Climbing the ladder: Transitioning from manager to leader27 Feb 2015
Grinding away at the 9 to 5 and gradually getting up that cliche corporate ladder can happen naturally – if you’re willing to put in the time. However, once that position in middle-management is reached, a glass ceiling may present itself.
Garnering management skills through experience is one thing, but being a truly great leader is another entirely.
Here’s the advice to pay attention to if you want to make that very transition:
Aspire to inspire
Whether it’s through hard work or high staff turnover, management roles can be in your grasp even if you never really had the desire to occupy one.
The best leaders aspire to inspire those that work with them. Being determined and serious about the role is the first step in making it a success.
A management position will often be little more than performing as a glorified organiser. While it may not fall on you to make the teas and coffees, you’ll likely still be following the orders of those at the very top of the pyramid.
This can lead to instances where you’re doing nothing more than repeating instructions from others. Advanced leadership is about showing personality. Putting your own spin on assignments and tackling objectives in unique ways will not only make you better at the job, it will influence others to do similarly, as well.
Ask, don’t tell
The very best leaders are defined by the question’s they ask, whereas managers will be measured on the timeliness of the answers they provide.
Voicing concerns that others wouldn’t have and getting those under you to challenge expectations is part of being a great leader. Listening to any input carefully and best relaying it to both individuals and the organisation is also key.
In doing this, you can build relationships with each employee while also benefiting the wider interests of the business, something that management positions don’t allow for as freely.