List of Managerial Competencies

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As a manager, your primary responsibility is no longer simply to perform work, it is to direct, control and inspire those employees that report to you. Like a well-mixed cocktail, the qualities of an effective manager are a blend of various talents, such as listening, delegation and motivational skills.

Water Carrier

Skilled managers earn the trust and respect of their direct reports by removing or addressing the problems or minor nuisances that trouble them. Rearranging their seating so that employees are not starring into the bright morning sunlight is an excellent example. Providing them with the tools and supplies needed to do their jobs is another. The more "water" a manager carries for her troops, the more productive employees become.


Most employees want to do a good job and if encouraged to give constructive feedback and criticism, are more than willing to do so. An effective manager listens closely to her employee's concerns and over time, tries to develop plans to address them. Furthermore, a manager with finely-honed listening skills learns to differentiate between conscientiously submitted suggestions and griping.


In a large department or work section, it is the manager's job to assign work based on an employee's skills and experience. No one expects his manager to do all the work, what they do expect is an equitable division of the tasks to be performed. A master delegator does not "order" employees to do anything, they simply ask.


Planning skills are another essential element of good management. Events such as disaster recovery, cross training, project management and formal employee education, need to be anticipated. An effective manager always hopes for the best outcomes, but plans for the worst.

Inspiring Ownership

A good manager exudes a strong sense of ownership and they view every individual in the organization as her customer. An effective manager is able to instill this same sense of commitment and pride in her employees as well. Managers that master this skill rarely hear an employee remark, "that's not my job," because they understand that every job belongs to everyone.



  • "Up the Organization; Robert Townsend; 1970; Knopf

About the Author

Rich Finzer earned his boating license in 1960 and started his writing career in 1969. His writing has appeared in "Northern Breezes," "Southwinds," "Living Aboard," "Good Old Boat," "Latitudes & Attitudes," "Small Craft Advisor," "Life in the Finger Lakes," "BackHome" and "Dollar Stretcher" magazines. His maple syrup has won awards in competition. Rich has a Bachelor of Science in communications from Ithaca College.

Photo Credits

  • builder and the project manager image by Dmitri MIkitenko from