An Insight Into Key Management Skills

Rediscovering some of the key skills that one must possess to sustain the current market conditions.
Evie Boustantzi | UAE | Facilities Management

Much research is dedicated to the changing workplace nowadays, which appears to be proportionately more than we have seen over the past few decades. We are looking to dig deeper into the new reality and how it has affected the way we work, and interact with colleagues, the factors affecting our productivity, and the overall impact those attributes have on an organization’s success.

The exponential change in the work environment started long before the aftermath of the pandemic. A convergence of globalization (that increased cultural, knowledge, and resource diversity) with the evolving 4th industrial revolution (advancing technology and automation) was already pushing the boundaries. We have now added a renewed focus on wellbeing, mental health, and sustainability through the aftermath of 2.5 years of the pandemic, a definitive accelerator urging us to realize that the workplace must change for the better. To top it all up, an unsettled world economy with raging inflation and the looming threat of recession, increasing complexity in decision making and ultimately the work environment.

From an employee perspective, the new reality and increasing hype about it all beg the question. How do I - as a manager - adapt to today’s challenging work environment and what skills and qualities do I need to possess to not only remain relevant but thrive and prosper?

Let’s briefly take it one challenge – or opportunity – at a time:

  • Changing times: Effective leadership skills have never been more important - aim to become the leader you want to be led by, even when nobody is looking. Learn to enable a positive culture where your team members are empowered to serve your customers, colleagues, and business right. Learn to enable innovation through mechanisms and processes but mainly by really paying attention to what your employees have to say. Be a coach and mentor, actively helping others grow and develop. Authentically care for your colleagues and be someone they can trust and rely on. These skills and qualities ultimately increase employee engagement, lower turnover, and help businesses become successful, making you an invaluable contributor to that success.
  • Diversity & wellbeing: Adopt a global mindset. Develop the emotional intelligence that allows you to embrace and respect different cultures, perspectives, and practices in the workplace. It also makes you more empathetic and collaborative, key qualities for any aspiring manager of the fast-changing 21st-century workplace.
  • Technology and automation: Keep up with the latest trends and learn using the new tools of your industry, upskilling yourself and your team promptly. Pilot systems, test patiently, and choose wisely, making sure it is a people rather than a technology initiative. The world is moving too fast, do not be left behind.
  • Complexity: Embrace it! Managers need to be multitaskers, able to deal with the challenge of organizing chaos, being able to prioritize and see through tasks at hand while keeping calm and cool-headed.
  • Uncertainty and the world economy: Every business needs adaptable problem solvers, especially when the times are tough. Develop a value creation mindset, and rediscover your analytical and troubleshooting skills, which will help you unlock value for your department and organization. Increase productivity in your team and learn how to drive it sustainably, for the benefit of everyone involved.  
  • Knowledge: Keep learning and developing your skills. Gone are the days when a university degree provided enough knowledge for a lifetime. Not only do we live much longer, but we will also work much longer (albeit in different patterns and formats that make us happier and healthier). Continuous learning and upskilling can be the competitive advantage in the workplace but also the enabler of a more fulfilling, long working life.  

The world is a changed place, not only at work but also at home. We need more managers who genuinely care to create value for their colleagues, shareholders, and society at large. Managers who continuously learn and share their knowledge, drive innovation and empower people to proudly achieve. Managers who understand that work relationships are best when mutually beneficial, with family and personal time playing a vital role in our mental health.

When business is looked at with a holistic perspective, people are put first and everyone is ultimately able to thrive. Be the leader you want to be led by and watch the world embrace your efforts.

About the author: Evie Boustantzi is a C-level Executive |Transformation Leader | and President of London Business School’s Gulf alumni community