There’s no right time to step into a management role. We often think that this role is reserved for those with a certain level of experience, knack for people, or astute technical capability. However, some of the best managers that I’ve worked with range in age, personality type, education level, and many other trivial factors.
If you are considering becoming a new manager, ask yourself these three questions.
1. Do I really need to hire someone?
When I pose this question to my coaching clients, often times I get an emphatic “YES.”
“Of course I need to hire someone, look at how busy I am!”
Sound familiar? 🙂
Yes, everyone is slammed with deadlines, but take a step back to reflect on all the tasks you want to unload. Are they all items on your to-do list that you need to do but don’t really want to do? If your answer is a reluctant “maybe,” you may want to reconsider your hiring plans.
Closely review your open tasks at the moment and rank their level of importance. You may be surprised to learn that you don’t really need a new team member after all — just some time to organize your goals and re-prioritize.
If you feel the hiring need is still relevant, next ask yourself…
2. Would I want this role?
We are in a new age of working and no one simply wants to work for a paycheck. People now want to work with purpose and feel valued from day one. Would you be able to provide this experience for your new team member?
It starts with you being considerate of the type of work you delegate to them. New hires can quickly differentiate sexy work from the work that no one wants to do. By taking the time to explain the importance of each task and giving them freedom to be creative, you will create a circle of trust and safety.
Of course there will be some administrative work for all roles, but do not make this their main priority. Better yet, continue to own some of it yourself and work together to get them done as a team.
If you can ensure the work you provide is impactful, strategic, and challenging, you are ready to answer the third question…
3. Do I want to be a great manager?
As the old saying goes:
Leaders are made, not born.
But wanting to be a great manager is the first step towards leadership. We often glamorize the role of managers, but let’s face it — it’s tough work. In addition to your regular tasks and schedule, you are now taking on more responsibility for the betterment of the team. While many may think that it’s the managers receiving the most support from their team members, the opposite is usually true. In fact, the one thing that all great managers do is GIVE more than they receive.
They give their team members:
Feedback that is difficult to voice out but necessary for their development
Emotional support when personal matters come into play
Autonomy and trust to flex their muscles
Stretch opportunities to grow their other competencies
Differing points of view to expand their thinking
Encouragement after disappointing results
Their time when they don’t have any for themselves
And more and more and more
At a certain point, management becomes less about you and more about the team members under your care. When you are able to make that mindset shift and focus more on them, that’s when you start to become a leader.
Keep in mind, none of this happens overnight. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself time to grow into a great manager.
Now that you have read through this all, my final question for you is — are you up for the challenge?