7 Essential Management Competencies

Management AdviceFeeling like something isn’t going well in your daily efforts to manage your organization? Maybe you don’t have enough of one or more of these essential management competencies. If that’s the case, you’re blocking your road to success. Further, you can bet this issue is holding back company growth too.

According to Bradford Smart, author of Top Grading, persons in management positions need 50 competencies to do the job right. Yes, 50! That’s a lot of skill. And-that’s why many “managers” aren’t making the grade. That’s why many “managers” really shouldn’t be in that corner office. That’s why many “managers” won’t be there doing the same things five years from now.

Of the 50 competencies, a few are absolutely critical. Performing poorly in even one of these can result in termination, demotion, or just plain daily struggle and chronic frustration.

SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH “A” PLAYERS. If you allow yourself to continue to put up with “B” and “C” team players, you are settling for second and third best. Why? Is it because shedding those mediocre folks and hiring top notch employees requires more effort than you want to expend? How many “A” players do you have now? If 90% of your staff isn’t composed of “A” players, you’ve got a big problem. If you choose to ignore this, the fallout reflects on YOU.

PASSION. If you lack drive, motivation, and focus, you lack passion. Others can see it and feel it even if you try to hide it. Having little or no passion sucks you dry. Day after day you ride a treadmill that merely drains your energy. Know that you cannot inspire a fly to do anything if you move through life like a robot. What would it take for you to restore your passion for what you do?

INTEGRITY. Integrity is about who you are at the core. It’s not something you can fake, but it is something you can develop. How often do you engage in gossip, tell lies, break promises, push boundaries, and breach confidences? Doing even one of these diminishes your personal integrity.

ADAPTABILITY. You are adaptable if you can take any set of circumstances and deal with them appropriately. While you’re aware of your feelings and preferences, you don’t let them hold you back from doing whatever is necessary. Adaptability takes flexibility and trust in yourself. It means you can embrace complexity and challenge, rather than resist them.

TEAM BUILDER. One of your primary responsibilities as a manager is to build high functioning teams, not silos. If you fear the power of a team, you are insecure in yourself. A secure manager works to empower others in appropriate ways, creating a win-win situation. Know that personal and departmental narcissism is obsolete. If this is where you’re stuck, maybe management isn’t for you.

INTELLIGENCE. Excelling in management takes two types of intelligence: intellectual or academic and emotional. One without the other won’t work for you. You need to be a quick study AND be able to read other people. Brilliant strategists and planners who can’t see that the stakeholders are upset won’t go far. So, if you consider yourself to be bright, which kind of “bright” are you?

RESOURCEFULNESS. Of all the essential competencies, this one is the mega competency. Without the ability to be resourceful hour by hour, you cannot succeed in management. It’s that simple. Resourcefulness takes different faces: delegation, problem-solving, and opportunity creation, Often it means making lemonade out of lemons. Your employees and peers know if you are a resourceful person. They observe evidence of it-or lack of it-every day.

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