zandax online course logo
zandax website search
zandax phone callback
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login

The 5 Management Skills Every 21st Century Manager Needs

From the ZandaX Management Skills Development Blog

Articles to help to develop your core management skills

Home  >  ZandaX Blogs  >  Management Blog  >  Management Skills Development Articles  > 
The 5 Management Skills Every 21st Century Manager Needs

The 5 Management Skills Every 21st Century Manager Needs

A post from our Management Skills Development blog

Article author: Ashley Andrews
      Written by Ashley Andrews
Boy, has the world changed a lot in recent years. The way businesses operate, hire and communicate has transformed almost beyond recognition.

It's partly thanks to digital technologies, which have streamlined and connected everything. It's partly the world getting smaller, with business and hiring becoming increasingly globalised. The current generation of employees is different too – just try Googling ‘millennials are ruining...' and see what you get!

We call the managers and companies who've embraced these changes ‘disruptors'. They're using all this new-world stuff to ‘disrupt' the order of things. Start-ups – or should that be upstarts? – in every sector are innovating and outperforming the old guard.

For better or worse, Uber has changed the taxi business. Airbnb has changed travel. Spotify has changed music. And these businesses look completely different to anything we had as recently as 10 years ago.

For an old school manager, it's tough.

How do you fit into a 21st Century company with traditional methods that just aren't compatible with modern teams, systems and employee expectations?

The answer is just as you'd expect: adapt or fail.

Let me just say now though, maybe you're not an old manager. Maybe you're still young and hoping to go into management. What I cover below will be just as valuable to you, as you seek to know what makes a good modern manager.

So, it's time to adapt, if you're an old school manager, or time to learn if hoping to go into management. Here are 5 management skills every 21st Century manager needs. Learn them and prepare to thrive in today's workplaces.

1. Adapt hiring techniques for today's workforce

As an old-school manager, you probably remember the days when job interviews were one-way traffic. You held the power, and it was all about grilling the candidate on how they could fit your company.

But today's top talent can easily access international opportunities, contract for themselves online, and learn what it's really like to work for you through services like Glassdoor. Interviews therefore need to be a 2-way process, where you answer as much as you ask.

Candidates also reveal a lot about themselves in online profiles, which can really streamline your sifting process before you even start interviewing.

Be ready to:
  • Vet applicants' social media profiles – Look for discrepancies between what they say on LinkedIn, for example, and their CV. And use their social media posts to assess their real values and personality.
  • Use digital media – Video conferencing can facilitate initial interviews with candidates in other countries, saving travel and venue expenses. Get the right digital infrastructure in place.
  • Be more interactive – Try unusual questions the candidate won't have rehearsed, to get insight into what they're really like. And use interactive assessment techniques, like problem-solving tasks and personality tests, to learn what they'd be like in the job.

2. Take on 21st Century leadership qualities

As an old-school manager, you may see yourself as the boss at the top of your tree. Your role is to hold authority, enforce the company rules and values.

That's fine, but the most successful 21st Century leaders also see humility as a key part of their make-up.

As Amazon boss Steve Bezos put it:

"You need the humility to remind yourself that you've got to get better at everything you do. I don't know about you, but I'm never done growing my company or myself."

Humility is therefore not about being weak or admitting your failings. It's about always striving to be the best you can be, so that you can lead your team by example.

When things go wrong – a failed project, or a dip in team morale, for example – the ‘humble' 21st Century manager doesn't bury his or her head in the sand. You accept responsibility, learn from it, and do better next time.

That's the kind of humility that breeds continuous improvement and success.

Now, this means adopting a new vocabulary. Showing humility, and even the way that you ask for things to be done, would use different wording to how an old school manager would have said things in the past. Different leadership styles requires different communication strategies.

3. Make your vision clear and work towards it

In business, there are two kinds of managers.

There's the traditional, reactive kind. They only see the tasks in front of them, and they spend their days solving small problems and maintaining the current way of doing things. (If that's you, it's time to change.)

Then there's the successful, visionary kind:
  • They have a vision of how things could be if everyone works to their full potential
  • They're passionate
  • They act confident, even when they're not
  • They get their team excited about this vision, boosting morale and pulling everyone together
  • They create a strategic plan to achieve their vision, continuously improving performance, and don't let others sway them fromtheir point of view
21st Century managers need this second approach because business is so much more competitive and fast-changing than in the past.

Define your vision – or work out how your team can contribute to the company's vision – and get your team on board.

4. Make strengths, not weaknesses, your focus

Efficiency and productivity are top watchwords for every business today. It's largely thanks to the digital revolution, where automation and cost-reduction are key profit drivers. Everyone wants more from a smaller budget.

As a manager, you therefore need your whole team firing on all cylinders. And the way to achieve that is by making sure everyone is playing to their strengths.

So, if discipline and employee weakness are still the focus of your people management methods, stop.

Start focusing on your team's strengths instead:
  • Get to know your employees' individual strengths and use them. If someone shows a talent for design, nurture that talent so your company can benefit.
  • Recognise and reward employee strengths. Employees who feel recognised and valued are happier and work harder.
  • Know your own strengths and delegate tasks you're less good at. You'll be a more effective manager.

5. Embrace digital

For many old-school managers, digital technologies can seem a vast ocean of complex tools that are too difficult to learn.

If you're in that boat, remember this. You don't have to know it all – just learn the tools you need to get results.

You can start with one useful digital tool – something to help you improve your networking, for example – and build from there. You'll find all web apps work pretty much the same way, and once you've learned one and you can use them all.

As a manager, digital can help you with recruiting, networking, marketing, accounts and payroll, project and team management, and so much more. You can start small and build your way up to a full digital transformation.

Feeling like a new manager?

So, there we have it. Management has changed, but not beyond all recognition.

Updating your skills is largely about reviewing your approach and trying out some modern business tools and hiring techniques – most of which you'll find fun and interesting.

Whether you're looking for a new management job, a promotion, or just want to improve your management style, we wish you the best.

And if you have any useful tips or experiences of your own, please share them in the comments!

Back to the Management Skills Development blog

Click the button for more Management Skills Development articles.

The ZandaX Leadership & Management blog

Click a panel for great articles on leadership & management

Write For Us

We pride ourselves on our busy, high-quality and helpful blog, and we're always looking for guest contributors to increase the variety and diversity of what we present.

Click to see how you can write for us with an original and well-written guest post.

ZandaX Blog Contents

Want to see them all? Click to view a full list of articles in our blogs.

Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
Leadership & Management
Sales & Presentations
Service & Support
ZandaX online training course logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2023
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?

Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?

Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management

Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback

Close menu element
Develop Your Skills, Knowledge and Understanding with ZandaX
Click any subject in the listings for more information and a full list of courses

Personal Development
Personal Development training
Your soft skills affect everything you do, at work, at home and with friends ... they are truly life changing!
Online training courses
Hot Off the Press...
We're always adding to and upgrading our courses, so here are a few of our latest releases:
For a full listing of courses, please visit our Quick Course Finder to find exactly what you want.
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this