Great article by Cap Watkins, Senior Product Manager at Etsy, on what he learned from a former manager that was actually awesome:
Enable. Make sure that people are free to do their best work and have a clear path for growth. [...] Are the people you support paired with team members who will enhance their skill set? Can you predict future needs and fill them right on time or, even better, earlier than expected?
This is great, but an even better step you can take as a manager is to empower your team. Empower them to make the right decisions for the company, empower with the authority to do what's right for the business. Not instead of these, but all of the listed examples plus more.
Support. Make hard things easier. Is someone in too many meetings? Take some of them on yourself. Had a hard time hiring extra help and now someone you manage is overwhelmed? Pitch in or work with the team to shuffle the roadmap to provide relief and buy yourself a little more time. Did someone ask for more opportunities to push their own boundaries? Don’t just throw it on your mile long to-do list. Make it a topic for your 1:1 regularly. Hold yourself accountable.
"Make hard things easier," is definitely in the top list of things good managers must do. In the past I've thought of this as "removing the roadblocks" so your team can be successful. But this is even better. As leaders (especially in big companies), let's just work to make the hard things easier.
Resolve. This part of the role is 50/50 direct mediation and guidance. Every project has hard moments that, once in awhile, escalate into voiced frustration. The two types I’ve typically seen (even in myself) are either people having trouble communicating, or people just not communicating at all. In each instance, there’s a fine line between someone just needing an ear and some guidance, and a situation needing a manager’s direct involvement.
There's no easy answer here. As much as possible, encourage the people to work it out directly with each other. Look for opportunities to facilitate communication. Work to help identify the root cause scenario. It requires a deft touch and experience since each situation is unique.