People are the most important resource available to you as a manager. It is through this resource that other resources are managed. However, you are ultimately accountable for the management of all resources, including your own. When dealing with immediate issues, anticipating problems, responding to demands or even a crisis, and developing new ways of doing things, you are personally involved. You manage yourself as well as other people. You cannot delegate everything. You frequently have to rely on your own resources to get things done. These resources include skill, know-how, competencies, time, and reserves of resilience and determination. You will get support, advice and assistance from your own staff and specialists, including HR (human resources), but in the last analysis you are on your own.
As a manager and a leader you will be judged not only on the results you have achieved but the level of competence you have attained and applied in getting those results. Competence is about knowledge and skills – what people need to know and be able to do to carry out their work well.
You will also be judged on how you do your work – how you behave in using your knowledge and skills. These are often described as ‘behavioural competencies’ and can be defined as those aspects of behaviour that lead to effective performance.
They refer to the personal characteristics that people bring to their work roles in such areas as leadership, team working, flexibility and communication.
Many organizations have developed competency frameworks which define what they believe to be the key competencies required for success. Such frameworks are used to inform decisions on selection, management development and promotion. Importantly, they can provide the headings under which the performance of managers and other staff is assessed. Managers who want to get on need to know what the framework is and the types of behaviour expected of them in each of the areas it covers.
The following is an example of a competence framework:
Achievement orientation. The desire to get things done well and the ability to set and meet challenging goals, create own measures of excellence and constantly seek ways of improving performance.
Business awareness. The capacity continually to identify and explore business opportunities, to understand the business priorities of the organization and constantly to seek methods of ensuring that the organization becomes more business-like.
Communication. The ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, orally or in writing.
Customer focus. The exercise of unceasing care in looking after the interests of external and internal customers to ensure that their wants, needs and expectations are met or exceeded.
Developing others. The desire and capacity to foster the development of members of his or her team, providing feedback, support, encouragement and coaching.
Flexibility. The ability to adapt to and work effectively in different situations and to carry out a variety of tasks.
Leadership. The capacity to inspire individuals to give of their best to achieve a desired result and to maintain effective relationships with individuals and the team as a whole.
Planning. The ability to decide on courses of action, ensuring that the resources required to implement the action will be available and scheduling the programme of work required to achieve a defined end-result.
Problem solving. The capacity to analyse situations, diagnose problems, identify the key issues, establish and evaluate alternative courses of action and produce a logical, practical and acceptable solution.
Teamwork. The ability to work cooperatively and flexibly with other members of the team with a full understanding of the role to be played as a team member.
Attributes of successful managers
Michael Pedler and his colleagues suggest, on the basis of their research, that there are 11 attributes or qualities which are possessed by successful managers:
1. Command of basic facts
2. Relevant professional knowledge
3. Continuing sensitivity to events
4. Analytical, problem-solving and decision/judgement-making skills
5. Social skills and abilities
6. Emotional resilience
9. Mental agility
10. Balanced learning habits and skills
Key aspects of management
The following key aspects of management:
making things happen;