Successfully climbing the ladder to a managerial role takes dedication, persistence, and hard work. From there, the work only escalates, as a successful manager knows exactly how to communicate efficiently with their staff and sees great results because of it. The benefits of hard work include an increased salary, respect from peers, and pride in leading a team. If you see yourself in a higher position, here are the key steps you need to master the role.
Obtain a High-Quality Education
There are no expected qualifications when it comes to becoming a manager, but an education will put you far ahead of the crowd. A masters in leadership will teach you everything you need to know about communication, leadership, and organizational skills. When interviewing for a manager role, you want to show the person behind the desk that you are committed to excelling, and having qualifications will tell them right away that you are serious about the job.
You don’t have to travel out of state to find the best manager-focused degree, either – you can find online universities that teach masters in leadership. This means you can greatly improve your skillset in a flexible manner; you could even pursue your career alongside studying.
Gain a Range of Experience
Experience in other management roles will help you become the best manager you can be and join the ranks of masters in leadership, but that isn’t the only necessary experience. Working under other managers allows you to understand what it is like as part of the team, so you can understand what makes a manager good or difficult. If you experience what it’s like working under someone, you will be more likely to have empathy for your team once you become a manager, which will turn you into a better leader overall. Leading isn’t about shouting orders; it’s about guiding a team in the correct direction in an efficient manner.
Even if your only experience is working in a single shop or a fast-food restaurant, this will help you as you climb the rungs of the business ladder. The greatest masters in leadership are those that have a range of experience, and many even take a masters in leadership course to get there.
Develop a Deep Knowledge of the Field You Are In
Becoming a leader means you must have a decent amount of knowledge about the field that you’re in. If you’re working your way up in a career, then this will already be a given, as you’ll have gained the experience necessary to guide others. If you’re serious about being an excellent manager, however, there is always more research to do.
If you are entering a managerial role from the get-go, then you should do as much research as you can before your interview. You don’t want to walk through the door and find that you have no idea what the companies’ main goals are. Whether you’re becoming a leader in finance, law, education, or the military, you must give your brain a boost of knowledge by feeding it as much information about the field as you can.
A masters in leadership will give you an education about the fundamental aspects of being a leader, which is crucial, but you must expand your knowledge from there to suit the business itself.
Gain Excellent Communication Skills
It’s no secret that leadership roles require communication skills. It’s not as simple as speaking in succinct phrases and the ability to project your voice, however, as you must also know exactly how to speak to create a clear vision and gain trust from your team. Rather than just talking at the people who work for you, you should also inspire them through your words and make them want to be the best they can be.
If you want to learn the intricacies of excellent communication skills, a masters in leadership will teach you everything you need to know about communicating effectively to create a workplace that builds each other up each day.
Learn All About Technology
The world of business is ever-evolving. What might be ‘in’ today may be out tomorrow, and you never know what new piece of tech is going to come and take the market by storm. To avoid being side-swiped, it’s best to stay up to date in the technological world, and even more so if the business you work for centers on tech. As a manager, you must create a workday that runs smoothly and efficiently, and sometimes, that’ll mean including the technology you’ve never used before.
By doing an online degree in the form of a masters in leadership, you will gain the skills necessary to adapt to new ways of learning, so you can take any new piece of technology in your stride.
Learn Compassion for Your Team
Compassion is essential for any leader. Despite the word, a boss isn’t about bossing people around. Yes, managers have the ability to tell the team what to do, but it’s the way they do it that matters. This is why a masters in leadership is important, as it will teach you the subtle ways you can communicate and direct in a compassionate manner by using humane leadership strategies.
Think about the last boss you had. Were they compassionate and understanding, or hard-to-reach and irritable? The chances are, if they were the former, you had a much smoother working experience and, as such, performed better in your duties. By learning compassion, you build trust between yourself and your team, creating an open-door, reliable working environment.
Understand When to Train
Training is an important part of education, and on top of a masters in leadership, it will help you reach the goals you’ve always dreamed of. If you feel you are lacking in certain areas, it’s a wise idea to seek extra training. By doing this, you show commitment to your role while constantly growing as a leader.
Knowing when to train doesn’t just apply to yourself, either. As a manager, you should understand each member of the team you are leading right down to their talents and their weaknesses. By knowing this, you can delegate jobs accordingly and, if you need to, you can provide training for your staff. Giving your staff room to grow shows you appreciate their work and believe in them, which only strengthens your working relationship.
