Three Critical Skills Managers Can't Do Without

February 10, 2014

Making sure managers are prepared to deal with the challenges ahead requires an array of tools and techniques. In addition to hard skills, including technical ones, managers need a cluster of skills and attributes that are really more about the art, not the science, of leadership.

We have been working with managers for many years and based on what we know and see, it's these three skills that managers need to thrive as leaders:

1.  Managing personal brand

Managers need to gain self-awareness and have a defined and consistent view of themselves – who they are and how they want to show up. Knowing and living one’s ‘brand’ builds inner confidence and external credibility. Managers need to internalize and demonstrate their unique brand to inspire and lead. Also, as managers mature within an organization, managing personal brand helps build a sphere of influence.  Having a personal brand is not optional; managing it is.

2.  Setting clear objectives

Effective managers ensure people have clarity about their roles, objectives and deliverables. Developing the art of having authentic conversations about deliverables eliminates ambiguity and helps people understand how they contribute to both their teams and the organization at large.

3.  Storytelling

The art of management includes the ability to ‘weave a tale’ that engages, motivates and inspires. A good manager can tell a good story. Storytelling gives context and adds meaning; it helps strengthen the links between individual teams and bigger organizational goals. Effective managers can learn how to use storytelling to connect in a more meaningful and intimate way with people to achieve buy-in and commitment.  

What do you think are the top skills needed to be a high-impact manager? What skills do you see in your organization that managers need most? 


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