Task: During the next two weeks you are required to individually develop a “ReflectiveEssay” about:
- The role of the eight socio-cultural competency elements for a professional manager in making a positive difference to his/her career/society. This includes how you use these competencies and develop them for your successful career.
- Identify and investigate the role of two successful professional managers in your industry or expertise area, one at national level and the other one at global level. Thisincludes how they use these competencies and develop them for a successful career.
- Compare and contrast your own competencies that you currently possess as a professional manager/or student, with those of the two successful professional managers, and summarize the outcomes. Please make sure that you take a systematic approach to identify/explore the gaps that you may have rather than simply following someone else’s pre-prepared plan. Then suggest what positive differences you can make to your career and the society you are living in provided you demonstrate your ability to fill those gaps.
Socio-Cultural Competencies for Professional Success
Cultural uniqueness of a country is an identification factor for that country. The development in the socio-cultural context ideally influences the development of the country and its people. The cultural competency assesses the ability of the communities to interact with each other. Along with that, the cultural competency factors influences the concepts of perception, feelings and thoughts of different communities. According to various research, Australia is the most linguistically and culturally diverse country in the world. The population of Australia has diversifications in languages, lifestyles & taste and preferences. The culture of Australia is primarily derived from the Britain Culture along with influences according to several geographical areas of the continent.
There are eight socio-cultural competency factors which influence the success path of a professional manager. The first factor is ‘Generic’ which refers to the cognitive and communication abilities, problem solving skills and the mindset to deal a situation analytically. All these essential qualities are needed for a manager to address the problems among the team members he is handling (Cole, 2015). The second factor is ‘Leadership’ which is the most needed skill for a manager to evaluate personalities of the team individuals and accordingly motivate and direct them to achieve the goals (Fitch & Van Brunt, 2016). The third factor is ‘Commitment’. A manager needs to be committed to the responsibilities given to him along with the performances expected from his team (DuBrin, 2015). Thus commitment is an essential need quality of a manager to be successful in his career. The fourth factor is ‘Attitude’. In a socio-cultural diverse environment where a team consists of individuals from different languages, thoughts and religions, a manager needs to have positive attitude whether the situation is reasonable or not. A right attitude towards every situation can only promote the path of achievement of the projected goals (Ho, Luk & Chan, 2014). The fifth factor is ‘self-direction’. A manager mostly needs to follow the goal, not any pre-stated path to achieve that. For a particular benchmark, there are several ways to achieve that, hence, a manager need to find and choose the correct way and direct himself accordingly. The sixth factor is ‘Learning’. According to ‘Big 5 Personality Trait’ theory, the trait ‘Openness’ says, a person should have the openness to learn new things, openness to experience stressful situations and use that knowledge in future (Stone-Johnson & Stone-Johnson, 2017). A manager also needs to have the openness to knowledge and should have the skill to use that to improve his and his team’s performance (Noer, 2016). The seventh factor is ‘Cultural Empathy’ which means a manager needs to respect every individual’s lifestyles, beliefs, their values and thoughts about a particular job. Respecting each other is the only tools to enhance interpersonal relationship among the members of a team along with the team leader or manager. Thus, the skill of respecting each other is a major need for every leader (Lussier & Achua, 2015). The eighth factor is ‘Creativity and innovation’. A successful manager should have creativity in his thought process, and he should apply his creative skills to innovate things for the betterment of the organisation along with the growth of the team members. However, the creative skills cannot be developed easily; it is somehow inbuilt for every person (Edge, Newbold & McKeary, 2014). A professional manager needs to use these eight competency factors to enhance his skills as to be successful in his job.
Examples of Successful Managers
For example, we can consider a successful manager who is working in a reputed organisation; dealing with the retailing business, the Woolworths Limited. The person is Mr. Mark Tolley, the Human Resource Manager handling the entire workforce of Woolworths Group. Mr. Tolley has taken his MBA degree from the Deakin University where he has learned various tactical team management skills of an HR manager. Apart from that, he has skills to handle change management tasks needed for any organisation. He has skills of Business Process and Strategic Management which influences his personality as an HR person. His expertise and abilities have brought a glorious success path with such golden opportunities as starting from the State Manager for Western Australia of Select Industrial; then Regional Manager of Randstad; after that Business Centre Manager of WorkPac; continuing to Contracts Manager for Fircroft. The journey of 10 years in the previously mentioned organisations nourished his skills such a way that he landed to a renowned company Centurion Transport Limited as his dream career of Human Resource Manager. The working experience in Centurion was such remarkable and influencing that in a period of one and half year he got a chance to be in Woolworths group. At present, he is handling all the major talent acquisition and workforce management for the entire Woolworths retailing business. In his career journey, he has experienced many cultural obstacles since he was working in various cities and with different people. Apart from this, he is an excellent sportsperson too. He has also performed the role of a team leader in various Cricket teams. Therefore, here we can see, Mr. Tolley, as a successful professional, has used the socio-cultural competency factors as discussed above. He always had the leadership skills, and through his various jobs he has nourished and polished the skills too. Along with that, his commitment towards his responsibilities and positive attitude has done the job of achieving success in his life. However, as an HR person, he always used his creativity skills to solve critical problems especially related to cultural context. His excellent communication and interpersonal skills have brought the success for him. Mr. Tolley is now globally established as an HR personality.
