Moving up – How to make that upward shift into a senior management role a little easier

Making the move into senior management may generate fresh challenges and place new responsibilities on your shoulders. Preparation and a willingness to learn new skills will help you adapt and contribute successfully in your new role.

We’ve compiled a few tips to help make that transition a little smoother.

Are there any courses you can go on?

Ask your company for support in terms of coaching, mentoring or training, so that you can develop the skills required to perform your role effectively.  Don’t feel you are showing weakness in asking for this – quite the opposite – it will show you are taking your new challenges seriously and are looking at long term actions in order to perform at your best.

Don’t forget your people skills

People skills are essential for anyone wishing to succeed in a managerial role. Your capacity to really listen combined with your ability to deliver a point or message in a positive way is an essential trait.

Think outside the box

You’ve probably already shown you can think outside the box, as this is one of many skills required to stand out from your business peers, but don’t lose confidence in yourself now you are working with senior and executive level colleagues who may have been working at this level for considerably longer than yourself.  Your ability to solve problems and think laterally will always stand in your favour.

Know what you want and what’s expected of you

Moving into a senior management role will see you faced with a greater level of challenges on a daily basis. It’s essential you understand your company’s immediate and long term work priorities. You also need to clearly communicate your specific and measurable goals to your new team.

Delegation does not mean losing control

Delegation is key to a successful transition into any senior management role. You may have been the very best at what you once did, but now someone else needs to take up that role and you need to empower and inspire them to do just that. Effective delegating is about using your experience to guide others, dictating the ‘what’ (outcome) and ‘why’ (purpose) but allowing people to choose the ‘how’ (method) for themselves.

Learn to lead

Moving into a senior management means you have become a leader within your company.  You will be expected to communicate a vision of success, enabling your team to do their best work and inspiring others to achieve their potential. To be an effective leader, learn how to incorporate leadership skills into your management style so that you can successfully grow and develop the people you manage.

Tearing Your Hair Out! How to Manage a Challenging Employee

Dealing effectively with a staff member who has a tendency to go off and do their own thing, even after strategies and roles have been discussed in detail at your most recent meeting, can be frustrating at best and infuriating at its worst.  Most often than not, this type of behaviour is not malicious, no matter how much it feels like your plans are being sabotaged.  Understanding how to manage your employee can help avert a building up of tension and bad feeling.

These 3 simple tips can help you deal with the matter effectively, without causing bad feeling or creating a difficult atmosphere in the work environment.

Feedback. Explain to your employee what you’re seeing and experiencing. Describe the impact of their behaviour on you, in an open, non accusatory manner and provide suggestions for how they might change.

Focus. Your team or department need to get the work done despite your challenging staff member, so don’t waste time wishing they would change. Concentrate on completing the work instead, bringing in other employees who you know you can more readily rely on to stick to the task in hand.

Commitment. At the end of a meeting ask everyone to reiterate what they are going to do and by when. Sometimes peer pressure can keep even the most passive-aggressive person on task and this way you can also legitimately ensure they did not simply ‘misunderstand’ what was expected of them.

 

How to Fast Track Your Way to the Top

Many would argue that you simply can’t fast track your way to the top, and to reach the peak of your career takes time and hard work – which we don’t dispute.  However, these tips, collated with information from an article in Forbes can help you reach that little further, and a little bit faster, than colleagues who may not be implementing these techniques.

Make a plan.

In order to achieve your full potential, you need a plan – a blueprint of some form for your long-term career plan, focusing on what you ultimately want to achieve, as well as the interim steps you will need to implement in order to get you there.

Remember the old adage; ‘The best laid plans…’ and be prepared to make adjustments as you go along, but always keep your ultimate goal clear in your mind.

Get an education.

Although we are all familiar with multi millionaire entrepreneurs who tell us in their autobiographies how they left school at 15, but, had their own company at 21, these are the very rare and unique exceptions to the rule.  A good education is the foundation for your career.  Don’t underestimate that. However, if you are not academically minded, this does not mean you must gain numerous degrees or be deemed a failure from the start.  A good education is about going as far as you can with your abilities before departing from formal education and reaching out to other areas in order to gain the experience you need.

Network.

Networking can open doors for you that may otherwise be firmly shut. The more people you know, and who know you, and like you, the better. Its all about connections and networking helps you make those connections

Work hard.

This is one area you simply can’t fast track.  Work hard, work harder than the rest.  Put in the hours and then some more.

Treat everything with urgency and volunteer for high-visibility projects. Always seek to contribute more, and be known as the go-to person or the get-it-done person. There is no replacement for hard work.

Work beyond your current responsibilities

Don’t let yourself be limited by what you are officially assigned to do; work beyond achievements that are obvious or expected.  Stand out from your colleagues.

Develop an “I will do whatever it takes to get the job done” attitude.

Equalise your work attitude and your work aptitude. Most people work hard, but if you’re the one with the ‘can-do’ attitude, your managers will certainly recognize and appreciate it.

Become a resource.

Continue building your own skill and knowledge outside the job.  Keep growing your expert status and credibility in your field, not just within your company.

Become an industry expert.  Read, study, follow industry leaders on social media outlets, and attend industry conferences. Seek out mentors; those you respect and are motivated and inspired by. This helps you grow beyond your job to know the industry and others in it. These relationships can open up tremendous possibilities for mentoring and advancement.

Dress for success.

Don’t look at how your peers are dressed; look at how the top executives are dressed. Dress for the position you want, not the one you have.

Think and act a level above.

Just as you need to dress for success, you need to act at least one level up as well. However, don’t lose sight of your current responsibilities.

Get to know your company and your boss.

Understand the company’s values and your boss’s priorities, and align your efforts with their goals and objectives.

Keep an on-going success file.

Record and file all of your achievements, especially those that align with broader company priorities.  Find ways to keep your boss and others informed of these achievements so you are recognized increasingly as someone leading company success beyond your own responsibilities.  This list is especially helpful at annual review time when you need to stand out from your peers.  Having a measurable and quantifiable record of your achievements will help you in your promotion aspirations.

Be a team player.

Managers look very carefully at how employees work with the rest of the department and other departments.  Being seen as a team player and someone who can work well with others, will help you in your career.

Express Appreciation

Everyone likes to be appreciated and by showing your appreciation to a senior level manager or CEO, you are showing that you actually take notice of any mentoring or advice they have given you, as an individual or even if the mentoring is done as a weekly/monthly department meeting.  It shows you are taking everything on-board and are keen to improve both your own abilities, but also those of your department.