What skills do managers need today?
Managers must have three sets of skills, technical skills (the ability to perform specific tasks such as selling products or developing software), human relation skills (ability to communicate and motivate), conceptual skills (ability to see organizations as a whole and how all the parts fit together).
Are these skills different from management skills of 50 years ago? Why or why not?
Managers are now being educated to guide, train, support, and teach employees rather than just ‘tell’ employees what to do. Whereas before managers just told what employees what to do, now managers should be a more hands on manager and do the work that the employees do. I think it is important for managers to do the work that the employees do, so that the employees see that ‘managers’ also do what they do. Employees need extensive training and development before they can be given any kind of empowerment.
Is a manager different from a leader? What management strategies might you employ in your current position?
A manager plans, organizes, and controls functions within an organization. A leader has vision and inspires others to grasp the vision, establishes values, and doesn’t fear change. I think a manager needs to be a leader before he/she can become a manager, and a leader needs to also possess the three sets of skills to be a successful leader.
What are some leadership styles that you have observed at your job? Which do you hope to emulate?
I see a lot of participative/democratic leadership styles at work. My director will gather us for a huddle, and presents problems and asks the staff to make a decision amongst ourselves. Every single day we face this challenge, its not even a challenge anymore, we just do a quick yes or no.