Don't just assume that you'll be a top-notch manager
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Managers often are portrayed as incompetent nincompoops or royal jerks who should be locked in their cars and never allowed to interact with human beings again.
But that's not the whole story, and most workers know it.
They watch their managers deal with the stress of their own bosses, motivating workers who don't care about their jobs and putting up with angry customers who call their mothers unflattering names.
Yeah, who wouldn't want that job?
Apparently, a lot of people. A recent OfficeTeam survey finds that 76 percent of workers say they are not interested in their manager's job.
But hold on. Being a manager can be rewarding and could be key to your garnering a better salary and more opportunities. And maybe, just maybe, you like the idea of leading people and helping them achieve their goals.
As the economy begins to improve, chances for promotions into the managerial ranks are expected to increase. So how do you best position yourself to move into leadership?
First, if your company has a leadership program, let the right people know you're interested. Talk to the appropriate human resources people and your boss to start the application process and see what steps you need to take to be considered.
But even if your company doesn't have a formal training program, that doesn't mean you should just rely on the powers that be to recognize your potential managerial greatness. You'll need to work to position yourself to be thought of a potential boss, says Daryl Pigat, branch manager for Robert Half International.
“What I always tell people is to do the job before you have the title,” Pigat says.
That means you show leadership abilities such as good communication skills, an ability to stay focused on getting things done and a desire to help others to succeed, he says.
“You want to let it be known that you're ambitious, but don't be cocky,” Pigat says.
He also suggests it's a good idea to find a more senior manager to serve as a mentor or to lead a project at work.
“Even if there aren't those leadership opportunities at work, you can always volunteer and perhaps run a fundraiser,” he says.
One of the biggest mistakes of workers considering a management job: “They often think it's easier than it is,” Pigat says.
Another big error: Assuming that just because you have top-notch skills in a certain area that you'll be a good manager. Having the latest technical skills, won't be enough when you have colleagues fighting like school children or the company tells you to lay off underperforming workers, he says.
“People often forget that managers have managers,” he says. “But you've always got to be a steady ship even if you're getting it from above and below.”
If you would like to develop skills that position you for management and ensure you won't become fodder for Dilbert cartoons, then try these exercises:
• Hone your communication skills. Consider Toastmaster's International or some public-speaking classes to help you project your message in a confident way.
You need to learn to learn skills such as persuasive speaking techniques and how to give talks confidently in front of groups of people.
• Join professional associations. Rubbing elbows with other managers at industry conferences or communicating with them via Twitter or LinkedIn are good ways to cast yourself in a more managerial light.
It's also a chance to develop a relationship with more seasoned professionals who can provide advice.
• Get necessary training. Some companies have specific requirements for managers, such as a college degree or certain certifications.
Check with the company about job requirements, and start putting in the time to get the required education or training.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Google challenges nonprofits on ideas to use Glass
- PNC’s CEO elected board chairman
- ‘Old GM’ defense expected in court fight over faulty ignition switch
- Corbett: Coal is working
- McDonald’s profit slips amid weak sales
- Tesla delivers 1st cars in China
- AT&T joins crowded field with online video plans
- Drugmakers ready to carve out deals any way they can
- Winning streak for stocks continues
- ATI takes 1st-quarter loss, but says outlook is good
- Consol Energy transitions as leadership changes hands