Growth Strata•Gems Magazine Growth Strata•Gems Magazine Spring 2018 - Page 13

“A SMALL CRACK IN YOUR SELF-AWARENESS NOW CAN LATER BECOME A FATAL FLAW WITH THE INCREASING SCALE AND COMPLEXITY OF A HIGHER MANAGEMENT ROLE.” 1. TECHNICAL/FUNCTIONAL SKILLS These are the most important skills at the Individual Contributor level. Most of us are hired because of these skills. We get ahead by performing them well, plus showing some other skills that indicate a drive for results, customer focus, and personal integrity. 2. INTRAPERSONAL SKILLS These skills become more important as we move up through the skill hierarchy. While you may not have had to develop skills like self-awareness at level one, you will certainly come under pressure to do so now. This is a direct result of the increasing scale and complexity of the higher management role. With your performance being assessed by your ability to direct and influence others, you may have to learn to express your feelings more openly and understand what “triggers” your emotional reactions. A small crack in your self-awareness now can later become a fatal flaw with the increasing scale and complexity of a higher management role. 3. COURAGE & INTEGRITY SKILLS These skills are very important at all stages of the skill hierarchy. They are often the “price of admission” from one stage of management to the next. Skills which demonstrate courage would include conflict management and addressing poor performance while those for integrity would include meeting commitments and working for the common good. Your ability to act as a role model for corporate values will also figure prominently in your senior management performance. 4. INTERPERSONAL SKILLS “Getting work done through others” is going to be a key skill set as you move into the higher management roles. These skills range from your approachability to your active listening skills to your ability to develop teams. Managing diverse relationships—whether they are c ustomers, bosses, direct reports, or colleagues—will also be an important part of your role. Identifying and resolving conflicts between these parties will be increasingly important. 5. OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT SKILLS The management skills of planning, leading, organising, and controlling are in this domain. They are the skills which primarily deliver results in terms of customer satisfaction, employee commitment, and business profitability. Four skills are common to all management levels in this domain: setting challenging objectives, making timely decisions, setting clear priorities, and providing coaching support. There will also be an increasing emphasis on your tactical skills for implementing change. 6. INFLUENCING SKILLS These skills are a higher order than the Interpersonal Skills domain. They have been singled out because they are more important as you become a Senior Manager. Influencing skills are particularly valuable in those situations where you have some power but no authority. This would include relationships with bosses or colleagues in other businesses or corporate headquarters where you are building a consensus to move forward together. Some of the skills also stress political savvy and the degree of comfort you feel in the presence of your top executives. Your ability to present proposals which not only deliver bottom-line results but are consistent with business values will be critical. 7. BUSINESS SKILLS These skills appear to be the rarest and the most difficult to develop which perhaps explains why they are the most valuable. While moving through the management hierarchy can enhance your understanding of the business, it may not necessarily test that you have the intellectual horsepower or learning agility required for making complex decisions. Creating a strategy for gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage will call for skills like detachment, creativity, vision, and tactical execution. Getting the right people into managerial roles, building high performance teams, and focusing on the bottom line are the key skills at this level. In conclusion, using a 360-degree assessment of skills in the above hierarchy model is useful for developing leadership in a variety of situations: 1. For Managers - it helps them make a successful transition into a higher management role. 2. For current Executives - it helps them assess the effectiveness of their higher management skills and identify skill development priorities to help them improve their performance. 3. For aspiring Top Executives - it identifies the “watch out” areas and the skills they’ll need to develop to prepare them for senior level appointments. 4. For current CEOs - it offers the candid feedback they need to improve their own skills. u Credit: Yao Xiao SPRING 2018 | 13