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Readiness Recipes

The Knowledgeable Manager

The Knowledgeable Manager

Employees highly value a manager who they see as capable and competent. The Knowledgeable Manager supports his/her employees with well-developed functional knowledge of the specific area or discipline, and has an eye to the future, anticipating business trends and opportunities so as to be able to share that knowledge with his or her reports, and also to be among the first to seize opportunities as these arise. The Knowledgeable Manager has his/her “ear to the ground” to be able to educate and inform his/her employees with “best in class” information, leads, sources, and opportunities. The Knowledgeable Manager possesses these competencies:

Ingredients:Readiness Recipes

  • Anticipation/Proactive thinking skills
  • Critical thinking ability
  • Curiosity
  • Functional knowledge
  • Listening skills
  • Resourcefulness

Ingredients should be added, blended well and left to mature over time:

  • Anticipation/Proactive thinking skills: The ability to maintain a conscious awareness of events and situations and to take actions quickly when change and opportunity are present.
  • Critical thinking ability: The ability to think rigorously and broadly about issues, challenges or problems in order to optimize the route to finding potential solutions that work. Follows a disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
  • Curiosity: This is the propensity and ability to inquire, investigate, or seek-after new or more advanced knowledge in order to find a better outcome or result; uses this ability as a theoretical “lens” to illustrate how managerial curiosity can be a source of sustained competitive advantage for the organization.
  • Functional knowledge: Knowledge and awareness of the broad functional area for which that manager is responsible; not necessarily mastery or detailed knowledge of a subject, but knows enough to be able to lead and manage others who work on the front-lines at a closer level; practical knowledge of a functional area.
  • Listening skills: The capacity to both hear and understand other people, and to quickly discover their full communication or message. Effective listening includes sensing, interpretation, evaluation and responding appropriately. Listens more than he/she speaks and takes action on what he/she learns from those closer to the work.
  • Resourcefulness: The capacity to systematically and comprehensively gather the information needed to solve problems or work challenges efficiently and effectively.
The Knowledgeable Manager has all of these ingredients; no substitutions or omissions can be made to the recipe.

“Readiness Recipes” is a new article series exploring 26 different kinds of managers A-Z and the key ingredients that each needs for success.  Stay tuned for more recipes and thanks for reading!

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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