Management Theories - The 4 Pillars of Management

Published: 26 March 2015

4 Pillars of Management

Not all managers can have all skills but they can be developed through training. Although all managers would benefit from some aspects of the four pillars of management, each will be stronger in some areas than others. The most successful organisation with have managers who combine to provide all the skills above which will ‘hold the company up’.

Whilst many organisations today exhibit a horizontal culture of management, there is still a need to acknowledge the four pillars of management which conjures up a more vertical structural image.


Pillars of Management - Command Command

Managers with good command skills have a natural authority. They are not dictatorial or forceful, but are able to implement effective systems; to take a vision and create a well- thought out process to achieve the objective. It is often associated with military activity, for example Alexander the Great. Command skills are often linked closely with leadership skills – but you need to be able to implement a vision – not just have a great idea! Communication is key here as the vision and ultimate goal need to be shared – but remember this can often mean a change in direction which can, in turn, create tension as there is often a natural reluctance to change. Well-developed command skills will help overcome these tensions and ensure success.


Pillars of Management - ControlControl

Control skills relate to processes, procedures, efficiency and structure. It is not about controlling people, but about controlling the way in which the goal will be achieved. It covers many aspects of organisational activities, for example creating project plans, allocating tasks, delegation of activities, evaluation, agreeing procedures and putting controls in place to monitor success. The goal needs to be communicated and the team coordinated in order to achieve the vision or maximise the opportunity.


Pillars of Management - Management


Management skills are slightly different to leadership skills – more conceptual and concerned with planning and organisation. These attributes are needed in order to plan the stops required to achieve a vision. More practical than purely leadership skills.


Pillars of leadership - Leadership

Leadership skills are those of vision and the ability to spot opportunities. Managers with well-developed leadership skills have good interpersonal skills and can raise the morale and team spirit of their staff.




If you would like to develop the pillars of management as part of your management & leadership skills sets why not look into a CMI management & leadership qualification with Professional Academy? If you would like some more indepth information on management & leadership courses you can download a copy of our latest qualification brochure or contact one of our qualification advisors today to help find the right qualification for you. 

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Management Advice - Employees as part of the supply chain?

Published: 24 March 2015

Attracting and retaining talent by using employees as part of the supply chain

Written by Professional Academy Tutor - Joe McKenna

High-skilled service sectors were hit hard by the recession and the lack of stability in its wake has done little to revive confidence. Companies downsized and jobs were lost. Competition to retain customers, as well as careers, became fierce, particularly under strangling budget constraints (not to mention the rising costs of Compliance within the Finance sector).

In the “buyers’ market”, where customers have a greater level of influence on high-skilled service firms but also where high-skilled service firms have a greater level of power over their staff, tenure has increased. In 2011 job satisfaction across the entire industry was at an all-time low and recent studies suggest that 50% of skilled professionals will seek employment elsewhere within the services sectors given the right conditions.

Accordingly, it is predicted that employee turnover is set to dramatically increase once the economy begins to finally settle, and then strengthen upon a foundation of real, as opposed to pseudo, confidence, with dis-satisfied high-skilled services talent looking to jump ship to a competitor.

The psychological impact of the strengthening of the economy combined with the appreciated increasing value of employees in the service sectors, where the quality of products being offered is a direct reflection on the capability of the staff member, and where the baseline in customer expectations has shifted during the recession, will result in greater employee bargaining power.

With an increase in employee leverage for influence, “sellers’ market” conditions, where employees have a greater degree of control and choice over the selling of their time and expertise to their, or prospective, employers, will arise; the management of employee-employer relationships has the danger of then becoming akin to supply chain management.

The move from buyers market to sellers market


To establish competitive advantage as a result of this macro-environmental shift, it may be considered diligent for firms to make efforts towards positioning themselves as an employer of choice in order to attract the migrating talent from competing outfits, whilst ensuring that existing talent is thoroughly engaged. Adopting best engagement practices will increase job satisfaction and encourage the alignment of employees’ appreciation of the corporate brand with that of the brand promise that is made to a firm’s customers.

Ultimately, such an approach will result in a superior product from that of a firm’s competitors, superior knowledge of the market and business practices, a superior network of contacts, lower cost operations which could be passed on to customers, and a perceived advantage in the eyes of the customer of doing business with a firm that attracts and retains top talent.

To achieve this objective, marketing department will have to be more closely aligned with that of Human Resources. Many firms already do this well and the end result is a strengthening of the brand both within and externally. Depth research into what employees value is a good starting point in order for firms to best shape their offering as an employer. Leaders and marketers alike could then spend an increasing amount of ‘quality time’ with their staff, and a return on investment of this time would be seen through the reinforcement of a firm’s relationships with their employees, creating a more motivated, happy, skilled and engaged workforce, and a sterling reputation in the eyes of the customers.   

