By María Alejandra Sequeira Madrigal – Student of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Based on Hill (2003), for many years numerous data have been collected about what makes up great managers, however, just in the past few years, researchers started to analyze how people become managers in the first place. Becoming a manager requires constant effort to develop one´s personal and interpersonal abilities. This journey from being a normal employee to becoming a manager is a long transformational process that generates personal growth, but also requires the evolution and development of a new professional identity.
To become a manager, a person should first focus in becoming a great leader. Hill (2003) states that, “in the twenty-first century, new managers must be prepared to cope with complexity and change” (p. xii). Complexity requires managerial skills whether change advocates for leadership skills. When you become a manager everything changes; your obligations, people´s expectations from you, your own expectations, your objectives, etc. This generates a great work complexity that managers must deal with every day. Nevertheless, sometimes this causes managers to forget about a very important part of their responsibilities: leading change. To become a manager, you must know how to efficiently guide change and be ready to cope with all the externalities that come with it. Managers are the kind of people that don’t conform with the status quo, but rather create a vision of a better future and lead the transformations necessary to achieve that vision and growth. Managers must be able to constantly innovate to keep their companies at the forefront.
“Don´t act like the job you have, act like the job you aspire to have.” Gallo (2013) explains that “the key is to take on opportunities now, regardless of your tenue or role.” Opportunities appear every day for you to show your potential and develop your leadership and managerial skills, no matter your organizational level. Actively participate, present your initiatives and perspectives, make yourself be notice by your peers and superiors and stand out. These are the best ways to take advantage of opportunities and prove your potential. Additionally, it is also imperative to considerate the importance of building a network. If you want to be successful, you must surround yourself by successful people. As Gallo (2013) says, “look for people who have the roles you want and study what they do, how they act, communicate, and dress”. Similarly, create relationships with your peers and superiors and, like Maignan Wilkins exposes, “treat every situation as an opportunity to demonstrate the value you bring to the organization and your knowledge of the business.” (Gallo, 2013). This will help you spread influence across the organization and will produce people to start thinking of you like a potential candidate for managerial positions.
The journey into becoming a manager is long, especially if you want to be a great manager. The preparation to ascend as a manager doesn’t start the day you are given the job, instead, the sooner you start showing your potential and interest in contributing to the development of your company, the sooner will people notice you and consider you for greater responsibilities. In short, work hard since day one, don´t fall into conformism and fully commit with your company by constantly innovating and making it outstand. Challenge yourself to become that person you want to be, and you will see how all that effort will pay off at the short and long run.