Are you ready for your upcoming promotion? Many times, we end up in managerial or leadership level roles when we are not ready and thus, fail. A career expert will warn you against this jump. He or she will always advise you before planning on moving up the corporate ladder, to start prepping for the senior role. Here is why.
You are not born with leadership skills or managerial skills, these are always learnt. When you become a manager or leader, it stops being just about you, as your progress is determined by the progress of your team. So you need to be able to cultivate their skills, encourage them, divide work, negotiate, manage conflicts, and more. All of this requires experience so simply taking a managerial or leadership role without polishing the necessary skills will only lead to failure. In this article, we share five tips that will increase your chances of a successful career upward transition.
How to prep for that manager or leader position?
Poise yourself for a successful upward career transition by following these five tips:
- Become Self Aware: Every career expert will let you know how important it is for you to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. You need to be aware of what are your best moves, where you lack, how you communicate or negotiate, how open are you to feedback or criticism, what satisfies you, what are the qualities that you seek in team members, etc. It is important that you become self-aware of your abilities and inabilities so that you can work on them accordingly. The more self-aware you are, the more you can improve. Keep a track of successful accomplishments and even failures and also seek feedback from co-workers, peers, and senior management for an unbiased and outside evaluation.
- Manage Time Effectively: As a leader or manager, the amount of workload you deal with will always make you feel that you do not have enough time. To ensure that you deliver on time, you need to be able to manage and control your time effectively. There are many simple ways by which you can do so – prioritise work, colour code tasks, manage paperwork, etc. The best ways to save on crucial time is by handling one task at a time, establishing priorities, eliminating menial tasks, maintaining online calendars, learning how to effectively delegate, being flexible, and creating checklists.
- Work on Communication Skills: To be a good manager or leader, you need to be able to communicate effectively. You would need these skills to inspire, motivate, and build trust among your team members. As a leader, you have to hone your communication skills not just to effectively communicate internally, but also externally. You will be in charge of negotiating and promoting your organisation’s brand to your consumers, business associates, and clients. A good leader is also a good listener and observer. Why will this be important? To build trust, convince your teammates about the pursuit of the organisation’s goals, and inspire a culture that is open and positive. If a leader is not a good communicator, the work culture will never be conducive to progress.
- Learn to Make Good Decisions: When the time comes for you to make a decision, you will have to take that call. As a leader, you will be the guiding light for your team and hence, you need to be able to make strong decisions and abide by them. The number of intricate and complicated situations you will engage on a daily basis will not make it easy for you to make decisions. But by identifying critical elements, evaluating your options, seeing ahead by anticipating outcomes, navigating uncertainty, and doing a proper analysis of the options will help you in taking the right decision. This will enable you to overcome confusing situations and bring about clarity in projects.
- Be a Great Delegator: As addressed the time management point, a leader needs to hone his delegation skills as well. You have to transition from a doer to a leader, wherein you have to learn how to divide tasks in a manner that is most effective. No matter how much is the workload, for the success of the organisation, it should never stop. You cannot do everything alone. This is exactly why, you need to allocate tasks such that there is no holdup.
So if you are planning on taking a leadership role, prepare yourself for the role by working on the above five tips. Alternatively, you can visit a career expert to learn more about what skills can make you a better manager or leader.