Taking a leadership role needs careful consideration

Are you ready for management or leadership? Take a long hard look before you jump.


The next step in your career is promotion; possibly to a team leader role, or manager, or maybe as an associate director. Whatever the role you have been told it will involve managing people.


This is where you stop and take a long hard look at what you want to do.


Talk to anyone who has made this step and they will tell you that managing people is totally different to whatever it was they were doing previously.


Managing projects can give a pretty good taste of what it is like to manage people, but it is still not quite the same.


Here are some of the observations managers have made to me about the realities of managing people:


1. I am constantly surprised by what my team throws at me.


2. It is very rewarding when you get it right but hideous when you don’t.


3. They are always expecting something from me, always.


4. Dealing with my team’s personal problems was something I had not thought of.


5. When my team does something well it is a great feeling.


6. Delegating tasks is a new skill I have had to learn which was at first very difficult.


7. They are always watching me.


8. Whatever I do, they take it as being an indication that the behaviour is ok, so I’ve got to watch everything I do!


9. Just because I have told them does not mean they have heard. I have discovered I need to tell them three times.


10. There is nothing better than to see one of your team grow and achieve their objectives.


These are just some of the comments. The point is that before taking on a managerial or leadership role it is worth considering if this is really the career path you want.


There are opportunities in many organisations to follow the technical specialist route. This is where you make progress based on your knowledge and experience but not in a people management role.


Don’t get me wrong, managing people can be fantastic and very rewarding, it is just that we need to make the choice carefully after proper consideration of what the role entails and what we will be required to do.

Are you ready for management or leadership? Take a long hard look before you jump.