The Competencies for 21st Century Manager

Topics: Management, Leadership, Servant leadership Pages: 8 (1803 words) Published: March 9, 2010
The Competencies for 21st Century Manager

Aurobinda Panda
B.B.A.LL.B 2nd year, 4th semester
Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India -751024
Mobile no: +91-9040428313

(Key words: '21st Century Manager', 'modern manager', ‘Management practice' and 'competencies for manager')

Never before there were so many challenges before the managers as are in 21st century. Not only the complexion of work force changing quickly but the environmental risk, rapid technological changes, globalization forces acting on organizations, severe competitive environment and Increasing demand on organizations by various stake holders make the role of modern managers complex and stress full. The traditional theories of management that developed from time to time in last 150 years including those from Adam Smith, Max Weber, Taylor, Fayol, Mayo and Peter Drucker and so on have given immense contribution to the management of organizations in twentieth century.

However the modern challenges before managers give scope for identifying some competencies that are crucial for 21st century management. The traditional view of manager as boss is long extinct. The management practice has over the decades transformed from supervision to the service role.

We do remember the punch line of Rotary International: 'Service above self'.

The phrase "Servant Leadership" was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. In that essay, he said:

The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature. "

"The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?"

The other theory of Stewardship holds the possibility of shifting our expectations from people in power. Part of meaning of stewardship is to hold in trust the well being of some large entity-Our organization, our community, the earth itself. To hold something of value in trust calls for calls for placing service ahead of control, to no longer expect leaders to be in charge and out in front. There is pride in leadership it evokes images of direction. There is humility in stewardship it evokes images of service. Service is central to the idea of leadership. The idea of service through stewardship has been with us forever in religious context. The epic writing of India and various books like Arthashastra depict this. The bible mentions about this. The community creates the opportunity for a person to be in position of power. Power is bestowed upon by those we "lead'. Id we serve those who put us in our position, then in an organization then the recipients of our service and trusteeship are the core workers. They are the community and they are the ones to whom we become accountable. A board or executive may appoint us, but they are given their authority as much by the people doing the work as by any other set of owners (Stewardship; Peter Block)

We can identify some important competencies of managers in 21st century:

Manager as Visionary: Running a company requires considerable skill, knowledge of administrative principles, organization, planning, estimating outcomes...
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