I was asked today by an employee what they need to do to become a future manager and what can they do in their current role to help them into a future leadership role. After some careful thought, here was my response:
Do your current job really well. Maintain strong follow-through skills – always do what you say you will. Stay organized and make daily and weekly lists of what you need and want to accomplish – and keep them in check. Be a master at conducting meetings. Setup an agenda and only lead a meetings on subjects you know best, and learn the topics you’re not yet comfortable with.
Remain calm no matter what pressures arise. Be a self-starter. Work independently, but also work well with others. Find solutions, not problems. Help others do their best by giving good advice and always listening intently. Be a people person – easy going, but not a push-over.
Understand how the business works. Know the inputs and outputs of workflow. In your role, understand where and why issues arise, how it gets to you and then where it goes when you pass it on. Understand the customer experience and put yourself in their shoes, and those of the team members you work with. Have you given them everything they need to succeed? Also, understand what you and your team are accountable for and how it’s measured and then help the team achieve those goals.
Finally, anything you can do to help your bosses look good is a major bonus and will make you go far. Maybe the focus should be put on the other points first, however.
Director of Operations – Technical Support Services