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Mantra for Managers

What do organizations look for in a prospective employee with special reference to fresh MBA graduates? The two key assets that an organization looks for is the potential of the individual and ability to pursue his goals in all situations. Every organization expects its team of fresh recruitees to grow into top quality Managers and therefore it is very important to evaluate the potential of the fresh graduate.

It is also equally important that the fresher has the capability to pursue the goals of the organization and be able to focus and dedicate towards achieving these objectives. These are some of the basic requirements and will be coupled with other needs of the organization specific skill-sets.

The normal progression of career in a corporate sector involves moving from a functional or technical skill-specific role to a more managerial role. Of course there are exceptions to this specifically with respect to pure domain specific or technical research oriented roles but by and large most of the associates go through this cycle. As one moves up the ladder, the expectation from the associate changes and he/she is expected to play more soft-skills oriented roles. What this comes down to is that for moving up the chain the soft-skills become a key ingredient.

Few of the soft skills that a manager of today must have to succeed in the Business World are expectation management and perception management.

Expectation Management: The ground rules of any relationship are defined in the way that reciprocal expectations are managed. This is as true for Business as for personal life. If the expectations are not clearly defined, it could lead to differences in perceived outcomes which could lead to an unmanageable circumstance. A good manager is able to set up mutually-agreed expectations with respect to his superiors, colleagues and subordinates.

Perception Management: We see things as we are made to see them. It is not only important to do things right but also ensure that it is understood right.

One of the key ingredients of the Global Manager is the ability to have a Global view.

1) Avoid Assumptions: It is pretty interesting to go through the statistics and research over the impact of environment on the individual. Anyone who has traveled will vouch for this. The association of differences in the way people in different geographies have different impressions of variety of subjects, is amazing. This is a factor of the culture, the environment, the economy and host of other things. Several large corporations have misread the minds of people in entering a market. It is very important to use the data, research or more than that understand the ethos of any particular culture/geography before making an assumption. The mantra therefore is to avoid making assumptions.

2) The ability to see the large picture: One of the challenges that a Global manager faces today is surfeit of information. This information comes from various sources, some in the form of quantitative data while a lot of it is qualitative. It is the attempt of every executive to get data in forms that will enable one-to-one comparison. But that may not be the case always. The ability to comprehend all this data and make good sense out of it is what makes a Global Manager successful.

3) From a Resource Management standpoint it is very important to respect differences. In a Global society there is no right or wrong; these are just different shades of grey. The capacity of a Manager to absorb these differences will let him stand tall over his peers.

The real battle is with respect to what is the purpose of Management education. Is it to empower the students to become better Managers or to provide them with skills that will help them perform better in their context in the corporate world? Although these are not loggerheads with each other but still have a bearing on the direction, which the Management education takes as it tries to align with respect to Industry. So the general idea should be that the corporate should help in curriculum building by way of emphasizing focus on leading-edge area while letting the Management education achieve its larger purpose. The lecture from Industry experts is really welcome with a view to bring in greater practicality into education.


Dr. Anubha Singh is professor, Department of Corporate Communications, Alliance Business Academy, Bangalore. Her special interest is in Communications and Linguistics. Email:

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