all feel that they are treated equally. If my manager is someone that plays the favorites game, and favors someone more than another there are many issues that will arise. Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence, I have had 2 managers myself that treated the people that he liked better than the people that he did not. Naturally I was one that was not liked, I tend to talk little, and work a lot, and so I was put off out of the group. I did not like these managers at all, and I have heard from many other people in situations where this is the case.
Managing people is a very difficult thing to do effectively. I am going to go out on a limb and say that over half of the people in positions that are managing people have no idea how to do it. Most commonly the manager has worked his way through the ranks in the department, and now is in charge of 30 people. In his time that he has put in at this company, not once has he been told what managing people actually entails. I feel that too many managers today are managing the books, and products, rather than managing the people and letting the happy, satisfied employees produce the high numbers to fill the books. This technique does work, the job that I am at now is a firm believer in this same idea, and the company is on the list of fortune 500.
At my last job that I had, the people were great, my boss was fair, he was nice,...