The 24 Key Management Competencies

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:

  1. Customer Focus – is able to think like the customer and how their needs can best be served.
  2. Emphasis on Quality Service – passionately committed to providing fast and high quality support for customer needs.
  3. Diagnosis – casts a keen eye on data and situations to identify and understand discrepancies, patterns, and trends.
  4. Understanding Complexity – appears to ‘embrace’ and thrive on complexity as an opportunity for systems explanations and integrated solutions.
  5. Systemic Thinking – consitently organizes issues into component, logically connected and explainable parts.
  6. Strategic Influence – orchestrates influence efforts to persuade others and gain buy-in.
  7. Strategic Communication – systematically considers issues of content, medium, audience, impact and timing when shaping communications.
  8. Focus on Results – maintains and articulates a focus on results as a key driver for activity.
  9. Efficient Use of Resources – is consistenly alert to opportunities to achieve efficiencies.
  10. Building the Organizations Capabilities – analyzes, structures and manages the organization and its people to build its capabilities.
  11. Adaptability – is comfortable in a role which fluctuates between tactical and strategic business activity.
  12. Strategic Leadership – sets the strategic agenda and repeatedly conveys it to all levels of the organization through word and action.
  13. Environmental Scanning – regularly scans the business environment to keep up to date on trends, problems and opportunities.
  14. Cross-Functional Perspective – positions oneself as an integration manager in order to overcome functional blinders and barries.
  15. Forward Thinking – consistently thinks and acts with a future orientation — an eye to what the next demans and opportunities are likely to be.
  16. Entrepreneurial Initiative – identifies and aggressively pursues opportunities for improvement and business development.
  17. Collaboration – values and promotes collaboration as a major tool to accomplish business objectives.
  18. Self-Confidence – asserts strong or unpopular views with the confidence derived from a clear understanding of ones own capabilities.
  19. Political Awareness – understands influence factors in organizational life and the extent of one’s own power.
  20. Market Orientation – concentrating on maintaining and expanding the customer base.
  21. Concern for Morale – fostering enthusiasm and motivation for others.
  22. Information Management Ability – orchestrating the flow of information in and out of the organization.
  23. Commitment to Employee Development – sharing expertise or providing career help to employees.
  24. 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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4 Comments The 24 Key Management Competencies

  1. Pingback: business » The 24 Key Management Competencies

  2. Pingback: Business » The 24 Key Management Competencies

  3. EJMalyn

    More companies need to invest in just this. Thanks for sharing the 24 kegs, it is very impressive and certainly does make for great evaluation and development for a small business CEO. Great site!

  4. Scott

    Interesting stuff! It seems to me that the true key to success in all of this is finding a way to prioritize this list given your personal and organizational situation.


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