Alignment with HR & Marketing


Source: The Re-Integration of Employees Out Of the Supply Chain Back Under the Corporate Fold" published in the International Journal of Management and Organizational Studies (Volume 3, Issue 2, June 2014, ISSN: 2305-2600)

Read full paper here:


If you would like to enhance your knowledge of management and leadership (which Joe actually did recently) then why not join us on a CMI Management & Leadership qualification? You can find out more about our Management & Leadership courses by downloading our latest CMI prospectus or contacting one of our qualification advisors today. 

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Marketing Theories - Explaining The Ansoff Matrix

Published: 19 March 2015

Welcome to the latest series of Marketing Theories explained by Professional Academy. The subject of this specific Marketing Theory blog should be one very familiar to those working in Marketing and Sales & Marketing alike - The Ansoff Matrix. 

The Ansoff matrix was invented by Igor Ansoff in 1965 and is used to develop strategic options for businesses. It is one of the most commonly used tools for this type of analysis due to its simplicity and ease of use.

As the diagram demonstrates, the matrix will give managers four possible scenarios, or strategies for future product and market activities.


The Ansoff Matrix

Market Penetration

This strategy focuses on increasing the volume of sales of existing products to the organisation’s existing market.

Questions asked:

  • How can we defend our market share?
  • How can we grow our market?


Product Development

This strategy focuses on reaching the existing market with new products.

Questions asked:

  • How can we expand our product portfolio by modifying or creating products?


Market Development

This strategy focuses on reaching new markets with existing products in the portfolio.

Questions asked:

  • How can we extend our market?
  • Through new market sectors?
  • Through new geographical areas?



This strategy focuses on reaching new markets with new products. Diversification can be either related or unrelated.

Related Diversification: The organisation stays within a market they have familiarity with.

Unrelated Diversification: The organisation moves into a market or industry they have no experience with. This is considered a high risk strategy.


So that’s the Ansoff matrix, you can see how it visualises your current strategic position and offers four possible routes to take next.

You should be aware however that it isn’t designed to make the decision for you but to open you up to the different strategies available to you. You should also remember that this framework doesn’t take into account any external factors such as available resources or risk management. So as always we recommend we use this tool as part of a larger marketing tool kit.

If you would like to see more of Professional Academy's series explaining Marketing Theories head to our dedicated Marketing Theories page today. 

If you are interested in developing your Marketing knowledge further why not look into a CIM Marketing Qualification? You can download a copy of our latest CIM Marketing Prospectus or contact us for more information at any time. 

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Time to finish your old CIM Syllabus Modules - The end is near!

Published: 18 March 2015

Time to finish you CIM Qualification

By Paul Owens, Professional Academy Sales & Admissions Coordinator. 

Towards the latter part of last year, the CIM updated the Certificate Level 4 and the Diploma Level 6 marketing qualifications in line with current Marketing trends and practices – one of the biggest additions has been the inclusion of Digital Marketing theories and strategies, which, given the development of current, and future, Marketing techniques have become an increasingly vital element of any Marketer’s management of their respective internal and external marketing processes.

The end of the old CIM syllabus is near

CIM qualifications are still and have always been the benchmark for Marketing excellence and recognition worldwide, and this is withstanding for the previous syllabus before the recent update.  Given that there are still individuals currently studying the old syllabus who may not have completed the previous Level 4 or Level 6 programme, and still have modules to complete, we have recognised this and made provision for those people who want to complete their current qualification, as opposed to having a transition to the new 2014-15 syllabi.

For anyone wishing to complete the 2009 Level 4 or Level 6 syllabus, the final assessment board would be September this year.  Thereafter there would be no further opportunity to complete any assessments on the old syllabus.

We are giving people the opportunity to complete any remaining modules for the next assessment board (June) or the final assessment board (September) with us as your learning provider, even if you have not studied with us before, or are not currently studying with us. 

If you do have any modules to complete, and are interested in finishing your studies with us, please contact me today and I would be happy to go through our course options with you. 

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What can the RBS 6 nations tell us about leadership and management techniques?

Published: 17 March 2015

What can the RBS six nations teach us about Management & Leadership

Written by Michael O'Flynn - Professional Academy Sales & Marketing Manager.

When watching the fantastic (if slightly disappointing from a personal view) RBS six nations tie between Ireland and Wales this weekend I saw a conversation between Keith Wood, Shane Williams and Martyn Williams about the styles of captaincy in the Welsh team which led me to think about management styles in the work place.

This stuck in my mind throughout the weekend and I very much feel 3 of the leadership styles that were seen on the field this Saturday (along with one that was sorely missed) can be seen in the wide array of management styles currently active in various companies across the UK and Europe (These may also be present internationally but cultural difference may change certain things so I am sticking to what I know).

First of all let me say, having played team sports through most of my life from around the age of 4-5, is that all sport can breed excellent leaders, as well as self-centred prima donnas. It was coming into rugby at the age of around 9 that I started to develop as a leader myself not only when wearing the captains arm band but leadership as part of a team: picking up the player next to you; organising a line; respect for authority (whether it be the coach or the referee); not letting your head drop; and being gracious in victory as well as defeat – all these skills were ingrained to me at a young age when playing the sport and I am very grateful for that. So I see the merits of Rugby and how it has moulded myself and other captains I have seen over the years. Which brings me back to the conversation between the two Welsh legends, the Irish legend lovingly known as Uncle Fester and the always delightful Gabby Logan about captaincy styles.

