Core Competency

Have you ever met a person who has it all together? I’m sorry I worded that incorrectly: have you ever met a person who fooled you into thinking they have it all together? Those people irritate me because I’m constantly finding places to grow. The key difference between the “together” people and the rest of us is usually the combination of intention and discipline and understanding. What they’re understanding is probably their core competency. A core competency is a single value and decision making motive that drives a person’s actions. My core competency is developing others (this this blog), and so when I take first steps to learn something it is often driven by the desire to master something to teach it to someone else, or to have a parallel point of understanding to use for analogy in teaching someone else.

Check out this list of 31 Core Competencies that may contain the prime driver for your life.

Once you identify your core competency you need to then figure out how this helps you, how it limits you, and how to use it to grow yourself where your don’t have a core competency. I just mentioned above that I use my core competency (developing others) to motivate myself to grow, learn, experience, and change my current understanding. However, it means that I can also be weaker when I have to do something by myself that I can’t see helping me help others down the road. But I can also know this weakness about myself and choose to not let my core competency be a boat anchor, and instead I can be mature about my actions and move past that element that could hinder me.

Your core competency can then be paired with your personality type as a lens for understanding your perspective to both focus in on your goals, change your framing on life, and as a way to begin seeking personal growth to have development in areas you know you need to change in.

Core competency is a great place to educate yourself in, help others recognize, and to start mentoring your team in. It may help create productive breakthroughs for your whole organizations.

– the MGMT

The Jobs of a Manager

I was asked in an interview, “How should a first line manager split their time to fulfill their duties?” First: this is a great interview question because it asks two questions in one, and secondly: I had no clue to either answer. I gave a best guess based on my experience in volunteer leadership at church and failed miserably. But I got to have food for thought (that interview alone will lead to dozens of articles here) and I’m grateful for the answers it led to. There are multiple articles out on the Internet about this topic, but they tend to say the same things, so there’s consistency, and this article will add to the pattern.

Let’s take a look at (some of) the duties of a first line manager:

  • Receiving direction and initiatives from upper management
  • Coordinating administrative details
  • Hiring & firing
  • Team Accountability
  • Team Training
  • Team Coaching
  • Team Mentoring
  • Rejecting meeting invites for things that don’t specify why they should attend

The answer that it turns out my interviewer was looking for was a 50% split of duties above accountability and 50% from accountability down. What really happens in most organizations is not that. The top 50% is not the focus of this article, the bottom 50% is. We’ll cover the top 50% in other articles.

Accountability is critical to follow through and delivery, this blog will cover that in spades over time. But in the short term that manager is responsible for delivering results through resource allocation, prioritization, communication about what is expected when by whom and even consequences of failure. And lastly celebration of success when everything is delivered (the ability of accountability). This should be budgeted for 20% of their total work time.

Managers need to spend 5% of their time on training. This is an ongoing task for new hires, new policy implementation and new tech.

10% of a manager’s time should be spent purposefully coaching team members to improve their current job’s skills. This will help reduce mistakes, improve efficiency and increase trust in team interactions.

Another 10% should be alloted for mentoring. This is for career development within your team related to career growth. Employees who have “upward mobility potential” are happier, more focused and engaged. Employees with no visible hope of upward mobility are likely to drown in frustration of being trapped.

By having a known quantity or expectation this will let you say no to the right things deliberately and yes to the important things with confidence. There are few options out there for perfect management jobs, but you can begin making your choices for your self and your team to deliver excellence by scheduling these things on purpose.

– the MGMT