Management Skills & Competencies

Skills and Competency Grid for the 21st Century Manager

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The purpose of this work is to first create a skills and competency grid for the 21st Century manager based on the topics of the forces of change affecting management processes and people. The difference between efficiency and effectiveness as it relates to management. The use of management functions such as planning, leading organizing and controlling. Further this work will compare and contrast the similarities and differences in precisely how different types of managers perform the major functions and analyze the impacts of management on informational, interpersonal and decisional roles. This work will evaluate the lifecycles of the organization and its influence on management practices as well as assess the interdependence of departments in an organization and its impact on the management effectiveness. The importance of building internal partnerships will be described as well as assessing the influence of power and influences of ethical behavior in an organization. Finally part one of this work will appraise emerging trends and in society and business that influence management practices.

Part II of this work will be the creation of a personal development plan that analyzes strengths and weaknesses related to proposed grid and further make identification of concrete action steps that can be taken to build competencies.


The skills and competencies that are demanded of the 21st Century manager are varied and diverse in nature. Skills with people and technology is a necessity for a manager in the 21st century world that is rapidly changing particularly in relation to technological advances. Efficiency as well as effectiveness are vital in the role of management within an organization. Efficiency is having performed a task or project in a streamlined manner with all the loose ends tied up neatly whereas effectiveness is the measurement of the success of the task or project demonstrated through success in projected and targeted outcomes.

Development of a Grid

Management is generally followed by the individuals they manage due to trust and respect rather than the possession of skills. Leadership relies on management skills but more so on personal qualities such as integrity, ethics, honesty, commitment, confidence wisdom, determination, humanity, sincerity and compassion for others. Different types of leadership personalities are as follows:

Concern for Tasks

The achievement of concrete objective is the emphasis. High levels of productivity, methods of organizing people and activities in meeting those objectives.

Concern for People

The person is a consideration instead of being “simply units of production” or “means to an end.” (Leadership Style and Behavior of Leaders, 2005)

Directive leadership

In this style of leadership the leaders make decisions for others and expect subordinates to adhere to instruction and orders.

Participate Leadership

Sharing of decision-making with others.

Four of the basic styles in leadership are those of:

Autocratic: Dominating type of leadership using unilateralist in achievement of a singular objective usually met with passive resistance from team. Employee participation is limited.

Bureaucratic: Management by the book according to policy or procedures. Rules are enforced.

Laissez-faire: Hands-off style of leadership which provides virtually no direction giving employees complete freedom with the authority of power over themselves in goal determination, decision-making, and problem resolution.

Democratic: This is the ‘participate’ style encouraging employees in participation in decision-making, work goals and methods are decided by the group as a whole.

Leaders may also be described with attributes expressed in the following roles:

Socio-Emotional Leaders

Supportive of employees utilizing ‘unconditional reinforcement’. Building trust is seen as key to a quality relationship.

Combination (Task & Socio-Emotional)

High levels of interpersonal and/or emotional intelligence skills in which the leaders works toward the end of group oriented goals through effectiveness and value recognition.

Effective Leaders

Lead by example, with understanding and with a willingness to discuss issues in a team oriented approach. Avoidance of ruling according to the procedural company designated ‘law’ and brings out the best in workers under supervision. Authority is delegated and communication is open with this leader.

Twelve Dimensions in Management/Leadership are stated to be the following characteristics:

Integrity, Self-Renewal, Fortitude, Perceiving, Judgment, Performing, Boldness, Team-building, Collaboration, Inspiring, Serving, Enthusiasm”

Competencies in Leadership are stated to be:

1. A common vision appropriate to all employees.

2. A vision for the future of the organization which will guide in setting organization goals and objectives.

3. Developing vision in seeing the bigger picture and standing for the created values.

4. Encouragement of others in commitment to values in the organization.

5. Development of values that recognize diversity as a strategic advantage.

Management Levels in an Organization

Levels of management in an organization are stated to be the levels of First-line managers, Middle Managers, and Top Managers. First-Line Managers are the managerial jobs that are the lowest level of management and are often referred to within the organization as ‘supervisors’. Middle Managers are those above the supervisor level which are those responsible for a specific unit within the organization in terms of performance of that unit. There are less Top Managers than others and they are those with the most responsibility within the organization and serve in guiding the organization. Three types of skills associated with managerial functions are those of technical skills, human skills and technical skills with characteristics as follows:

Technical Skills: These skills are those of procedures, techniques, methods and specific tools to the field.

