Are the usual things holding you back?
What are the usual things? They relate to these personal questions: do I have what it takes? Can I lead? Is my strongest suit strong enough?
The answer to all three is yes, but we often stumble over these questions. That’s ok. It means you are self-aware. If you don’t stumble over them, you may not have the humility to survive as a manager, let alone take the steps to make you one in the first place. Here’s five simple things you should do if you want to be a great manager.
Start the day with an action. We are saturated with advice to work “on” our business rather than “in” it. Yet nothing happens if one doesn’t follow the other. Find something that will take 15 minutes or less and do it. People notice when you take action. Virtually everyone I have promoted was a self-starter. Start getting noticed now.
Start your own think tank. Get together three or four like-minded colleagues or friends. Develop a mutually supportive brainstorming group. Thrash out new ideas with them. Take your problems to them and help them with theirs. It can be in the boardroom or over coffee or dinner. Get excited about your issues. There is massive career leverage in this process.
There will be people in your business environment who do some things much better than you. Celebrate them, encourage them, so that you don’t have to spend time on those things. Instead, look at the things you do really well. What are they? If you do what you do well, and do it often, and continue to take it to the next level, people will notice. How can you make your strengths integral to the success of the business? How can the business leverage off you?
Spend time forgetting about yourself. The best way to do that is help your team. The best bosses encourage others to excel. They worry less about their own stature and more about that of others. Their own stature will take care of itself. Helping your team climb a hill will put you nearer the top yourself.
This is not about arrogant statements of personal ability. It is about proposing strategies that you know you can deliver. Ask your think tank this: what is the best initiative I can take that will assist this business? It might be a simple action you can take tomorrow, or it might be a major project that will have a long-term impact. Regardless of its scale, it will be something that draws on your strengths. It will have the backing of your team and it will be something on which you can take real action.
Don’t hold back on this. Pick up the ball and run with it. Your strong suit will be strong enough, because that is what this initiative is based on. By taking action, you will be taking the lead. In doing so, both you and others will start to notice that you have what it takes.
You can find 52 ways to boost your management skills in my book, RECHARGE. Buy it online here.