What skills and attributes do managers require today?

Topics: Management, Knowledge management, Leadership Pages: 7 (2120 words) Published: April 9, 2003
I return to the university as a MBA student after working for seven years. Many people cannot understand because they think I have lost too much in terms of money. I never regret for this and persist to my objective to be a successful manager. As an ambitious woman, I enjoy learning modern management theory and developing my management skills. To challenge keen competition I realize a manager should have following skills and attributes: knowledge, social skills, creativity, organizing capability and decision-making skills.

First of all, 21st century is an information age. Managers equipped with technical and managerial knowledge will succeed. 'It is knowledge that will lead to new products, new innovations. And despite all the machinery at the heart of this new age it is manager and their ability to turn information into knowledge that will be a company's greatest asset. '(Morris, Meed and Svensen, 1996)

One incident happened last year in my company impressed me greatly how important the knowledge manager is. Our director appointed the administrative manager temporarily to take over the project manager who was ill. When engineers began to design a project distributed by the new manager, some complained about the schedule, and more worse some refused to do it because of lacking basic design documents. As a result this project was not finished on time. The administrative manager did not make a proper plan due to he knew nothing about the project design. Therefore knowledge managers are more important in the organization, especially the organization becomes increasingly complex nowadays. Mangers should not only learn technical and managerial knowledge related to his working fields but also culture and psychology etceteras. Being short of knowledge manager, particularly those who possess culture and language skills, is current dilemma for most multinational companies. 'Many international managers are often quite frustrated with head office and HR departments, in their lack of what is takes to be effective in international business endeavors.' (Schneider and Barsoux, 1997) Typically, Japanese firms have run into difficulties in internationalizing, particularly at senior management lever. (Kriger and Solomon, 1992)

Realizing the important of knowledge to manager, I come to UK for further study and experience another culture. Learning during the whole life will benefit me to achieve higher objective. Besides attending the lecture and doing assignment, I think I should spare more time to communicate with my classmates who have different working backgrounds and experiences. Knowledge is ubiquitous, the key point is how you find it. I plan to learn not only from the book and the class, but also from the other people's experience. I once talked with one of my classmate who was a sales manager in a chemical company. He illustrated his company's marketing strategy to me. Therefore the unfamiliar marketing concepts become more visual and vivid. As Confucius, a famous Chinese philosopher, has said: " There must be a teacher for me among three peoples." By this means, my knowledge is enlarged and my mind is more open after a year study, so that I will be confident in dealing with the business affairs.

Second I cannot neglect social skills in concern of manager's attributes. The social skills emphasize interpersonal skills. The manager's activities include communication, traditional management, networking and HR management. (Luthans, Hodgetts, and Rosenkrantz, 1988) These activities show one of features of managers, i.e. they require social skills. The skillful managers may be promoted rapidly because they know how to deal with people.

From the observation of some successful manages I find that they are common in being good at communicating, negotiating, delegating and persuading. People enjoy working with them. Therefore it is easier for them to fulfill the tasks and achieve the goals. On the other hand, it is difficult to...
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