Human Skills: These skills are those defined as abilities to: understanding, motivate, lead, plan, and are vital skills for managers on all levels.

Conceptual Skills: Inclusive in this skill range are abilities in coordinating, planning integrating as well as understanding how each mechanism in the organization affects other mechanisms and the interrelatedness of all parts throughout the organization.

Managerial Functions: Planning, Leading, Organizing & Controlling

Managerial functions of planning, leading, organizing and controlling are best understood within the description as follows:

Leading: The management within an organization ‘leads’ the teams within an organization whether it be towards the end of increasing productivity, decreasing injuries on the job or in creating a better work environment.

Planning: The management within an organization is responsible for the laying out of plans that are well-thought out and that utilizes the best of each individual and team in the accomplishment of a goal or meeting of production quotas or deadlines.

Controlling: Controlling is an important aspect in managerial functions. The management ‘controls’ inventory, purchases, training processes, scheduling and other such aspects within the organization that require the supervision and focused attention in goal-setting and goal-meeting.

Organizing: This is also a vital function on the part of management. Without proper organization no deadlines could be met, productivity would never increase and job injuries would be on the rise. Organization is key in functional business processes that are conducive to increased capacity, productivity and performance in an organization.

Organization Lifecycle and the Effect on Management

The organization project Lifecycle has several stages which are:

Project Selection: This phase of the Lifecycle in selection of a project differs from one organization to the next. The project must be first be evaluated in making a determination of the proper and best use of corporation funds. The costs, benefits, risks and other factors will be different in each project. After having evaluated and selected the project the next step is formal planning.

Planning: “The importance of thorough planning cannot be overemphasized.” (Hormozi, et al. 2000) the project budget and the master schedule are the two main and most important components of the project plan. Measures for evaluation of the project should be included in the plan and guidelines for the termination of the project.

Execution: The costs, schedule as well as performance, or the ‘actual progress’ of the project is measured against goals set out in the plan and the information is constructed into status reports and then distributed to the project team and the senior management in the organization.

Termination: During the phase redistribution of resources takes place as well as the closing of financial records and reassignment of personnel of the project.

Termination of a project may be through extinction, inclusion or integration. (Meredith et al., 1995)

The manager’s responsibility in the termination of a project is to “effectively and efficiently end projects” (Meredith, et al., 1995) and is inclusive of the following:

Ensuring that the project is complete.

Ensuring delivery and client acceptance

Preparation of a final report

Ensuring that all bills have been paid and that the final invoice has been sent to the client.

Redistribution personnel, materials, equipment, and any other resources.

Determination of what records (manual, reports, and other paperwork) are to be kept and place them in storage.

Assignment of responsibility for product support if necessary

Overseeing the closing of the books of the project.

It is the place and responsibility of the senior management to recognize and award the successes of the project team and in doing this the creation of a corporate culture that give encouragement and motivation is established. It is important that member of management have sensitivity toward employees during project termination processes. “Cancellation, in particular, can have a profound and lasting affect on the organization and its employees.” (Hormozi, 2000)

Interdependence of Department in Organization

The following statement is an excerpt from the work entitled “Knowledge Worker Team Effectiveness: The Role of Autonomy, interdependence, team development, and contextual support variables” written by Brian D. Janz, Jason a. Colquitt, Raymond a. Noe:

Those studies that have examined teams of knowledge workers have employed samples of research teams (Cheng, 1983; Cheng, 1984; Cheng & Miller, 1985), product development teams (Ancona & Caldwell, 1992; Katz, 1982; Katz & Allen, 1985; Keller, 1986), consulting teams (Ancona, 1990), insurance teams, administrative teams, and information systems teams (Campion, Pepper, & Medsker, 1996; Henderson & Lee, 1992). Results have indicated that interdependence is critical in such teams (Campion et al., 1996; Cheng, 1983)” (as Cited by Colquitt, 1997)

Management Skills & Competencies

Skills and Competency Grid for the 21st Century Manager

Part II

Personal Development Management Plan

Goals for the organization is an improvement of the industrial security program as well as enhancing supervisory and management skills. Further it is vital to identify methods in assisting staff in both their individual and professional development and success. Management skills must be honed in relation to delegation of responsibilities and tasks to the staff enabling more focus on forward planning and in defining as well as implementing requirements for the security organization. Further plans are the completion of a MBA in 2006 while taking courses on project management assisting the viewing of projects through a timely and cost-effective manner. Training of staff through cross-training will develop the skill base of the staff.

