What skills do you need in the fast-paced world we live in to manage change projects? It’s tough out there and whereas doing good is very rewarding you are also going to need to manage people and relationships to grow and develop your social enterprise.
Artificial intelligence is marching onward at breakneck speeds and trampling all over traditional ways of working. Technology is reshaping the global workplace and creating a need for new competencies from the boss downwards. Even the previously `safe’ knowledge industries are being forced to adapt as machines become more sophisticated at predicting outcomes and learning from successes and failures.
When even lawyers and accountants are in danger of obsolescence, which new skills will you need to stay valuable? As a social entrepreneur, you may be surprised by this one…
When you’re in charge of your own destiny, why bother to learn people management skills? There are 3 reasons:
- You become better at managing yourself
- You learn to manage others
- You can manage your clients
Let’s start with you. You’re pursuing a project of passion and value. You have to produce the best possible results and (often a tough job in itself) make sure you get paid.
Throughout all of this, the ability to manage yourself is a crucial and extremely valuable skill. It leads to higher quality work and earns you trust – a trusted reputation is everything.
So much for the value of managing yourself, but what about working with others? As a changemaker, pitching your ideas and selling your vision to stakeholders, you have to make a positive first impression – and make sure that good impression lasts the distance. When you’re joining a well-established team or building your own, regardless of whether you’re being required to lead them, people management is all about building and maintaining strong human relationships.
Humans aren’t robots. Give any team a cold transactional objective and frankly, why would they care? We want to know why it’s important, what’s needed and by when, and we need to feel personally connected to a positive result. Once you make it human you get a motivated team working at full power towards shared goals.
As a changemaker, people management isn’t always about working as part of a team. You may find yourself working solo, juggling several projects simultaneously, struggling to manage the expectations of multiple stakeholders. This is where people management becomes excellent stakeholder management – because no matter how brilliantly you performed operationally, badly managed relationships won’t last the distance.
You need people to believe in you – not just in terms of what you do, but also how you do it. When you manage stakeholders well, everyone wins. People around you relax into your professionalism, confident that the project is running smoothly and will deliver beyond expectations. You build authority, trustworthiness and a reputation that’s worth its weight in gold.