To become a manager you must be aware of the constantly shifting nature of your role, adapting to meet the demands of the organization and your staff needs. Good leaders are always thinking ahead, staying flexible enough to take on difficult problems as they arise. By keeping an eye on the big picture as they develop both technical and soft skills over time, these professionals can help their companies thrive and grow.
Essential management skills
A manager is responsible for putting a company's goals into action and optimizing the performance of employees under his or her supervision. These professionals are a vital connection in the corporate hierarchy, and their role often requires extensive knowledge and technical ability, especially if they are in charge of highly specialized departments like information technology. No matter your industry or area of expertise, however, there are certain attributes that successful managers share.
Individuals who are interested in pursuing managerial positions should be strong leaders and communicators, able to convey specific directives and priorities to workers. Management is often responsible for translating the organization's greater mission into actionable agendas for teams and individual employees, giving them a clear sense of the company's expectations and keeping operations on track. In turn, they may also need to provide regular reports to their superiors and explain what resources workers need to do their jobs as well as possible.
These professionals are focused on solving problems efficiently and effectively. They make the success of the company possible by routinely checking in on the progress of individual projects and addressing any conflicts among personnel or issues with technology as they arise. A good manager is attentive to the complex processes that keep a business growing and always prepared to work closely with employees to find the best course through difficult situations.
Adapting to change without losing a step
Agility has always been an asset for management, but the rise of analytics has transformed the way companies set strategy and plan for the future. As companies gain new insights into how everything from customer relationships manufacturing processes affect the bottom line, handling data and applying analytics are becoming bigger parts of a manager's job.
Leaders must adjust to a greater emphasis on measuring the results of each initiative and hitting specific metrics. The shift in how managers establish plans and demonstrate success will continue in the years to come. Fast Company pointed out the importance of preparing for the changes that will hit many workplaces by 2025. Office cultures will evolve alongside technology with employees expecting to be allowed more independence and the freedom to work remotely.
Most notably the move to a multigenerational workforce is one of the biggest challenges facing companies and leadership teams. Managers will need to think about how they can bring these teams together, even if they are in physically distant spaces, to collaborate and meet shared goals. In many cases, that could mean placing more focus on achieving final results than guiding the specific steps workers take to get there. Leaders who are open to a high level transparency in their own work and possess strong problem-solving skills are likely to be the most effective in this new climate.
Cultivating tomorrow's skill set
Accomplished managers are careful planners, so it's important to prepare for a changing workplace today. One of the best ways that professionals can prepare for the management challenges ahead is by developing a stronger understanding of the data and technology that is pushing companies forward. With advanced knowledge and training on their side, managers can make the most of their role as intermediary between a technically skilled workforce and strategically minded executive leadership.
To get the best outcomes in these data-focused organizations, tomorrow's leaders will need to comprehend the ideas and visualizations presented by data scientists and apply their findings. Further, they are likely to have growing responsibility for the integrity and security of data, which are pressing concerns for businesses of all kinds. Managers must be attentive to how their teams are handling sensitive and private information, vigilant for any weaknesses that could lead to breaches.
Finding strategic insights in complex data and working with advanced systems are only becoming more significant parts of the manager's role. Leadership development training is the perfect way to jump-start your management and leadership skills. New Horizons offers leadership training in Evolving into the Manager Role. This 3 day workshop is part of a curriculum from the Center for Leadership and Development powered by New Horizons. Participants will learn to identify and nurture talent in your team and build a management vision for success. You will practice planning and managing effective meetings and delegation. Find the next scheduled course date that fits your schedule or watch this free course demo of Evolving into the Manager Role.