Very early in my management career (1976-1993) I worked for a company called Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). In 1979 I went into the management development program and obtained my first management position in 1980.
One thing DEC invested heavily in was a formal management development program. At each level of of management there was a defined set of competencies that you were assessed against, developed toward and ultimately evaluated upon.
In addition, to obtain a management position you had to pass a review board as the final step in your development process. Anyway I thought I would share a list of the Management Competencies that were outlined as requirements for a VP level position.
I think the list is very applicable to Small Business CEO’s and can serve as a basis for evaluation and development. Here is the list:
- Customer Focus – is able to think like the customer and how their needs can best be served.
- Emphasis on Quality Service – passionately committed to providing fast and high quality support for customer needs.
- Diagnosis – casts a keen eye on data and situations to identify and understand discrepancies, patterns, and trends.
- Understanding Complexity – appears to ‘embrace’ and thrive on complexity as an opportunity for systems explanations and integrated solutions.
- Systemic Thinking – consitently organizes issues into component, logically connected and explainable parts.
- Strategic Influence – orchestrates influence efforts to persuade others and gain buy-in.
- Strategic Communication – systematically considers issues of content, medium, audience, impact and timing when shaping communications.
- Focus on Results – maintains and articulates a focus on results as a key driver for activity.
- Efficient Use of Resources – is consistenly alert to opportunities to achieve efficiencies.
- Building the Organizations Capabilities – analyzes, structures and manages the organization and its people to build its capabilities.
- Adaptability – is comfortable in a role which fluctuates between tactical and strategic business activity.
- Strategic Leadership – sets the strategic agenda and repeatedly conveys it to all levels of the organization through word and action.
- Environmental Scanning – regularly scans the business environment to keep up to date on trends, problems and opportunities.
- Cross-Functional Perspective – positions oneself as an integration manager in order to overcome functional blinders and barries.
- Forward Thinking – consistently thinks and acts with a future orientation — an eye to what the next demans and opportunities are likely to be.
- Entrepreneurial Initiative – identifies and aggressively pursues opportunities for improvement and business development.
- Collaboration – values and promotes collaboration as a major tool to accomplish business objectives.
- Self-Confidence – asserts strong or unpopular views with the confidence derived from a clear understanding of ones own capabilities.
- Political Awareness – understands influence factors in organizational life and the extent of one’s own power.
- Market Orientation – concentrating on maintaining and expanding the customer base.
- Concern for Morale – fostering enthusiasm and motivation for others.
- Information Management Ability – orchestrating the flow of information in and out of the organization.
- Commitment to Employee Development – sharing expertise or providing career help to employees.
- High Clarity – establishing priorities, setting expectations, defining accountabilities and delineating time frames.
For about 25 years now I have used this list as my personal development guide, I view my career choice as being an effective leader and manager. I feel that if I develop continously in each of these competencies I can lead and manage across business functions, across industries and different size companies.
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