Research Methods for Development of competency in these Areas

Selected learning activities and professional experiences in increasing competencies: This is best expressed through involvement in self-improvement initiatives through taking classes or attending seminars or meetings that add to the knowledge base of the individual manager.

Explanation of the importance of these specific activities and experiences: These type activities not only help to hone the interaction skills of the manager but also assist in the problem-solving skills through practice in classroom type situations preparing the management for dealing with resolution of conflicts and issues within the organization and as well principles the management in the constant process of learning and relearning which optimizes the managerial functions in dealing effectively with ever-changing processes within the organization. The manger is enabled in dealing more effectively with ‘hands-on’ situations after having collaborated with others in relation to expected actions or feedback of managers in this capacity.

Development of a time frame as well as measurements in tracking progress: Without setting timeframes for a project’s end or any other initiative within the organization there will exist chaos and no ordered process and productivity, effectiveness as well as efficiency will suffer and more than likely quality will be affected as well.

Identification of potential obstacles that must be overcome and methods in overcoming those obstacles: The identification of possible, barriers, obstacles, or dysfunction within the structure of the organization itself increases the possibilities in avoidance of those stated conditions creating a possibility for failure of the imitative or project or at the very least without having identified possible problem areas the project will be delayed, derailed or lacking the desired outcomes.

Measurements Development

According to a report entitled “Core Competencies for Managers and Leaders the following competencies are those used by the Core Competencies:

Meaningful keywords for indication of how well core competencies are being used by managers.

Range of response within certain keywords so that the assessor would have some degree of flexibility in response.

Ease of use and migration to a so that assessments could be cone online in a reasonable amount of time.

Ability to provide comments in summary forma t the end of each core competency set of questions and behaviors.

Recognition of different viewpoints. (Measuring Core Competencies, 2003)

Ethics in the Organization

Although most individuals have been taught the difference in “right” and “wrong” however, ethical dilemmas that occur in the business world are often not easily answered. Judgment calls are often utilized in the absence of a ‘black or white’ answer and it is widely understood that gray areas exist within the realm of the business world and are generally the ‘norm’. It is believed that a mandate can be successfully implemented in the standards of ethics within an organization. The code of conduct of a company should be communicated from the upper management of the organization. The maintenance of both ethical standards and integrity originates from the standards and principles set at the top on the part of management.”

The Chart below labeled Chart 1.0 lists the core competencies of a general nature in today’s world of business as well as listing “Leadership & System Thinking Skills,” “Analytical/Assessment Skills,” “Policy Development/Program Planning Skills,” “Financial Planning and Management Skills” and “Communication Skills.

Chart 1.0

Summary & Conclusion:

Today’s business world is ever-changing and ever-shifting and it is vital that the 21st Century manager be well trained in global issues of diversity as well as in use of ‘soft skills’ which is quite simply the method of interacting, negotiating, supervising and managing other individuals. The role of an organization is constantly undergoing change and the effective manager will understand that this is a given and is considered a ‘norm’ in organizational environments of the 21st Century..

This work has demonstrated fully the aspects that are inclusive in the role of management and has done so in view of the various possible roles. This work has further reviewed the skills necessary for the manager of the 21st century as well as provided all information that comprises information on a grid of assessment of competencies and skills in management.


Meredith J. et al. (1995) Project Management: A Managerial Approach, New York John Wiley & Sons.

Hormozi, Amir M. (2000) the Project Lifecycle: The Termination Phase Online at: Questia Library Research.

Drucker, Peter F. (1999) Management Challenges for the 21st Century (Review) at Error! Bookmark not defined.

Mallinger, Mark Ph.D. (2004) Management Skills for the 21st Century: Communication & Interpersonal Skills Rank 1st. The Braziadio Business Report – School of Business and Management.

Colquitt, Jason a.; Janz, Brian D.; and Raymond Noe. (1997) Knowledge Worker Team Effectiveness: The Role of Autonomy, Interdependence, Team Development, and Contextual Support Variables. Psychology, Vol. 50, 1997.

Leadership Styles and Behaviors of Leaders (2004) Academic DB Online located at;page=record;link=14235

Role of Manager in an Organization (2004) Academic DB Online located at;page=record;link=14619