How do I get into Management?
These are the 10 steps you must take to leap into management
As leaders we get this question all the time, “How do I get into management?” I think some people want the silver bullet or a magic pill that will propel them into the critical role of managing people. As we all have learned, many times the hard way, that not all people can manage people. It’s hard, tough, time consuming work to do it well. Just because a person is a terrific individual contributor and hits their numbers, gets along with everyone and is great to work with, does not make them a great manager.
I put these 10 criteria together to help people understand what it will take for the boss to give you a shot at managing people. There is a different list for how to be successful as a manager.
These steps apply to newer worker and more seasoned workers. New workers will need to demonstrate that you have these skills. Experienced workers will need to focus on they can still grow and develop.
Here are my 10 criteria.
1) Be great at the job you have now. Crush it, over deliver and demonstrate you can deliver against your goals. The boss wants you to deliver to your current goals and not chase the next job.
2) Be extremely collaborative with all of your peers. (hint – they are the ones who promote you) Managers must work closely with others managers to get things done. The boss does not want a solo artist they want someone who can work as a team.
3) Develop excellent communication skills, written, verbal, quick on your feet, being crystal clear on what you say. The next step will be to understand when to communicate. That is the next step to executive leadership skills. There is a right and wrong time to communicate.
4) Sign up for all the hard, extra work projects and rock them. Make a name for yourself. You will learn new skills and gain insights on how the organization works.
5) Work with your mentor, if you don’t’ have one, get one.
6) Ask you boss, “what do I need to do to get into management? Ask for specifics on what is holding you back and what closing the gap looks like.
7) Ask your last boss to give you some input. Sometimes your previous boss can give you new insights after you have moved to a new assignment.
8) Start to look like and act like the people who have those jobs today. Optics matter, for some companies they matter a great deal. Do you leave early all the time, do you work from home on Friday’s, are you too casual, too dressy, too sloppy? Is your office a wreck? Fix your optics. They matter.