A lot of people at a manager level wonder how to transcend what often feels like a glass ceiling between the role they have and the leadership role they want to move into. There are some specific skills that managers can start developing now and tactics to employ to lay solid groundwork toward making an upwardly mobile move, and here are a few of our suggestions on how to get there.
If you’ve just been promoted or want to be, get yourself out in front of decision makers at the top of your organization so they see your value and trust your insight. This can mean attending and participating in more C-level meetings, providing expertise and insight to your leadership on how you’re handling your projects and department, and gaining visibility and stature in your industry by sitting on panels and conferences and authoring white papers.
One of the hardest skills for fantastic managers to transition into is changing the point of view from being a top-notch specialist to being a great generalist. So often newly-minted leadership struggle with their new responsibility of “steering the ship” and continue to micro-manage the parts of the business they have an expertise in, since it is familiar to them. Recognizing that you’ll need to be a generalist with a solid grip on a lot of business functions and trust your managers to handle the exacting details is something to be prepared for when moving up the ladder.
Most people in positions of power have sought advice on how to get there from leaders they have admired. Don’t be afraid to tell people that transitioning from manager to leader is something you are looking to do in your career. And then don’t be afraid to seek out a mentor to help you find the right path to get there.
Making the move from senior management to executive level can be a big change, so take the time to plan your path and ask for help along the way. Good luck!
Image courtesy of Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net.