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Management Skills



Descriptionof interviewee and his/her employer

Myinterviewee goes by the name Christine Rao, who is the Chiefexecutive Officer in her company. Being the CEO of her organization,Christine manages all the employees right from the top to the bottommaking her an ideal candidate for me to gain knowledge concerning theday to day managerial work. As the CEO, Christine is tasked withmajor responsibilities, such as, setting the company’s vision,strategy and direction as well as making top level decisions onpolicies and strategies on behalf of the company. As part of herresponsibility, Christine also represents her company when it comesto the civic and professional associations as well as participatingin activities involving the external affairs of the organization.It’s also worth noting that as the company’s CEO, Christinefurther oversees the organization’s financial situation, evaluateseach department’s performance and setting of reward programs aimedat motivating the employees. In order to succeed in these areas,Christine is also tasked with presiding over the company’s day today operations as well as maintaining the company’s awareness ofthe industry trends, opportunities and the how their competitors arefaring.

Christinehas been the CEO of Ma Labs Inc., for eighteen years now, a companythat deals with the distribution of computer components located inSan Jose, California. Christine’s responsibilities as the company’sCEO are in tandem with what has been researched by theorists as theresponsibilities of CEOs in any organization. In this line, it’sworth noting that management in any organization requires that themanager has the technical, human as well as conceptual skills(Williams, 2009). It’s worth noting that as important as academicpreparation may be for a manager such as Christine, understanding howto incorporate the learnt skills in her day to day activities as amanager is of paramount importance. As such, theorists stress thatskills, such as, communication, delegation of duties, selfdiscipline, respect for employees and decision making skills areessential for success. Christine, the manager in this case coulddevelop these skills by employing theorist’s findings, such as,interaction with the employees at all levels and evaluating thefeedback got since CEOs must continuously exercise judgment andassess the strategies to be employed in various situations (Williams,2009).


Iorganized an interview with Christine, the CEO of Ma Labs Inc byemailing her on my desire to have an interview with her, with regardto the management activities of top level managers. After emailingher, I made a telephone call follow up on my request to which sheagreed to my proposal and organized a day for us to meet in heroffice. The official invitation to her office came in form of aletter through the schools’ principal to certify my visit to thecompany. During the interview, I took the notes by jotting down themain points in shorthand form on my notebook. As such, I was able toconcentrate on both the interview and noting down the importantpoints. The fact that I conducted the interview based mostly on thequestions that I had written down affected my ability to report on itsince I found myself reporting mostly on the managerial activitiesthat I observed than what I asked. This is because what I observedwas a little bit different with my prior knowledge in managementwhich occurred to me that various essential management skills come byexperience, rather than by what is learnt in class alone. This tosome extent affected my reporting of the interview.

Theinterview narrative

Asthe CEO, I learnt that Christine manages the company’s day to dayoperations of the company by the managing the director of sales, thedirector of product management, financial controller, businessoperation manager, branch managers as well as the human resourcemanager. This means that a typical day for Christine as the CEO seesher check her email the first thing she enters her office. As adistribution company, any problem in the sales chain sees her call ameeting with the sales manager to state the problem. Both thefinancial controller and the credit manager are also called in for anopen discussion aimed at finding a solution to the prevailingproblem. The final decision is however made by the CEO, who bears thefull responsibility just in case something goes wrong in the decisionmaking chain.

Ina bid to make contact with more clients and improve the companysales, a typical day for Christine also sees her have lunch meetingswith strategic vendors to discuss the potential of conductingbusiness with her organization, which is also part of her mandate ofkeeping the organization competitive. A typical working day forChristine also sees her get involved with interviewing candidates forvarious positions in her company in line with the company’s needs.On the material day of my interview with her, I found her conductingan interview for the position of the branch manager, which furthergave me insights on how job interviews are conducted in organizationsand what top level managers look for in their potential employees.

Atypical day for the CEO also sees her make telephone conversationswith outside insurance underwriters in a bid to keep the company’sinsurance policy and position in check. As a distribution company,the CEO’s typical day also involves setting goals for the productmanagers as well as identifying and rewarding the sales managers ofthe month.

Asthe topmost manager in her organization, Christine is faced withvarious challenges and problems in her day to day managing activitiesbearing in mind that she oversees all departments in the company.Some of the problems i observed that come her way include the factthat the sales turnover rate is high, which has made it hard for herto find and maintain an excellent account manager. This is because ofthe overwhelming amount of work that the account manager has to focuson which has made her consider being part of the account manager’sdaily activities in a bid to take care of the high sales turnoverexperienced by the company.

