First, ask yourself, and answer honestly: Why you want to be a manager?
- I don’t want to be technical any more!
- I like technical work but I cannot excel, I want to be #1 and being technical is not the answers
- Bluntly! I am want a higher salary!
- I have thoughts, ideas and I believe I like dealing with people and I can get the best out of them
Bingo! this is the right answer! no need to list more. If your answer is anything but 4 stop here! you’re chasing mirage, you want to make it as a manager and most importantly as a leader.
To excel you need a people person. Don’t get me wrong! it doesn’t mean that you spend your time laughing and mingling with staff. No being a people person is to consistently care and respect their ideas, thoughts, effort, progress and contribution. It’s about getting their commitment to consistently push them out of their comfort zone.
Second, to be a good people person, you need to enrich your arsenal with the different approaches and techniques to convince employees that it’s always a win-win situation. If you’re a better person and more skilled that is good for you first, as well as the organization. Those techniques and approaches should be acquired by reading and sharpened by practice.
I highly recommend reading leadership, self-improvement and psychology books. The best books I read, and strongly recommend, are:
- Linchpin by Seth Godin
- Real Influence by Mark Goulston
- Just Listen by Mark Goulston
- Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (though you need to be very patient in the first view chapter. They illustrate the human mind anatomy!)
- Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Third, if you work with unprofessional or incompetent managers make sure not to catch up any bad habits! good manager always can keep a balance between getting job done and make employees happy. Imposing extra working hours as a result of bad planning, or committing to scope larger that the team capacity are all samples of bad habits.
Finally, strive to be a leader and management is a by-product! even if you’re not responsible of other staff members always take the lead, be proactive , respect colleagues, push them to do better, celebrate their achievements, strive for the collective progress and don’t work for the sake of salary but work for your self.