So let’s say you’re eyeing a certain role. You’re not quite there yet, but you want to be bumped up to a managerial position. These are the things that you have to keep in mind.
The first thing that you should know before you step into any management role and your higher-ups or your leaders will expect this of you is you have to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses as an individual.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. We cannot be the jack of all trades. I sincerely believe that. For example, for myself, I know my strength is pragmatism. I make decisions very quickly and I’m also a very dominant person, which means I usually take command of a situation and I usually set the direction and tone for my team.
Now, some of my weaknesses are empathy, for example. I’m very weak at empathy. In fact, for a lot of people, I cannot really feel how other people feel. This is a weak area of mine, which means it is very good for me to be aware that some people might be feeling uncomfortable, might be feeling down.
And I have to make sure to ask some of my team members or some of my Execom, “Hey, is this person okay because I couldn’t read how this person feels?” or “Hey, did I say something that might have hurt some people in the team because I’m not really aware of that?”
So if you’re aware of your strengths and weaknesses as an individual, this helps you as you step into a management or leadership role because you can now serve your team better.
Because, for your weaknesses, you’re going to want to have some people around you to help you be more aware of them and how they may manifest at work. Having these people around you can help you reduce that blind spot they give you so that you are able to serve your teammates better.
As for your strengths, you have to be aware of them too. This will help you center your priorities, your agendas, and your efforts on your strengths. And these strengths zones are also important because this is where you get the most fulfillment and joy out of your work.
Weaknesses, in comparison, are usually where you feel the most tired when you do them at work.
So, I suggest focusing on your strengths, while making sure you have the right people around you to keep an eye on or even address your weaknesses.
One of the things that can help you do this is by checking out one of our episodes about personality tests. That’s going to help you assess now who you are, how you are, what your strengths are, and what your weaknesses could be by taking those tests, free tests online, just click the link.
My next piece of advice for you is if you want to step into a managerial role, then find someone to guide you. Get mentors. Get advisors. They always are going to be helping you out and make sure you practice the things that you learn from them.
I cannot stress how much value I’ve gotten from my mentors and coaches. The value that I’ve gotten from advisors or colleagues in the industry, or even other entrepreneurs who gave me advice.
I ask them, “Hey, how do you do this? How do you get around this? Or how do you overcome this obstacle?” And my growth as an entrepreneur and consequently, my organization’s growth—because I’m the CEO—has been phenomenal. All because of the mentors, coaches, advisors, and friends that I’ve looked to for guidance.
And, make sure that when you get a mentor you also provide value to them.
So I have mentors around me who also get value from me because I support their digital marketing. I give them advice when it comes to these areas that they’re not that familiar with.
This is a two-way exchange, and I believe that this is actually the best kind of mentorship that you can build.
Next, if you want to step into a managerial role, you have to improve your communication skills.
We have an episode about that where I talk extensively about how you can improve your communication skills and how it will help you grow yourself and your team. You just have to click the link for that video. Check it out.
But why is this so important? It’s because communication is necessary for any relationship to grow.
Imagine if you’re in a relationship, husband, and wife relationship, and only one of them speaks all the time. That’s not a good picture of a good marriage.
Consequently, if you step into a managerial role, you don’t want to be a talking head where it’s just always you speaking, directing, and commanding, and you’re not listening to feedback and people don’t feel like they can give you their thoughts. That’s not going to be a healthy relationship.
When you’re managing a team, the team has to work together. It has to be a two-way street where you communicate and you listen. Let them speak.
In fact, I could argue that as a manager or a leader, your role is mostly to listen to them because you already know the solutions in your head. But there might be some things that you haven’t considered before making that decision.
And it is critical for you to listen to everyone else’s opinion, especially because they’re the ones running the show on the ground. This is also vital because it pours over to how you now delegate.
When you’re a manager, people don’t expect you to do a lot of grassroots work. That’s why they’re paying you now as a manager because you now need to lead people who will be doing the work and executing on the ground level.
How can you do that if you don’t delegate? So you have to learn how to delegate. And we also have another episode about delegation where I talk about how to delegate properly. I talk extensively about delegation there and I give a lot of examples, stories, and analogies. You might want to check that out.
There is a wrong way to delegate and there is a right way to delegate if you want to know what the right way is. Check that video out.
My next point—and I could argue this is the most crucial point—is you have to study the role and what it entails before you step into it. What I mean by studying the role is there might be someone who is already in that managerial position right now.
What does winning look like for that person or that position? What is expected of you by your upper management? What is going to be expected by you, by the team that you will lead? How can you keep them accountable? How can you make sure they hit their KPIs?
If you yourself don’t know their KPIs and don’t know your KPIs, do your homework. Make sure you study what it will take out of you so that you can put your best effort into it.
I cannot stress enough how many people who are bumped into a managerial or leadership role did not do their homework or were not given a proper briefing. And what happens is it becomes a disaster because you are now leading a team and you guys are running around like headless chickens.
It becomes a disaster for the entire organization. So before stepping into a leadership or managerial role, make sure everything is clear-cut for you. And it is in your power and in your responsibility to learn and study what that role will entail.
Coupled with that, I suggest while you’re studying what that role will entail, you practice some of those things already even if you are not yet there. You’re not yet given the title or the position, but you’re volunteering for the things that the position or the title requires.
That is a big deal and that will expedite you being given that role. If your leader, or your manager, boss, or supervisor sees that you are practicing some of the traits and attributes that they’re looking for for that managerial role, that is a huge plus for you and that’s going to expedite you getting that role that you desire.
The next one and this one is going to serve you perpetually, whether you’re looking at a managerial role, a leadership role, starting your own business, or whatever other practice that you might want to get into, this next suggestion is critical. Always be learning.
Always be learning. Be an eternal student. Keep studying. Keep reading books. Keep listening to podcasts. Keep watching YouTube videos and reading up on self-help posts that will add value to you, like what you’re doing right now.
Keep learning because you can only give what you have—you cannot give what you don’t have. Learning is the best way to keep filling yourself with new things and add to the value you can give to both yourself and others.
So that’s my handful of points for you in helping you transition into a managerial role. I hope that helps you out.