Why now is the time to understand management and leadership competencies

While we will have to wait a little longer for lockdown to be lifted, the UK economy has started to show some signs of recovery in recent months[1]. The job market was boosted in the first quarter as much of the economy began to reopen – with payroll employment rising, unemployment falling faster than anticipated and hiring increasing[2]. With the vaccine rollout going full steam ahead and a light at the end of the tunnel for a life post-pandemic, there have been many reasons for optimism.

And yet, the trials and tribulations facing our business leaders are not over yet. For over a year now, managers across industries have been faced with considerable change and challenges, particularly in those sectors hardest hit by the impact of the pandemic. From remote working – to contingency planning – to tough decision-making – it has been a real test of both nerves and skill.   

However, navigating this difficult terrain also provides the opportunity for our business leaders to reevaluate, grow and develop. It is incredibly important, then, that they understand their own competencies so they can maximise their strengths, address their weaknesses, and ultimately (as much as they can), help see their organisation through these challenges to a brighter future.

Why we need to assess both management AND leadership

Both management and leadership capabilities need to be considered here, because while management and leadership often work together, they each require separate skills: management is the mechanics of operating a business – administering processes and systems efficiently and delivering products and services reliably; whereas leadership is the ‘how’ – how to successfully lead a team to achieve results and drive an organisation forward.

The Management Development Questionnaire – Revised (MDQ-R) is a self-report personality measure that explores both management and leadership capabilities, as well as the emotional intelligence competencies that underpin effectiveness in each. Results can be combined to provide an overall profile of an individual’s strengths and areas for development but can also be helpfully broken down from the perspective of management vs. leadership.

Why now is the right time

Considering what awaits our business leaders in the months ahead, this is an ideal time to gain an understanding of these competencies. As we think about returning to the workplace or switching to permanent remote working or a hybrid approach, and picture the leadership and management challenges these situations present, these skills will no doubt come into play. From an emotional intelligence perspective, our leaders will need to gauge morale and understand how best to motivate their teams. From a recruitment and selection perspective, it will be even more critical to make the right people decisions. And thinking about the leaders themselves, they will need to be skilled in adjusting, adapting, and persevering through change. This may be particularly difficult for new business leaders, who were spurred by lockdown to embark on new business ventures as so many did in 2020[3].

How to get started

The MDQ-R taps into the specific skills that will be required to successfully navigate these complex situations and can be applied in recruitment, selection, promotion, and development across all organisational levels. Newer and aspirational leaders in particular will benefit from the new and improved report, which has been designed to provide practical guidance and facilitate development conversations. Contact us today at customersupport(at)hogrefe.co.uk or call us on 01865 797920 to discuss how the MDQ-R can support the testing needs of your organisation or that of your clients.


[1] UK economy, gearing up for recovery, grows more than expected in March | Reuters

[2] UK labour market turns a corner as lockdowns ease | Financial Times (ft.com)

[3] 2021 UK job market report: How COVID-19 has sparked new business growth | Paymentsense