Five Basic Management Skills
What Business Management Skills can be Learned from the National Guard
Managing a team of people is based on sound fundamental principles that apply in most situations. The military depends on leadership skills and effective delegation to carry out their missions just like business managers do to reach their objectives. It is often helpful to re-visit and re-think the fundamentals of successful management. This week we found valuable management skills training material in an article from the National Guard. The basics suggested apply to managers everywhere.
Management Skills and the National Guard
Consider the following basic management skills and the careers available in the National Guard that sharpen them.
- Basic Management Skill #1 – Planning: For a road trip, you have to plan who is going, what to take, where to stay, and what to eat before you even walk out the door. Now multiply that by several thousand people and several thousand tons of equipment. That’s what transportation experts in the Army National Guard have to do all the time. Needless to say, they get pretty good at it in fields like Transportation Management Coordinator, Cargo Specialist, and Motor Transport Operator.
- Basic Management Skill #2 – Organization: Closely related to planning is organization. If all things are in their place, it’s a lot easier to fulfill requisitions, meet deadlines, and take inventory. In the Army National Guard, the best organizers are those in the Logistics Support specialties like Automated Logistical Specialist, Ammunition Stock Control, and Unit Supply Specialist.
- Basic Management Skill #3 – Communication: The ability to relay vital information clearly and concisely is a critical management skill. Consider the Guard’s heavy weaponry, including cannons and missile launchers, which destroy targets from far away. Clearly it’s of the utmost importance to hit the appropriate target. That’s where the Armor and Field Artillery specialties like the Cannon Fire Direction Specialist come in. They must communicate the vital firing information to the rest of the team. Getting used to the giving and receiving of orders is a great way to learn this vital skill.
- Basic Management Skill #4 – Monitor and Control: Now that the mission has been planned, organized, and communicated, what’s next? It must be monitored and controlled as it progresses. The most concrete example of this basic management skill is the Air Traffic Controller. They monitor all Army National Guard flights and control their progress by providing airspeed and altitude information and orders to the flight crews.
- Basic Management Skill #5 – Adjust: Every situation is fluid. Dynamic. No one knows this better than an Infantry Soldier. Something can change at any moment, regardless of planning or organization, communication or controls. And there are times when a manager must exhibit decisiveness under pressure. In the Army National Guard, the Infantryman practices how to adjust quickly to every situation with calm, determination, and logic…More at Five Critical Management Skills You Can Hone in the National Guard
Management Success Skills Foundation
Plan, organize, communicate, monitor and control and adjust provide the foundation for management success and productivity.
In the rush of daily activity and management over-load, it is easy to over-look these fundamentals when leading a business unit. Next time you have a project or assignment, layout you plan and execution strategy around these 5 basics. It is a great way to lead a high performance unit.
More Resources on the Skills for Top Management
Video Resources for a Managers Development
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