So you’ve worked your way up to management through a combination of drive, determination, and a lot of hard work. Congratulations. But you don’t just want to stop there, do you? Chances are you would like to keep learning and developing your skills as a leader.
Here are some tips on kick-starting your career and climbing to the next level of management success:
- Get advice from the top. Always be on the lookout for successful individuals, either in your company or in a similiar industry, whose judgement you respect; establishing personal relationships with such mentors is essential to your professional growth. Ask them for their honest advice on what you need to do to be successful in your career plan. Chances are they will be flattered to be asked and eager to dispense words of wisdom. Listen carefully.
- Step up and get involved. The best way to raise your visibility within the company and expand your horizons may be to step outside the confines of your specific position and become involved in other projects, ideally projects that involve many departments. This exposes you to other people in the organization and allows you to flex your leadership muscles. But make sure that your authentic interest in the project shines through, and that being noticed and appreciated is a secondary benefit.
- Build your credibility. Most people want to work with somebody they trust and respect. To become that person, you need to build positive, trusting relationships with others in your company. Communicate clearly and effectively with your coworkers and listen carefully when others speak. Be sure to follow through on your promises. Be careful not to play favorites and avoid taking sides. It is easier to influence others if they respect you as a person.
- Remember those below you. Developing your subordinates becomes a testament to your own leadership skills. Part of the measure of your success is how you are able to help those under you identify and nurture the latent capabilities inside themselves. If everyone in your department has a desire to grow, you will be more likely to accomplish the goals you’ve set out for yourself and for the team.
- Speak up. Charisma is an art that can be learned. Developing your social and public speaking skills can help you to succeed. Anyone can volunteer to speak to service clubs and civic organizations. These opportunities will help you hone your oratory skills and become a better public speaker.
- Variety is vital. In order to be successful, you need to stretch your wings and try different job assignments, projects, and development processes. In so doing, you learn to become more flexible and willing to step away from that which is easy and certain of success, to take on new challenges.