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Updated on April 18, 2013

When you can say that this manager is a competent and well-educated? Is it because he has numerous Masteral Degrees or a Ph.D. graduate? Or is it because he was a manager for quite a long time? These questions create confusions in our mind of what will be the basis in measuring a competent manager. The common scenarios we can tell a manager to be qualified in the area he is managing are: a.) If the business runs smoothly and productively; and b.) Good working relationship with his subordinates in spite of the ups and downs in the business life.

We can’t directly say that the manager that earns a number of degrees or has advanced studies is a competent and well-educated manager. If this is the case, the basis of a successful manager remains a mystery.


Is formal education most important on determining the competency and expertise of a successful manager?

According to the article written by Sterling Livingson entitled Myth of the well-educated manager says, “ Academic achievement is not a valid yardstick to use in measuring managerial potential."

Affirmatively, formal education gives a foundation of becoming a manager, but this is not the valid basis of giving credits that he is a successful and competent manager. I say, it is a foundation because in formal education, we theoretically learn what management is all about and its functions.

In addition, formal education we learn the activities or shall we say, “functions of Management” such as Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Motivation and Control and the aforementioned are carefully explained and illustrated in any management books. What we learned in the classroom should be applied in the real world. Therefore, what Sterling Livingson stated is true.


Competency-according to the Trainers Methodology Training Book (which I have learned from the training in the Philippines) means the application and possession of knowledge, skills and attitude. Once, we incorporate competency in management functions as a main ingredient for a successful manager. We must explain how competency affects the manager in managing.


Sterling stated in the article which I had previously mentioned, “One reason why highly educated men fail to build successful careers in management is that they do not learn from their formal education what they need to know to perform their jobs effectively. In fact, the tasks that are the most important in getting results usually are left to be learned on the job.”

If you are an experience manager, you have been exposed to ups and downs in managing the job world, as a result, your knowledge has been flourished and tested in many functions of the management.

I remember what my former boss said to me, “A good manager carefully delegates the task correctly to the right person. A manager's achievements are dependent on the achievements of his subordinates because their accomplishments tell the kind of manager you are.”


A competent manager has good skills on planning, organizing, staffing, motivating and controlling. Those above-mentioned are one of the important requirements in becoming a successful manager.

Norman H. Mackworth of the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research, University of California mentioned in Sterling Livingson article which he has revealed, “the distinction between the problem solver and the problem-finder is vital ”, he also pointed out that ”Problem finding is more important than problem-solving and involves cognitive processes that are very different from problem-solving and much more complex.” It is a skill that is rare to have in managers. It is shown in this article that in 1968 and 1969 the unexpected declined in profits of a number of multi-market companies because of the inability of managers to find problems before it happens.


Management books say that “Men” are the most complex problem. Managing people is very difficult than managing machine, money and materials. People when working to bring with them their positive and negative emotions and attitudes but we all know that “the workforce” is the best asset that a business could ever have.

Basically, managers work with and through people to accomplish goals. It is cited in the article, I always mentioned that “Manager cannot become effective merely by adopting the practices or the managerial style and follow practices that are consistent with his own personality.” According to Rensis Liker’s Managerial Research “Manager Behaviors are apt to communicate to his subordinates something quite different from what he intends. Subordinates usually view such behavior with suspicion and distrust.”

My working relationships with my bosses before are harmonious, and I have learned many things from them, one is that “if your subordinate can’t accomplished or failed in the task you give to him after providing him/her all the things he or she needs to attain that goal, and you confronted him; he will admit his faults and would strive to be productive next time.”

Becoming a successful and competent manager doesn't depend in the academic achievements but the number of experiences he encountered while he is on the actual jobs. For managing is an art that needs attention, especially in dealing people A competent manager must have a knowledge, skills, attitude and vast of experiences in managing. We have to inculcate in our mind that the success of the organizations depends on the hands of a competent manager regardless of the academics he took.


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