What Knowledge and Skills Does a Manager Need?


Why do some managers succeed, while others make attempts that do not yield any results over and over again?

Every year thousands of thematic books are issued. Of course, you can devote all your time to selecting and reading the best of them on the recommendations, but it is unlikely that your needs will be completely satisfied.

And how to understand which books are needed for you basing on your current life situation? To do this, you first need to understand what kind of qualities, knowledge and skills are needed to become a good manager. And to impose this knowledge on your current competencies and your life situation.

Recipe for Success

Development is possible in three directions:

  • To form the personal qualities necessary for any successful person;
  • To acquire and improve humanitarian knowledge and skills;
  • To acquire and improve engineering knowledge and skills.

The question of which direction should be prioritized is akin to the question of which leg is better – right or left. For the full development of a successful manager, all three components are equally necessary: personal, humanitarian and engineering.

Let us look at them in more detail.

Personality Development: The Formation of the Inner Core

As a matter of fact, all personal growth pieces of training are engaged in this. However paradoxical it may sound, they "sell" the inner core and the ability to be happy.

The inner core gives us the strength of spirit, the feeling that there are meaning and purpose in our life, and the ability to be happy is to be in comfort with yourself and the desire to bring happiness to others.

For development in this direction, each person chooses philosophical and psychological practices leading to inner harmony.

Humanitarian Section

There are two main groups:

  • The first group is economic, financial and legal knowledge. It is included in the standard package of "managerial competencies", which is taught in higher education institutions and in advanced training courses;
  • The second group is the methods of interpersonal interaction. Psychological skills (neuro-linguistic programming, the art of negotiating, public speaking skills, acting skills), which the manager partially receives at the university, partially master himself or herself or at various training sessions.

The knowledge and skills of the first and second groups can be broadly called humanitarian management. This is the cornerstone.

Nevertheless, it is possible to single out one aspect from the second group of knowledge, which is the most important for a good leader – it is the management of the team as a system. If you want to know more on this topic, then order an essay on crazyessay.com/management-papers.

What is it? This is the ability of the manager to see and share the personality, role and position of each specialist in his or her team.

Each head is forced to decide tasks that require this skill many times a day or even for one meeting. In order to solve them successfully, it is necessary:

  • To share and well imagine the interests of all team members (marketers, engineers, IT workers, etc.) in relation to the enterprise system, as well as the interests of each post and the personal interests of each person;
  • To resolve competently and quickly any interdisciplinary (not to be confused with interpersonal!) conflicts.

The key to making the right decisions for team management is good knowledge of your system. And for a good knowledge of their system, another group of skills is needed – engineering ones.

Engineering Section

The focus of the manager's humanitarian knowledge is a person (psychology, interaction, etc.). The focus of non-humanitarian knowledge – the product (service) produced. People are treated in connection with this product in this system.

Non-humanitarian knowledge of the manager can also be divided into two categories: fundamental knowledge and methodology of the system approach.

Fundamental knowledge is knowledge in the work area of activity and related fields. It is impossible to manage a chemical industry enterprise well without knowing at least the basics of chemistry or to manage a polyclinic without being a doctor. The absolute majority of managers understand the significance of this area of knowledge and regularly raise their own qualifications, monitoring the latest achievements, new technologies and general development in their field.

The system approach is a special angle of view, no less important for successful management than having the right amount of humanitarian and fundamental knowledge. This will be discussed in more detail below.

The System Approach

One of the basic principles of effective work is thinking in the categories of systems: you need to be able to consider any activity, enterprise, product, team, etc. as a system.

Such system thinking can be developed independently, but it is faster and easier to master it under the guidance of a teacher and a mentor (this is like mathematics – you can do it yourself, but not many are in power to succeed).

At present, the system approach differs from the way it was in the last century. Now, for example, many people are still trying to approach the notion of "system" through a dictionary definition ("a system is a set of elements linked together into a whole"), whereas at the present time the focus of the system approach has shifted. Things that surround the system are of paramount importance. That is, if before we were interested in what is inside the system and what it consists of, now we first need to find out the external environment of the system and it is this that must be studied first (before taking care of the internal arrangement of the system).

The system manager should think, at least, in the categories of three systems: the target system (product) providing system (command) and using systems (the client). In this case, the manager must constantly keep in mind the elements of these systems, their interactions and interplay of the systems themselves, as well as all stakeholders and their interests in each of the systems.

Sounds difficult? Quite right, it takes time and perseverance to master the systemic approach, it cannot be reduced to a set of simple recommendations.

Then why is it worth to waste time on this? And here is why: the system approach allows you to easily manage projects of any complexity, successfully create high-tech products and services, coordinate the work of an interdisciplinary team and take into account the interests of all stakeholders. It allows you to create successful systems and do it more reliable, faster and better than your competitors.

Many successful managers intuitively or knowingly practice a system approach, but transferring this skill to another person is much more difficult than humanitarian one. There are many methods of teaching this approach when one shows not only "to do A and B to get C", but also to look at the right angle to see the system.

Thus, we have tried to show the levels of knowledge that are necessary for a successful manager. We hope that, based on this, everyone can further more consciously approach the personal development.

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