Summary

So, what's the verdict? Is a manager born? Or raised? Or created in a management institute?

Perhaps the answer is the usual option D: all of the above.

There are quite a few listed up there, but you don't need to be a master at all or any of these. There's a learning curve in managerial skills also, just like technical skills and if you work consciously and apply thought, these skills will get enhanced.

Besides the usual skills and competencies, quite clearly emotional intelligence is core to a manager. Some of the EQ seems like inborn and natural tendencies, a lot of it is a result of the social environment we grew up in and learnt as we grow in our professional and personal lives. It appears that self-regulation may improve as people work on it.

A lot of the other skills and competencies, such as project management and communication, can also be learned and improved upon. Many managerial programs aim at enhancing these skills. However, empathy and self-motivation are hard to cultivate. Core values are part of our core and not easily replaced.

It's possible to manage work by sharpening your project management, hiring some good talented people, assigning tasks to them, and measuring people based on empirical success parameters. This will likely get the job done, possibly also get the manager a promotion over the years, and most certainly a salary raise.

However, without the soft skills required, without empathy and love of working with people, without people-centric management, without core values, it would be impossible to be a manager that people admire.

Finally, are great managers created in top management institutes?

Certainly not! People who learn management formally really acquire the knowledge about the various aspects like finance and operations, which will certainly help understand the business aspects much better than most others. They also learn about how to break down problems and manage processes, hence making them skilled at execution. Besides, management students also learn about various human aspects and theories on human behavior, which will hopefully help them understand people a little better. Top management institutes already shortlist academically high ranking students, so IQ is high to begin with. So management graduates should be ready to manage work and if the same management graduate happens to have all the other essential people skills, this person can be the right person to work with.

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