Moving into a managerial position requires more than just a hard-skills. It takes more than that, and to tell a person whether they are or aren’t qualified for managerial position isn’t as simple as taking a few tests, such as the written and driving tests you must pass to qualify to drive a vehicle.
If you’re interested in moving into a management role, here are 7 signs that tell you that you are a natural born leader:
- You achieve consistently positive results in your current job. If you can’t complete outstanding work in your current job, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to handle the additional responsibilities that come with managing others. You must prove you are organized, self-motivated, and ready to take on higher-level challenges.
- You have established positive work relationships with employees throughout the company. Being a good people manager means you must be good with – people. I look to see if the person has cultivated trustworthy relationships with other employees, especially those in different departments.
- You can demonstrate successful leadership of project teams with multiple participants. Most employees aren’t given a manager title with people management responsibilities unless they can prove they are ready. One way to do this is to volunteer or take on roles leading project teams with at least three or more members.
- You handle conflict well and are able to analyze most angles of a situation before reacting. One attribute in being a good people manager is being able to handle conflict proactively. This requires the ability to remain levelheaded and uncover all the information necessary to analyze the various angles of a situation before you react.
- You are a good teacher/mentor/coach. Being a good people manager means you’ll need to be a good teacher, because you’ll be coaching and mentoring others EVERY day. If you can’t demonstrate that you have these characteristics necessary for people management, it’s doubtful you’ll be given a job as a manager: excellent written and verbal communication, active listening skills, patience, empathy, ability to motivate others, ability to be specific, trustworthy, collaborative, value others, value diversity, and confident (but not arrogant).
- Your coworkers respect you and come to you for advice. There is a big difference between being “liked” and being “respected.” You can like someone’s picture on Facebook, like a coworker because they bring great muffins to work on Friday mornings, or like another employee because they tell great jokes while you’re all waiting for meetings to begin. Being respected runs deeper than being liked. As a manager, there will be times you’ll have to make decisions based on what’s the right thing to do versus what is politically correct – and not everyone will like your decisions. Being liked is superficial, whereas respect is something you earn. It means people recognize your expertise, your knowledge, influence, trustworthiness, and most importantly, your character and integrity.
- You are viewed by management as a leader. To determine if someone is ready for people management responsibilities, I also look at how management views the person. Have they been identified as a high potential employee? Do they have a career development plan and can show progress on accomplishing their goals? Do they ask for challenging projects and tasks? Do they attend training sessions each year? Do they actively solicit constructive criticism and take feedback well? Are they strategic (able to define a vision and the steps necessary to achieve it)?