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21st Century Manager: Top 15 Skills and Characteristics


A 21st century manager is a person who needs to obtain a quality of a leader and a boss. Moreover, being a combination of boss and a leader is not as easy as it seems.

A boss maintains the authority of the business and the sole purpose of their position is that they need to supervise the activities of the business with profit making objective.

Moreover, a leader needs to look into the factors which can be beneficial for the business and for the employees as well.

And that is why the 21st-century manager needs to obtain these both qualities to be successful.

21st Century Manager Skills Characteristics

Characteristics of a 21st Century Manager:

There are several different characteristics of a 21st century manager which is expected to be completely unique and creative.

In olden days, a manager used to supervise the team and project assigned to him, but currently people changed their views about a manager duty.

Nowadays, a manager need to work according to the expected results along with the employee satisfaction in the workplace.

1. Management skills and abilities:

It is one of the important characteristics that must be available in the 21st century manager. A manager needs to obtain complete experience in managing teams and projects.

Most of the time every single department of the company delivers their duties and responsibilities with the supervision of all these managers.

And that is why a manager need to be clever with his ideas regarding the company development.

Try to think how your decisions and choices could affect yourself and the company, including your peers and colleagues.

2. Maintaining a healthy relationship with employees:

Some of the people think that a manager is a person who just orders his team members to follow their respected objective for the welfare of the company.

But on the contrary, a manager need to be emphasized with his employees and the staff, so that he or she can understand them and work along with them as expected.

Therefore, it is very much important for the 21st century manager that they should be good with their staff and maintain healthy relationship with all the team members.

A caring and an attentive manager is necessary for any company or organization to grow, and it will also motivate the employees to work harder. This will increase the company output and productivity.

3. Ability to learn from their mistakes:

Most of the time, managers are so stubborn that they never accept their mistake, even if they are wrong.

But being stubborn with one’s decision can never lead them to be successful in their career and especially with a manager.

And that is why a manager need to understand that if a person can start learning from his mistakes, then there is a possibility that he can succeed in their life eventually.

Also, he should be highly responsible so that he could own up for his own mistakes instead of blaming it on somebody else. This prevents any future disagreements and negative dialogues within the company.

4. Delivering creative approach:

Being creative brings some freshness in the workplace. And that is why creativity is expected everywhere.

Similarly, when it comes business activities the management of the company expects some sort of creativity with their project handling manager.

Moreover, providing creative approaches brings up sales maximization and eventually this creates better profit margin for the company development.

Try to think outside of the box and come up with solutions that are appealing and eye catching to prospective clients and stakeholders. Also, use this type of creativity so as to ensure welfare for the employees.

5. Ability to navigate:

Many managers of the 21st century should have the ability to study about the changes in trends and technology and produce strategies and plans that would benefit for the company.

They should have an ability to foresee or guess how the market will react in the future and also should have the ability the organization through thick and thin and lead them successfully.

They should also have a great sense of leadership. They should always scan the field so as to sense for any good or bad changes that could affect the company’s growth and development.

6. They should be empathetic in nature:

One of the main characteristics about an ideal manager is that they should reach out to people who are very different from others.

They should have a sense of empathy and kindness towards them. Having an empathetic manager to enquire about the welfare of their workers is way better than the generic top down hierarchy between the employees and the employers.

There is a sense of understanding between the top level and low level employees via the manager.

7. They should be able to correct themselves:

Self-correcting is an activity that makes a person constantly improve himself and persuades him to try new methods and acquire new knowledge.

This means that they should know that the practices and behaviors that they have showed and followed in the past may not work well in the present day industry.

They should keep this topic in mind and always try to correct themselves so that they could be more compatible and ready with the ever changing industry.

8. Managers should present a win-win situation for both the stakeholders and the employees:

One of the main role of manager is his ability to handle the domain between the high level stakeholders and the lower working employees.

In failure to handle these both parties, could lead to a loss in the company profits and also a high employee and labor turnover.

A manager is a person to whom the employees should discuss and submit their welfare issues to, while the role of managers in an organization is to present these problems to the supervisors and the higher-ups so that they can form a valid and an effective solution.

Hence, he should be able to successfully handle and balance both the parties.

Therefore, it is necessary that every single manager should avail creative approach in their working style to be better than the rest of the managers in the company.