Create a Fantastic Resume
A resume is a crucial part of landing your first managerial role. Your goal is to provide employers with all the best parts of yourself, including:
- Your work experience
- Your education
- Your strengths
Many employers sift through hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of resumes for one single role, so it’s important that you stand out. One of the easiest ways to do this is to get a masters in leadership; by doing this, you show recruiters that you aren’t just clicking ‘apply’ because you are searching for a job, but that you are serious about leading a team. It shows dedication and intelligence, and they are two traits that employers will be looking for.
It’s not just about writing all the best bits about you, though. You need to make sure the resume is clearly formatted and doesn’t ramble on. Many employers generally prefer shorter, succinct resumes over convoluted ones, so don’t get tied by writing about how you helped out a sports team in high school. Pick out the key strengths you have and play them up. It also helps to tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for.
Build Strong Organization Skills
Organization skills are necessary for almost all careers, but especially those who want to be masters in leadership. You’re not only worrying about your own schedule, but you also have to manage everyone else’s work. This takes a lot of skill, and it’s not something that many people have naturally – you must work at it.
One of the most important steps in becoming well-organized is practice, and this can take years. It starts in school – showing up on time, bringing your books to class, and keeping up with deadlines. As you grow into an adult, organizational skills only become more necessary. A masters in leadership will help you gain the skills you need to succeed as a manager, showing you where to prioritize and how to delegate work appropriately.
Learn to Take Things in Stride
Being a manager isn’t always smooth. There will be days where nothing seems to get done, where everything seems against you, and even your team doesn’t seem to be on your side. Of course, the better the manager you are, the fewer these days will appear, but it’s normal for a workplace to experience a hectic day once in a while. There might even come a time when you manage an employee who simply doesn’t seem manageable, and it can become infuriating.
Those who are masters in leadership understand the importance of not taking anything to heart. Yes, you should deal with issues accordingly, but if anything feels personal, remember that it’s not. Your role as a leader might cause friction now and again, but that isn’t a reflection on you. All you can do is show compassion, know when to step in, and do the job at hand.
Learning to take things in stride isn’t an easy lesson, but it is essential if you want to thrive in a managerial role. A masters in leadership can help you master all the skills you need to become the greatest leader you can be.
Believe in Your Team
“The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work,” so said Agha Hasan Abedi.
A great manager is nothing without the team behind them. It takes courage to trust other people to do as good a job as you, but it’s crucial to creating a flowing workplace. If you want to succeed as a leader, believe in your team with everything you have. This starts with hiring the right people, which is another skill you must pick up along the way. Once you’ve completed your masters in leadership, you must then understand that no matter how brilliant you are in your role, you need to trust your staff to do it just as well, if not better.
Be a Brilliant Interviewee
Nailing an interview is part of the process of becoming a manager. To stand out, you must make sure the interviewers keep you in their minds. Remember the essentials when it comes to interviews:
- Plan what you will say
- Keep eye contact
- A strong handshake
- A confident manner
Be open, honest, and warm when interviewing. Show how passionate you are by talking about your education, your previous experiences, and how you think you would help the company. If you have a masters in leadership, that will give you an even bigger boost. Remember, you’re showing off the best of yourself, so don’t be afraid to be your own cheerleader.
Have a Genuine Drive
Above all, joining the masters in leadership takes a genuine drive. You can’t enter a high-up career and expect to pass without effort and commitment. Drive and motivation lead to hard work, which is critical for managers. As you are leading a team of people, you must show them how you want them to work by being motivated yourself.
A genuine drive comes from knowing where you want to end up. If you’ve successfully attained your masters in leadership and found a managerial role, then it shows you are committed to becoming an excellent manager. This means you are already on your way to mastering the art of leadership.
Becoming a master in a manager role isn’t an easy path. With all the effort, skills, and time required, it is enough to scare many people off. The benefits of becoming a successful manager outweigh the hardships; however, as masters in leadership find, they lead a brilliant work environment and have opportunities falling at their feet.
PMWorld 360 is a digital magazine focused solely on project management and directly aligned topics. PMWorld 360 is a digital project management and leadership magazine that provides business key decision makers with a 360-degree view of the management world from the perspective of trusted, certified project management professionals. We share best practices, opinions and advice, project management and related product reviews, new industry developments, resources and more to help busy decision makers and business professionals make the best possible decisions to meet their strategic objectives.