Another example of a different person we can take. He is Bazil Stander, the Kitchen Incubator Founder. Mr. Stander has completed his formal education from the Pretoria University of Technology. After that, he has taken his management degree from University of Stellenbosch Business School. Then, he earned an advanced diploma in Brand Innovation and Management from Vega School of Branding. He always had a love and passion for the food industry. He started his career as a Product Manager in Platinum Produce and continued two years as a Group Executive Chef. After that, he became Group Executive Chef for the Forum Company with more responsibilities. After a year he started working Woolworths Limited as a Food Innovation Centre Manager. After spending around five years, he joined as a Group Executive Chef in News Cafe. Then, he joined the Compass Group as Innovation Manager. In these ten years of the journey, he has learned many things as how to handle a team, how to manage difficult situations. The managerial skills and also cultural competency factors were developed in him, and he took a decision to pursue his passion in his own business. He started his own company The Food Innovation Company. After a long six years, he again joined Woolworths Limited as Executive Innovation Chef Lead continuing with his own venture. In his career path, he has learned the key competencies of managerial skills. Along with that, the qualities like openness to experience and creativity has enhanced his career and made him achieve his goals to be an entrepreneur. He is now handling the managerial responsibilities in Sydney at the national level for both the organisation.
Key Competencies for Professional Success
In these two examples, we can see that both of the successful managers has maintained the socio-cultural competency factors in them and grown such skills which brought success for them and they have achieved the career goals.
As a student, I want to be successful as a business professional. I have the positive attitude for every difficult situation and I always keep a positive mind for every obstacle. I handle every person tactically with respecting their thought and belief. However, I need to have better communication skills, creativity, professionalism and leadership qualities.
In the given examples, it is clearly seen that to become a successful management personnel I should have excellent communication skills. I should be creative enough to solve critical problems in an analytical way. I should be very much focused on my goal sets (Moon, 2013). Along with that, I should always be committed to my responsibilities. There are many subjects in our syllabus which guide us primarily to understand a particular situation. However, practical knowledge has a different level of expertise which cannot be learned in a while. That is why I need to start my career as an entry level. This will help me to understand the socio-cultural context of different people in an organisation. Along with that, I need to work with such managers like Mr. Tolley from whom I can learn few practical skills. I believe that the leadership skill is a big need for every student like me. To learn such skills, I need to observe such professionals.
All the key competencies are such essential qualities that need to be followed by every person who wants to be a successful manager in future. The most necessary skills are the observation skill. With the observation skill, a person can easily understand the professional needs by observing any successful person. Apart from that, the skill of openness to knowledge is very necessary for a student. So, at this moment it can be concluded that to achieve my career goals I need to learn all the socio-cultural competencies to handle my team members easily and this will make me a successful business professional.
(2017). Retrieved 13 March 2017, from https://www.linkedin.com/in/bazil-stander/
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Cole, K. (2015). Management Theory and Practice with Student Resource Access 12 Months. Cengage Learning Australia.
DuBrin, A. J. (2015). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills. Nelson Education.
Edge, S., Newbold, K. B., &McKeary, M. (2014). Exploring socio-cultural factors that mediate, facilitate, & constrain the health and empowerment of refugee youth. Social science & medicine, 117, 34-41.
Fitch, P., & Van Brunt, B. (2016). A Guide to Leadership and Management in Higher Education: Managing Across the Generations. Routledge.
Ho, R. M. H., Luk, L. Y. Y., & Chan, C. K. Y. (2014). A review of literature on challenges and obstacles to implementation of generic skills. INTED2014 Proceedings.
Judge, T. A., & Zapata, C. P. (2015). The person–situation debate revisited: Effect of situation strength and trait activation on the validity of the Big Five personality traits in predicting job performance. Academy of Management Journal, 58(4), 1149-1179.
Lussier, R. N., &Achua, C. F. (2015). Leadership: Theory, application, & skill development. Nelson Education.
Moon, J. A. (2013). Reflection in learning and professional development: Theory and practice. Routledge.
Noer, D. (2016). Keeping Your Career on Track: Avoiding Derailment, Enriching the Work Experience and Helping Your Organization. McFarland.
Stone-Johnson, C., & Stone-Johnson, C. (2017). Autonomy, professionalism, and the role of generation in professional capital. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 2(1), 18-35.
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