The present day managers should be able to act as guides or compasses to lead the industry through the changing domain and landscapes.

Since the present day world is globally connected and intertwined, it is bound to produce changes, a manager should foresee such changes and act accordingly.

This differentiates an ideal manger from the generic lot and also helps to thrive the company in this highly competitive environment.

Key Skills That Every 21st-Century Manager Needs:

While working in the company, a person might experience some sort of differentiation with their thinking and with the rest of the employees of the company.

And differentiation creates a line of division which is called as a position of a manager and the rest of the staff. To be a successful 21st century manager, a person must obtain all these below stated skills to grow in their field of work.

1. Better understanding of a cultural change:

For example, some companies deal with foreign delegates and they even provide sales provision in foreign countries as well.

And to handle such external activities smoothly, a manager needs to understand such level of cultural difference in different countries.

Therefore, it is expected from every manager that the person needs to understand all sorts of culture an their limitations so that the company can create sales in that particular country. And to make that happen, a manager needs to be better with handling cultural changes.

2. Excellent digital and technological understanding:

It is one of the common skill that is required to be essential for every manager in the 21st century.

Moreover, in today’s digitized world of business, obtaining knowledge about technology can add an advantage in the list of skills of the 21st century managers.

Therefore, it is very much understandable that if a person attained a manager position in the company, then it is one of the important skill that every manager need to be well versed with.

3. Deliberate efforts of the division:

There is a saying which is that if one wants to lead something in their life, then they should get by hook or crook. And most importantly, they should believe in divide and rule system.

This understanding about deliberate diversions can create better communication between people and this can especially affect those managers who are willing to create a connection with their employees.

Therefore, it is definitely clear that deliberate diversion can be considered as one of the essential skill that should be available in every manager of any department.

4. Analytical skills:

When a corporate problem occurs in a company, then it is necessary for that company to analyze that issue and come with a feasible solution for the problem. And to do that, the company hires the brilliant managers to handle such serious issues.

Moreover, it is every manager who has been hired for the position should deliver their analytical skill and provide a rightful solution for the crisis occurred in the company.

And once the manager comes up with a solution, then it is easy for both the company and the manager to handle their rest of the issues. This is one of the important manager skills every manager should possess.

5. Overcoming barriers:

Every managers in this day and age, should have an idea about cultural diversity and should have an international experience.

They all should have a global mind set. In this way, they should adapt their work according to cultures, so as to make their company successful.

This requires the manager to handle the psychological changes that accompanies such changes. To overcome these problems certain steps are followed:

  • Diagnose the challenges faced for a non-native individual.
  • Adapt your behavior according to the external factors. This is necessary so as to reduce the stress formed.
  • The changes caused due to cultural differences can have effects on others.

These include:

i. Effects that your decision has made on others.
ii. Decisions that reflect your own personal values.

6. Able to understand the use of online networks:

In this era, it is necessary and mandatory that most managers should have 21st century skills to use online networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

Through such social networking sites a manager is able to connect with his colleagues and his employees.

Moreover, networking sites provide information for such managers so that they can plan and make the company more strong.

Furthermore, they could participate and get to know more about social events and take initiatives for the welfare of the company. Such sites gather useful information for proper planning of company strategies and plans.

Also, it acts as a bridge to connect with various other groups and can also lead to an increase in the company’s influence and reach.

7. Pay attention to detail and think out of the box:

Managers should make sure that their attention is not distracted by internal distractions rather than external distractions.

Internal distraction simply means in a state where our minds simply wander away from the task given. This cannot be fully blamed on just technology alone, it can also be blamed on our brain and our thought process, since our brains are designed to multitask than use our whole attention for a single task.

In the 20th century, this problem was solved by making humans work in a controlled environment and controlling how they think. But in the 21st century, the freedom that we are given does not allow us to fully concentrate on a single process.


Finally, the bottom line is that at the end of this discussion one can definitively answer all the doubts and questions about their confusion regarding the skills and characteristics of the 21st century manager.

Therefore, if anyone interested to know more about the skills of a manager and the 21st century leadership skills, then they can definitely follow and understand all the above given details regarding the skills and characteristics that every 21st century manager need which is beneficial for the overall development of the company.