Today, I was working with a great group of employees who have aspirations of moving into management. We discussed a ton but I wanted to share with you a couple of my key takeaways (and hopefully, theirs too).
This group is a little unique in that they are government employees. Because they are government employees, I should explain that the promotional system is very different than you’d see in the private sector. Mainly, that promotions are based primarily on skills testing and secondarily on leadership aptitude – (the opposite of what you might find in private companies).
Here are 3 key areas we discussed that people need to understand when trying to move into management. Unfortunately, the Dwight Schrutes of the world seem to always miss them.
1. You’d better be in it for the right reasons. (Hint: prestige, power & money aren’t the right answer) In our system, there is a very limited financial gain for moving into management. Most people in the class said they wanted to move into management because they wanted to bring change and make a difference.
2. Money and power don’t change you; they make you more of what you are. Ever met a rich person who was mean? No! you met a mean person who was rich. There’s a difference. Money and position/power is simply a tool. You can use that tool for good or for your own self interests.
Any organization desperately needs people who will think in terms of how a decision impacts the organization rather than how it will benefit them personally.
3. The same level of thinking that got you here won’t get you there.You have to think like a manager before you become one. You know those people (hopefully this isn’t us) who always thinks that managers are idiots? Managers forgot where they came from? Managers just don’t get it?
Now, think. Who determines if you get a promotion? Why would the management group want to bring you into their group and let you lead others when you always talk about how bad they are? Yeah, didn’t think so.
It looks to me like these folks have a ton of potential. Just imagine if all of our managers operated on these premises?!?!
What would you add? What else should a new manager be thinking about?