I Want to Become a Manager – What Should I Do?

First of all you must think really well if you have what is takes. What I mean is:
  1. Are you willing to be the role model and image of your team?
  2. Are you willing to take responsibility for everything that happens in your team, including the negative results?
  3. Are you strong enough to solve the conflicts between the members of your team?
  4. Do you think you are able to build authority and convince the members of your team to listen to you and to follow your lead?
  5. Are you willing to talk to the members of your team periodically, listen to them, know them well enough in order to help them and be their mentor?
  6. Are you willing to learn and understand the functionality and roles of the members in your team in order to assign tasks in a fair and efficient manner and maybe help from time to time?
  7. Are you interested in knowing and doing more than your current role?
  8. Are you interested in understanding the entire business conducted by the company you are in (or are interested of working for) in order to understand where you and your team fit?
  9. Do you like working with people?
  10. Do you have any idea what “motivating your team” means?
  11. Do you feel confident to speak in public?
  12. Do you like reporting or are patient enough to deal with this task even if you’re not very fond of it?
  13. Do you feel confident enough to make your own decisions knowing that they might affect not only you, but the people in your team as well or even the entire company?
  14. Do you feel strong enough to fire someone?
  15. Do you feel strong enough to tell someone to their face that they are not performing well and need to improve?
  16. Do you know what “delegating tasks” means? Do you trust your team members enough to actually do it?
  17. Do you know what you current manager does on a daily basis?
  18. Are you organized? Do you know how to prioritize your tasks?

If you replied in a positive manner to all or most of the questions above, then you want to become a manager. Now, from wanting something and making it happen, it is a long way. What you need to do next is shadow your manager and get involved in trainings.

How to shadow your manager: talk to him/her in an open manner and tell him/her that you want to learn more than what you know at the moment. Ask for additional tasks that are done by a manager mainly and see how it feels like: do reports, talk to the members of your team, plan meetings, be the moderator in meetings, propose improvements, come up with new ideas, take responsibility for results. This will give you the confidence to take this new role and do it well.

At the same time, get involved in trainings. Talk to your manager, to your Human Resources department and also search by yourself trainings in the following areas: decision making, time management, planning and organizing, conflict management, leadership and team management, motivating your team, recruitment and selection, building trust in your team, building authority, project management – at least beginner level, risk management, organizing meetings, communication and anything that your manager and HR department recommends.

Only then you will be ready to apply for this new role in your company or in a different one. Becoming a manager takes a lot of work, but if you really want it and are determined enough to do the work and learn,  you will succeed. It means having a lot more responsibilities, but also more satisfaction when projects are done and results are visible.

Good luck and always follow your dreams, no matter what they are.

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