Important Skills for Managers

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Discuss what skills today’s managers need in the knowledge economy that weren’t required a decade ago?

A decade ago technology was not developed as much as it is today. There have been vast technological developments that have allowed information, knowledge, operation processes to be very different in present times. It is safe to say that before, organizations used to accept and utilize whatever was available; now some technologies are created according to what the organization needs to utilize it for (Fuller, 2017).

Knowledge Economy

The knowledge economy is the use of knowledge to create goods and services. In particular, it refers to a high portion of skilled workers in the economy of a locality, country, or the world, and the idea that most jobs require specialized skills (wikipedia, April 2nd, 2020).

In the knowledge economy, both management and employees must be highly knowledgeable; this forces them to keep improving. They will need to know the latest information and skills. They will have to acquire a full set of skills that was not required in the previous economy.

Employees have to upgrade their skills by adding to their resume:

  • Communication skills: Clarity, friendliness, interpersonal skills, oral communication, presentation, teamwork, written communication.
  • Flexibility: Adaptability, multi-tasking, being open to feedback, open-mindedness.
  • Information Communication Technology (ICT): ability to use everyday technologies like computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
  • Lifelong Learning: show interest in continuing to learn as new trainings and courses become available.
  • Problem Solving: critical thinking, decision making, innovation, originality.

And many other skills tailored to the industry that they are entering.

Management has to upgrade their skills even further to be competitive in their position. In a knowledge economy, management must obtain the following skills as per Forbes Coaches Council, 2016:

Executive Presence

Executive presence is a relatively new leadership concept: how leaders trust and are trusted, how leaders communicate, how leaders develop strategy, and how leaders carry themselves under pressure. It used to be different before. A more authoritarian management style, where management would give the orders for staff to follow.


Resilient leaders are able to manage personal and organizational stress while showing calm and confidence. Before, it was very normal to see a manager screaming to employees due to frustration.

Culture Management

Leaders have to have the skill of creating the company culture, maintaining it, and growing it. Before there was no emphasis on the company’s culture. It used to be a mix of management ideas and employees’ feelings.

Navigation Of Ambiguity

Rapidly increasing rates of change and growing complexity has made navigating ambiguity essential in leadership. Leaders who can remain calm and relaxed and continue to inspire their teams.

Hybrid Of Skills

Expertise in multiple areas of business is proving to be a very important skill. Before many managers were experts on their fiel, but unable to succeed in another field.

Multigenerational Management

A manager has to be able to successfully manage different age groups, as the employees will range from ages 16 to 75. Something that was not contemplated before, everyone used to receive the same treatment, regardless of the age group and the capability of learning new skills fast.


Leaders must know when to collaborate with clear communication and interpersonal skills when working with others who may have different agendas and perspectives. Collaboration did not used to be so welcomed in previous times, so this skill was not regarded.

Emotional Intelligence

Allows to regulate our emotions and understand one another, thereby bringing out the best in each other and the best possible outcome. This skill was not regarded in previous times.

Social Media Presence

With the internet now, and most of the communication between staff members and management being online, it is imperative that management demonstrates kindness, professionalism and moderation. Before, this skill was not regarded because there were other methods of communication and a different relation between management and staff.


Today, confidence and belief in leadership is directly correlated to engagement, productivity and retention. Management needs to let people see who is the real person.Before leaders used to be able to keep a distance from the masses.

Mastery Of Crucial Conversations

The ability to engage in crucial conversations is an essential leadership skill. In the past, management used to follow an authoritarian leadership style.

 Leadership Of Virtual Teams And Independent Contractors

Management must be able to manage a team successfully both in person and virtually. Today virtual teams are very common and are highly important to be successful at managing them.

Co-Creative Leadership

Managers now must be able to empower the team members and be in a position to create change with them instead of for them. Before the relationship was more authoritarian.


The knowledge economy brought too many changes to organizations. Before, the management style was authoritarian, with only one person being right, only one person making all the decisions, only one person deciding on many aspects and the same person giving instructions and directions to staff without a two way communication. Knowledge economy brought in many changes that made both management and employees change. This type of economy would require a different type of approach, and different types of skills, different from before. In order to keep their position and be competitive, management had to upgrade their skills to what is acceptable for an economy where knowledge is needed to create the product or service.


  1. Wikipedia, (April 2nd, 2020). Knowledge economy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_economy
  2. Fuller, J., (December 8th, 2017). Does society influence tech or vice versa?
  3. https://insights.globalspec.com/article/7343/does-society-influence-tech-or-vice-versa
  4. Information technology, (April 13, 2020). Information technology.
  5. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/information-economy.html
  6. Forbes Coaches Council, (December 13, 2016). 13 Leadership Skills You Didn’t Need A Decade Ago That Are Now Essential.
  7. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2016/12/13/13-leadership-skills-you-didnt-need-a-decade-ago-that-are-now-essential/#9c557d74c1f6

Cite this paper

Important Skills for Managers. (2021, Aug 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/important-skills-for-managers/

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