What Good Are Your Generic Management Skill?

D

ad is unwell. He was discharged from hospital just last Thursday after 9 nights 10 days at the hospital.

As he has extreme weakness and breathing issues, we are having to set up the ground floor room to make it more convenient for him during this difficult time. We otherwise are at the 1st floor but there isn’t an elevator in our old ancestral house.

There were two people who were here to help us today in this mission-  both well know- one for electric connections, Sanju, and Ram for general help for moving things around and arranging / overseeing resources.

Where as the electrician, Sanju, has a specific skill, Ram does not have any specific skill – his skills are more generic: Arranging or leveraging available resources, managing the resources etc.

Ram could quickly arrange a rickshaw at a reasonable price, get the traction on the seemingly mammoth task of moving the fridge from a distant location to where it was needed. He also offered a helping little hand to the electrician to pass the drill machine for example, to the rickshaw puller to move the fridge around.

He also provided some experiential advise across all these broad range of areas. While both are valued individuals, but if I were forced to choose one among the two, I would go for the general manager.

The reason is simple – The general manager can help arrange an electrician in no time, where as the other way round is unlikely.

I gave 320 bucks to the electrician and two old wallets I don’t use. He was happy with that and quickly moved on to the next gig elsewhere.

I gave my old suit (the one I wore at my wedding) to Ram, the general manager, three nice shirts I don’t wear any more, and offered him a job once he returns from his village. He’s visiting his village for a wedding where he could look the smartest wearing this suit. He was immensely happy, and so was I.

A lot of us are into generic project management or operations.  Some of us feel miserable with the fact that we don’t have a specific skill. Well, don’t.

You might be undermining your unique ability of management.

Management: simply means “manage men tactfully”

Well, don’t get me wrong or think that I’m sexist. That’s just an easy way to remember what “management” means. In fact, it’s not just managing people, its about leveraging and managing all resources.

As the resources are always scarce, if you have this ability and are constantly honing it, there is no way you will be redundant, irrelevant or out of a job. In fact, you’re better placed than many of those who are skilled in depth in a specific area.

Few other points to ponder:

  • Hard skills are relatively easier to replace but soft skills are not.
  • Soft skills are more human, where as hard skills can be automated.
  • Soft skills can make you stand apart from competitors.
  • Soft skills are harder to find or even identify but once confirmed, the employer wouldn’t let you go.
Skills approach
You will need more and more of Human (generic/ soft) skills as you rise the management ladder.

Now say cheese and get back to doing what you do best. Until next time, this is Mohit signing off.

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