Management Matters: Sure Footing on Shaky Ground


If putting our feet on solid ground at work helps us feel confident and competent, how can we maintain stability, let alone take a stride forward as the sands continue to shift beneath us?

What You Need

As organizations and changes to keep up, there are a few key skills that will help you keep your footing and thrive – even with the stresses of the current virtual, in-place and hybrid workplace:

  • Learning All Life Long – The ability to obtain and understand new skills is one of the most useful abilities you can have. A demonstration of your willingness to keep up with the evolving world can be in the form of taking a class, keeping current on recent publications, and making good use of professional meetings and seminars.
  • Controlling Your Career – Make sure you are able to communicate what you have done, can do, and want to do. Your ability to handle autonomy can be seen as initiative. The old paradigm of being shepherded through your career is long gone, replaced by the current reality that says “no one will care about your career as much as you do.” Tend to your own development and growth.
  • Promote Yourself – Work does not speak for itself. Success is often a combination of what you know, whom you know, who knows you, and who knows about you. Get the word out. It’s not bragging – it’s educating people about your contribution
  • Be Flexible –Your ability to change and to make transitions efficiently is a highly attractive commodity. Being able to maintain your motivation and prevent paranoia, as things evolve can create an appealing energy that managers look for.

Sure Footing

While the workplace has changed, there are still some things that will never change. These sure things should be embraced, adopted and practiced.

•    People who possess broad technical knowledge will be well prepared to adopt innovations. You may have to learn a specialized platform, logistics methodology or new technology, but if you have a reasonable technical foundation in your area of expertise, you will be able to move easily among many specific techniques if needed.

•    Core competencies endure, often forming the center around which the organization reconfigures itself to meet changing demands. Employees who connect with those competencies are more likely to remain productive, come what may.

•    One thing never will change is the need to manage work. Management skills are an integral part of every profession. The term “management skills” means not only managing the workflow of others efficiently and effectively, but also the ability to organize and manage one’s own workload.

•    Employees who possess a willingness or motivation to learn are more likely to adapt, grow, and learn as their jobs change. They often experience change as a challenge - something to be mastered. People with good learning skills are able to flex and grow to ensure their own success and the success of the company.

Never before have so many changes occurred in such a short time. But if you are armed with the understanding of what the key developments and trends are, how to avoid their pitfalls and how to use them to your advantage, you will quickly increase your confidence and maintain a competitive edge, even when the ground seems to be moving right under your feet.

Joni Daniels is Principal of Daniels & Associates, a management consulting practice that specializes in developing people in the areas of leadership and management, interpersonal effectiveness and efficiency, skill- building, and organizational development interventions. With over 30 years of experience, she is a sought after resource for Fortune 500 clients, professional organizations, higher education, media outlets and business publications. Joni can be reached at

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