Todays’ post starts week 2 of the New Manager Series.
This week I am talking about how to get promoted within your organization to a manager role. But also, once you get there how to turn it into success.
So if you are working in a position that you feel you have outgrown and want to move up, get comfortable and read these tips.
1. Become a STAR employee
Doing your job well but “just doing your job” is not enough to be considered an A player – promotion candidate. That’s why you are getting paid – to do your job well.
You need to be excellent at what you do. Better than anyone else. Be so good, that you can train others to become as good as you are.
Like with everything, if you want to be a star you need to be hungry and have a desire for doing more than what’s expected of you. You should also be looking proactively for additional responsibilities within your current role. Don’t wait for them to be presented to you on a silver platter.
At the same time, you need to accomplish all this with humility.
What is humility you ask?
It’s the opposite of arrogance and insecurities that lay underneath it. Being humble means having self-confidence in your abilities without having to show it to anyone blatantly to prove your self-worth. It means understanding that no one is perfect and having an open mind for feedback and self-development. You need to be objective about your strengths and opportunities for growth and development.
2. LEAD by EXAMPLE
What makes you a manager material is becoming a leader before you have the title.
Here a few ideas what it means to be a leader in a peer group:
– Be engaged – care about the business, learn as much as you can to understand not only your role but also those of your peers and manager; understand how all these tie with a larger operation of your company;
– Take ownership – acknowledge your imperfections and admit your mistakes. That makes you real. Being defensive when your manager gives you feedback does not help you get better and derails you from the promotion path;
– Implement the learnings – being open to feedback is only the first step to being a leader. Nothing will get better if the teaching you were given is not actioned upon. Having a growth mindset needs to be tied together with action – this is the only way you will improve;
– Put others first – when your team succeeds, you succeed.
Following Zig Ziglar’s
– Don’t complain about things that do not work – provide solutions instead. Find better ways of doing things, improving your day to day tasks and recommend them to your manager in a constructive way.
3. Be engaged and foster your peer’s engagement
An engaged team works much better together and make the work environment fun. You want to be at the forefront of fostering such behavior. Positivity, good energy and fun while getting things done makes for an attractive workplace.
Negativity, complaining without proposing solutions and gossip are demotivating for all. They demoralize the team, lower productivity and make the best people run away screaming. If you make yourself part of such environment or worse create it – what are you going to do when you are the one who has to manage it and take responsibility for the results?
To sum up the first three points in one sentence: be an employee you would want to have on your Team as a Manager.
Do you want to check if you are there? Fill in my self-assessment that will tell you if you are ready for a promotion. Click here to have it sent to you.
OK, so now you got the dream promotion, you are a manager, and you will realize that even though all the above still applies, there are several new skills you need to hone to be successful in the new role.
Below is the overview of 3 main ones that put you on the right track:
A. Focusing on a big picture
Junior managers often have a hard time understanding that the urgent cannot overshadow the important. Fighting fires and solving small daily issues is what you have been successfully doing so far. It is probably something you feel comfortable with, and that gives you a feeling of accomplishment. As important as those tasks still are, they cannot overshadow important initiatives you will need to work on as a manager.
Understanding the big picture, developing strategic thinking and planning skills is indispensable in your ability to lead your new team to success.
B. Delegating and asking for help from your Boss
Note that as a manager, your primary job is to lead a team not to do it all alone. Learning how to delegate properly will allow you to grow your people, avoid the feeling of “dumping” the work on them you do not want to do, and make you effective in your role.
Additionally, remember that your relationship with your manager is a partnership, not a “servitude.” Make it a positive one then. Understand your role and expectations of you. You can read more details on this topic in last week’s blog here.
Asking for advice and help when you need it is part of your job. Raise issues early enough before they become a disaster. No one likes to be blindsided by problems, especially in the worst possible moment. The pain you have to go through when this happens is much worse than the pain of admitting one’s mistake and raising the smaller issue the moment it happens.
C. Giving constructive feedback to your team members
As humans we tend to avoid confrontations. It’s a natural behaviour for most of us. That is why giving feedback and coaching your team members on unwanted behaviors is something most managers are not comfortable with, especially new ones. However, avoiding to address essential issues with the staff deprives them of the opportunity to get better. If left “unattended” for too long, the problems will escalate and can become personal. It is a selfish behavior i.e.; you are not doing a favor to your employee choosing to ignore the issue because you want to avoid feeling uncomfortable having a difficult conversation. Giving constructive feedback is not about asking people to change their personalities, it’s about helping them to improve their behavior.
To sum up, managing people is real work. It requires skills that must be developed and improved on throughout your entire career. Good managers always make it seem natural and effortless. That is why very often people have these perceptions that being a leader is easy. It is very rewarding but not easy.
I was asked lately to describe in 30 seconds what leadership means to me.
For me, leadership is a lifelong journey of self-discovery and commitment to the growth of ourselves and the people we lead. Focusing outward on our people, making it all about them, forces us to look at ourselves. When we identify what we need to do to improve, our team will trust us enough to believe in the vision and mission we want to accomplish.
If you enjoyed this post and it has inspired you to invest in yourself and develop the skills you need to get promoted or rock your existing management role, let’s connect! To set up a free coaching session with me, click here😊