If you are a manager within a company, you have already achieved success within your career. That doesn’t mean you should end your climb there, however, as there are plenty of senior roles for you to reach for. If you have a passion to become an executive, then you must first prove yourself, and here are the ways you can do just that.
Make Sure it Is for You
Before you throw yourself into the challenge of becoming an executive leader, first you should ensure that it is the correct path for you. While you might thrive as a manager, it doesn’t mean you will prosper higher up the ladder. The role of a manager and executive are different, and both require separate skill sets.
Ambition should come from more than just a higher pay-check. Research what being an executive entails before you strive for it. Talk to co-workers, read books, and have a look at job descriptions. If you still think it’s the ideal role for you after you’ve done that, then you go for it.
There is a reason executives garner the respect of those around them, and part of that reason is that they are intelligent individuals. To learn the pivotal skills you’ll need to succeed, you should first get an education.
Becoming an executive isn’t a race; it is a long path that requires both experience and knowledge. Most people in senior roles hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and a masters. If you are serious about standing out, online DBA programs allow you to acquire your doctorate in business administration, which will give you the key skills you need to thrive in an executive role. With the course being online, it will be easier to fit it around your work.
Fill Up on Experience
The more years you spend as a manager, the better qualified you are. Don’t expect to leap straight into a senior role after just a year as a manager – it takes time. By learning as much as you can while you are a manager, you will gain valuable skills that will assist you when you eventually progress.
Build Strong Relationships
Build a strong network of influential and successful people. You can do this within the organization and out of it. The more people you know, the more you are likely to learn, and when you are prepared to climb the ladder, you’ll have a list of people to recommend you.
Learn to Lead
Leadership isn’t a skill many people are born with. As a manager, you will already have a few of the traits required to be a great leader, but there is still more to learn. Excellent leadership requires the ability to inspire, listen, and understand. It’s more than just managing – it’s directing people in the right direction.
Expand Your Vision
As a manager, you are used to dealing with a long list of problems and solving them accordingly. As an executive, you will have a more ‘all-round’ perspective of the organization, making decisions based on the company as a whole. To do this efficiently, you must adapt your vision and learn how to manage through a new lens.
Maintain an Excellent Reputation
There is no point in striving for an executive role if you are not going to put 100 percent into your manager position. Every day you enter work, make sure you give it everything you have. Whenever there is an opportunity to volunteer for a task, then take it. If you’re offered a chance to go on a work trip, say yes. Putting yourself out there will show your co-workers that you are enthusiastic about the job and take it seriously.
The better reputation you have at work, the more likely you are to get promoted. If you are consistently over-performing and putting in extra effort, it will get recognized, and people will think of you first when looking to promote someone.
Build Communication Skills
To be a manager, you must already have great communication skills, but there is always room for more growth. It goes past being clear in speech; you must also be a good presenter. Your words must inspire, motivate, and empower the people around you.
Already being in a manager role is the perfect opportunity for growing your communication skills. Each day you can work on motivating your employees toward doing the best job they can. Try out different styles and see which ones people respond to well, and take some inspiration from the people who lead you.
Find a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Just because you are working toward a higher role doesn’t mean you should overwork. Working too hard and ignoring the needs of your personal life will only cause you to stress, which will negatively impact your work performance. Instead, aim to strike a perfect balance, putting in a sufficient amount of effort into your job, but allowing for time to yourself once you get home.
Ask for Feedback
Sometimes people don’t know how they are doing until they are told. The chances are the people you work with, especially those who lead you, will be more than happy to give you pointers on your work performance. It’s never a bad idea to ask for honest feedback – knowing where to improve is what helps people grow.
When you become an executive, you will need to be able to take everything on the shoulder, so don’t take criticism to heart; view it as valuable information helping you to succeed.
Believe in Your Abilities
Those in senior roles don’t have time to question whether or not they’re good enough. If you want to make it, then you must have confidence in yourself. People around you will be able to tell if you are unsure, and if you aren’t sure of yourself, why should they be? Learn to exude confidence and you’ll find that you start believing it. After all, you got to where you are based on your abilities, so trust that your talent can take you even further.