Visualize yourself in that role and what do you see?
You have a wealth of experience under your belt, you’ve mastered the ins and outs of your department – does it seem as though the natural succession of things will lead you into a management role?
Visualize yourself in that role and what do you see? Will you empower your team to utilize all their combined knowledge, contributing to the further growth and development of the organization? Will you be able to use your people skills combined with your technical skills to become the great boss you dream of being?
If the answer is yes (or maybe), read on.
The work of a manager in today’s world has evolved into a complex role, requiring a wide range of skills, attitudes and attributes that go far beyond any textbook definition. Climbing the corporate ladder is not merely a natural progression based on know-how.
Here are 3 signs that you may be ready to step into that leadership role:
#1 – You understand your “Why”
Why do you want a career in management? Or, why do you see a management role as your next step?
Here’s a quick true/false quiz:
- I want to have a greater impact on results
- I’d like greater control over the work environment
- I want to be a part of the inner circle
- I’m looking for status, security and salary
- I believe I have a great deal more to offer
- I want to bring staff together to work towards our goals
- I believe I can motivate my team to achieve more
- I have a desire to be part of the bigger picture
Now, all of the above could be valid reasons for wanting to move into a management role, and there are generally no right or wrong answers. But depending on the company that you work for, and your own personal needs and goals, a “yes” to some of these questions may make you a better fit for the role than others. For example, a “yes” to questions 3 and 4 suggests that you’re looking more for the benefits to you, rather than to the team or the organization. And a “no” to most of the questions suggests this is not the right move for you at this time.
If you haven’t really given consideration to your “Why” – then now is the time. Any major career change including moving into a management role has greater chances of success when you have done the ground work and understand what makes you tick.
#2 – You understand what makes a great manager
What does an effective manager look like? By the time you’ve worked for 2 or 3 different managers yourself, you can doubtless list several qualities from your own experiences.
You probably realize that it takes a lot to lead a group of people with a host of personalities, a range of needs, and whose responses to company policies and directives may be equally diverse. The term “people skills” may seem like a cliche that’s so often thrown around that we seldom take the time do digest what it truly means.
Make no mistake, you don’t have to be an extrovert to have good people skills. Many introverts have excellent people skills. What you need is the ability to relate to the individuals on your team with a level of finesse. An ability to communicate clearly, show empathy, and to mobilize and engage each and every team member to work to the best of their ability. Some days this will be a breeze. But more often than not there will be people challenges to solve on a regular basis.
Being a manager, by definition, comes with responsibilities. For a new manager, there will be decisions to be made and conversations to be had, that could take you way out of your comfort zone. A great manager is able to be nimble and agile to meet these demands while still exercising a high level of emotional intelligence.
All of this, while also balancing the requirements that come from further up the chain of command – for in all likelihood your first management role will be as a “middle manager.” Your relationship with your own boss and the hierarchy is another key element containing enough nuances for its own blog post!
#3 – You are looking to have a positive impact as a manager
Making a conscious decision as to the type of manager you want to be, and the contributions that you aim to provide to your team and organization will help you transition into the role successfully.
When I was coaching a new manager several years ago, we spent considerable time working through this topic. Initially she was feeling overwhelmed with the demands of her new role and was doubting her own abilities to succeed in this position. Through our work together, she was able to clarify how her career path had evolved to this point. This gave her the much-needed confidence boost. It also enabled her to define a common thread running through her career, which was her desire to drive successful results through encouraging, coaching and supporting her team members.
Recognizing the positive impact that she could have through her work provided her with renewed impetus and a clear focus that helped her to thrive in her work.
Developing your leadership skills is not easy, and that is why having an executive coach in your corner call make all the difference in positioning yourself for career growth opportunities. If you have the desire to advance in your career, and you are looking for help, I’d be happy to talk with you. Just book a free, no-obligation strategy session with me here, and find out how I may be able to help.