Additionally,in one of the company’s branches, business hasn’t yet picked upas she had projected despite changing the branch manager for threetimes in the last two years. As such, the underperformance of thatbranch means that she has spent most of her time trying to make itstand, which has interfered with the amount of time she has put inplace for other branches. Christine further tells me that she hasdiscovered that both internet business and e-commerce have becomeextremely competitive which has forced her to seek alternative waysto promote and maintain the competitive nature of her business. Thishas seen her engage in sticking sponsorship deals with varioussporting entities, to have the company names and logos branded intheir team’s sporting jerseys in a bid to reach to a wide range ofaudience in the global market. Christine also tells me that it hasbeen difficult for her to balance work and her family life.Considering that she is mother of two, Christine has found it adelicate balance of her duties as a CEO and her responsibilities as amother and wife.

Ina bid to get an insight into the problem she was facing on thematerial day of my interview, Christine tells me that she has a taxproblem with local governments in various countries, bearing in mindthat her company distributes computer components globally. Thechallenge that comes her way is on how her company will adapt withlocal governments, by fully understanding their tax laws, conductingbusiness as the local culture demands as well as preparing sufficientaccounting documents for her company for all local governments thatshe intends to conduct her business in.

Christinetells me that as the CEO and a top level manager, she has to employvarious methods to solve any conflicts that arise and cope with thechanges that the organization faces in each and every day. As partof her conflict resolution mechanisms, as the CEO, Christine employsthe concept of open discussion with her fellow managers and also theemployees (Williams, 2009).This she does by gathering all theparties involved in the conflict and lets them express their concernsand feelings about the issue. This she tells me is because shebelieves that conflicts are at times caused by miscommunications. Shehowever, notes that the final decision will based in company’sinterests but not on individual preferences. In a bid to implementchange in the organization, Christine tells me that she makes surethat the company’s structure remains stable by trying to minimizethe negative effects that may come with changes.

Onher advice to new and first time managers, Christine notes that allthat they need to do is work hard, work smart and be meticulous intheir managerial activities. She further advices that persistency anddedication are also key to hey success. In her view, it’s advisablefor new managers to focus on macro management instead ofmicromanagement of the company’s affairs in a bid to have a wideperspective of issues that are affecting the company (Williams,2009). She further believes that as a manager, one needs to lettheir team of employees do their jobs, with the manager’s rolebeing that of overusing the outcome. This she is because she believesthat too much interference of managers on the employee’s everydayactivities in a way leads to their inefficiency, since they feel asif the manager does not trust their abilities.


Myinteraction with Christine Rao, the CEO of Ma Labs Inc following theinterview lead me into understanding many issues relating tomanagement and how management theory is put into practice. As such,as a top level manager at Ma Labs Inc. for the last 18 years, Iobserved that Christine has been tasked with the responsibility offacilitating change in order to remain competitive in the computercomponents distribution market. This involves developing long-termmission and vision for the company which gives an insight into whatthe future of the company will look like. Studies and research doneon CEOs in both Europe and the U.S, show that 35% of many CEOs areeventually fired due to their inability to foresee change in theirorganizations (Williams, 2009). My interaction with Ma Labs Inc. CEOChristine Rao gave me insights into such areas, which increased myknowledge on management at the top level and what has been thedriving factor towards her sustained 18 years of being the CEO.

Ialso learned that top level managers like Christine are also taskedwith developing the commitment of employees to and ownership of theorganization’s performance. In this line, managers need toencourage their employees to present new ideas to their bosses forthe development of the company and for inclusion of all employees inthe innovations that the organization develops. Additionally, topmanagers need to create a positive organizational culture throughtheir language and action (Williams, 2009).In the Christine’scase, for instance, the fact that she employees an open method inconflict resolution, by letting all persons to present their side ofthe story means that she has been able to create a positive growthculture for the organization. This is seen further in the sense thateach individual’s views are taken into consideration which makeseveryone feel appreciated.

Fromthe interview, I was able to learn that Christine’s main domain asa manager is overseeing the operations of all the employees in allareas in way that leads to the success of the organization. Thisinvolves the coordination of all branch managers, as well asrewarding the most outstanding employees as a means of recognitionfor their efforts. The interview affected my approach to managementin a huge way, due to the fact that I was enthused by Christine’sopen management style. Learning how Christine makes every employeefeel recognized in the organization had a bearing on my managementskills since it changed my strict approach in management to a moreinclusive and open style of management that has worked for Ma LabsInc. under Christine’s leadership.


Williams.,C. (2009). Management 5e. South-Western Cengage Learning. LachinaPublishing Services.