The best managers I have had do two things well: they remove impediments to a trusted developer's understanding of the larger business purpose behind that developer's task, and they, as proficient developers in their own right, approach solving problems in what seems to me to almost be a "refactoring" mindset. They look at what is confusing or misleading in the overall process and put plans in action to clarify and clean it up. They work with people as fluidly as they work with code. And they understand that just as clean code performs the best and is the most maintainable, clear communication with and among the developers in their constituency will lead to the greatest progress in the near and long term.