Below is a summation of their thoughts about different leadership styles with my interpretations on how these would map across to the working world:

Sam Warburton - The Quiet, Calm, Conduit.Sam Warburton – The quiet, calm, conduit.

Sam Warburton is the current (and most capped) Wales Captain, in the grand scheme of things a rather young Captain being just 26 years of age, but all 3 of the studio team commented on Warburton’s calmness and composure under pressure and criticism as well as his ability to act as conduit between the players and Wales coach Warren Gatland, listening to their concerns and passing them to the management team. His composure was unwavering even when he was sent from the field for a team offence in the 27th minute (a series of warnings for not rolling away were made, but Warburton was the unlucky person to be involved in the final one when the ref decided to make an example). There was no argument from Warburton just composure as he left for the bench and the same when he came back to head a heroic Welsh defensive line.

We can see this management style across many sectors, the team leader who acts as intermediary for the team and the senior management/directors, listening to the concerns of the workforce, taking on their concerns and allowing them to focus on their day-to-day tasks, never flustered and always calm. A great character trait to have in this role and one that will give the manager a real empathy for team dynamics and morale as they progress in their career.

Alun Wyn Jones - The Big Loud MotivatorAlun Wyn Jones – The big, loud intimidator.

Now first let me say this was not meant in a mean or nasty way, as often an intimidator can be, but more of a nod to the difference in style between Jones and Warburton when it comes to getting the best out of the team. Jones will wear the captains arm band when Warburton is unavailable and is known for delivering dressing room speeches and roaring at the team on the field to get the most out of each player. He is a respected captain and often touted to take the place of Warburton but this management style may not fit a team hierarchy off the field as much as it will fire the team up on it.

This leadership style can often be the most prominent in an office environment due to the very nature of the style and also the self determination of that kind of person. This management style can fire a team up and allow people to be pushed to their potential but it is a slightly more stressful and less open environment than the previous style.

Paul O'Connell the selfless, stubborn perfectionistPaul O’Connell – The selfless, stubborn perfectionist.  

Once again not a criticism, but Keith Wood described Paul O’Connell as a “Pain in the neck, demanding his own way” when he arrived in the Ireland camp 100 caps ago but as Keith Wood also commeted that “10 years later, he [O’Connell] was right” along with highlighting that everything he does “makes the other players look great” which is the real base of O’Connell’s leadership style. For those who don’t follow rugby O’Connell is 35 years old and will play every second of a match giving 100% and dragging the entire team with him if he has to. He pushes everyone to the same level he expects of himself, which delivers results on the field but also off the field in training and pre/post match preparation/analysis.

Management styles like this are rare because they grow slowly. The type of person who hones these traits   is team focused and can often drive team results with no real focus on the individual himself. Selfless managers/leaders are usually the ones you will find working outside the hours of 9 to 5, pushing for the result they feel they should achieve, setting a higher bar than others may have or expect.

Ireland were missing a certain leadership type in this particular game - and anyone with any interest in Rugby will already know where I am leading with this - and that would be the creative manager, a manager who has that spark that can turn a situation from bad to good and motivate the team through actions.  I am, of course, talking about Brian O’Driscoll…

Brian O'Driscoll - the creative thinking leaderBrian O’Driscoll – The creative thinking manager. 

Brain O’Driscoll had (probably still has but he has now retired from the game) a great rugby brain. Even when his body was slowing his mind was still as fast as could be, allowing him to think two steps ahead. This ability allowed him to create something out of nothing which would inspire the team to step up their performance from one individual act of brilliance.

You can see this leadership and management style throughout entrepreneurs and small companies where the manager/owner/director is not only in charge of a team of people but also a creative influence on the company. For example, if the sales were bad in a particular month this type of manager would talk to the sales team and brain storm ideas, get to the root of the issue and even get into the trenches and make the one deal that would spur the team on to turn results around.

Now these are just my opinions but I feel even in my sporting and working life I have seen all four of these captain and manager types, all of which have done great jobs and had failings equally. But I found the comparisons interesting and would love to hear your thoughts on this over on the Professional Academy Twitter Feed. Have you experienced these type of managers? Can you think of any other comparisons? I am also aware I haven’t mentioned Sergio Parisse, Chris Robshaw, Greig Laidlaw or Thierry Dusautoir so please let me know what you feel on their leadership styles and if you have seen them in your workplace.

If you would be interested in developing you Management & Leadership techniques (rugby experience not needed) why not look into the CMI Management & Leadership qualifications available through Professional Academy. For more information please feel free to download our latest CMI Management & Leadership Qualifications Prospectus or contact us through your medium of choice today.  


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