Moving into Management: Are You Ready?
Aspiring to move up the ranks and into managerial type positions comes with increased responsibilities and a nice bump in salary, it is also a natural part of the working world. However, moving into these leadership positions will require you to pay your dues and prove that you are ready.
If you believe you are ready to take this next step, compare your current performance and attributes to the below elements to determine if you’re ready.
The first place to start is to make sure you are meeting and exceeding your core responsibilities and that you conduct yourself in a professional manner.
Be aware of how you professional you actually are. Are you well presented? Do you reply to emails in a timely manner? Are you hitting all your KPIs? Or, are you able to meet deadlines?
If the answer to these questions is ‘no’ or ‘sometimes’, you may not be ready to take the next step. In order to be a successful and effective leader, you need to ensure you are able to handle your own business. How can you expect to manage others if you can’t look after your key roles?
It may sound simple but the best way to show your manager that you’re ready for a leadership position is to be professional and efficient in your day-to-day roles.
Be a strategic thinker
A key attribute of any successful leader, is the ability to strategically view situations or environments and ask ‘how can we improve?’ They don’t just sit back and think everything is running smoothly, they are constantly looking for ways to improve.
So, don’t just wait for an issue to arise to bring it to light. If you can see where an issue may occur in the future or if there is a better way to perform a task, go to your manager with a plan of attack.
For example, if you notice your company' recent hires are struggling to make an impact or leaving before 90-days, suggest ways you can improve the hiring process. Suggest adopting video CV’s or platforms that can streamline and automate the process. Even if your manager doesn’t implement your recommendations, at the very least you are demonstrating the ability to think strategically.
Your manager will remember this next time a management position opens up or when they are looking for someone to lead a big project.
Look for small opportunities
It’s no secret that managerial positions require experience leading and influencing people, so look for any opportunity that may afford you the opportunity to take on more responsibility.
The first step of this is verbalising you are ready and eager to take on more responsibility. So don’t be shy about letting your manager know this. Ask them if you can take on more work, is there an upcoming project or task you can drive, sit in on leadership/ project meetings and above all else, smash your core roles and responsibilities.
Not only will this provide you with precious experience in leadership roles but your colleagues and management will start viewing you as a leader within the company.
Have a holistic view
It’s all well and good having a solid grasp on your current role but a good leader also has a broad understanding of the company as a whole. With a holistic view of the company, not just your department, you’ll be better positioned to create strategies that will drive the company forward.
Look at your company from an outsiders point of view. Do your research on the company and understand where they are and where they want to go. From there you should actively stay on top of everything that concerns the company. Whether this is press releases, social media pages, competitors and company reviews.
Once you have a broad understanding of the bigger picture, you can start breaking the company down and learning about the parts that make it tick. Spend time and energy learning about the HR processes, accounting functions and marketing goals.
The more you know about the company and their environment, the more you’ll be able to contribute to its future success.
So are you ready to move into management? How does your performance stack up to what we have discussed above? If you believe you’re ready, go for it, the worst that’ll happen is they will say wait. However, best case scenario, you’ll get what you ask for!