Do you feel destined for the big time? Have middle-management written all over you? Or perhaps just want your underlings to lovingly refer to you as Mr. Manager? If so, you might be ready for management, or a leadership position in your company or organization.
While we all take the occassional shot at our leaders or managers — just look at the way we discuss our political leaders, or many CEOs and business leaders, for example — it takes considerable effort to make it to the top of a big organization. Often, we only think of our bosses or superiors as incompetent buffoons or narcissists who were born to make our lives a living hell. But it’s important to realize that they’re there for a reason, and in most cases, they’ve worked very hard and demonstrated that they are capable of handling the responsibilities of a management role.
Perhaps you feel that you are too? The question is, how can you tell that you’re ready for management or a leadership position?
There are some sure-fire signs: you can do your job with incredible ease, for example. Or, maybe you’ve already assumed a role as a leader, and now want a better title and salary to go along with it? It’s never really a bad time to fight for more recognition and compensation, but you want to be sure you’re ready for more responsibility before gunning for the top.
Here are five signs you’re destined for management.
1. You demonstrate management and leadership skills
As previously mentioned, perhaps you’ve already assumed the role as a natural leader in your company. Your co-workers respect and like you, and you’re able to take charge when things need to get done. You step up and volunteer for tough assignments, and aren’t afraid to engage directly with managers and company leadership. This shows that you’re one of them — and are ready to take the next step up the company ladder.
2. You take ownership
When you start thinking in different terms — as in, “mine” becomes “ours,” for example — it’s a sign that you’re invested in your company or organization, and ready to take the next step. If you actually feel that your success is, in turn, a success for your team or company, then you’re starting to think like a manager. You take responsibility for your co-workers or subordinates and make it your personal mission to make sure they succeed.
3. You crush expectations
This probably should be step number one on the ladder to management: You need to make sure you’re not only accomplishing the tasks that are set out for you (whatever those may be), but that you’re crushing expectations. Whether you’re an account executive or a dishwasher, you should strive to be the best there is, and always look for ways to improve, make your process more efficient, and lift your equals up along with you. Take charge, but start with your immediate responsibilities.
4. You’re proactive
A manager or leader sees problems coming down the pipe before they arrive, and takes the necessary steps to curb the impacts. Being proactive can mean any number of things — be it showing up early to prepare for a big meeting, or trying out new software programs that can help save your team time and money. The point is, you’re starting to think like a chess player: three moves ahead. You see the big picture and are planning well in advance of encroaching problems.
5. You foster respect
We’ve touched on this a couple of times, but one of the most important things a manager or leader can do is to foster respect between employees. That means that you not only respect those who you work with (including those under you), but that they respect you, and listen to and take you seriously. It’s also about finding common ground and making sure your employees respect each other, and are able to accomplish their tasks efficiently.
Find a way to create a respectful work culture, and you’ll be well on your way to the C-suite in no time.