It’s certainly flattering – and who isn’t attracted to a higher paycheck?
But don’t accept the offer before considering how it would change your daily experience and whether you would truly enjoy the responsibilities and opportunities that come with the new role.
Would I rather do work myself or be responsible for others’ work?
Don’t think hard about this. Give the first response that comes to mind.
“This is the simple question that really sorts the world into two kinds of people,” said Marcus Buckingham, head of people and performance research at the ADP Research Institute and coauthor of “Nine Lies About Work.”
You can always develop management skills. (And employers should provide practical training for new managers.) But if your innate preference is to do your own projects with all the expertise building and solo time that entails, you’ll risk being unhappy in a management role.
In evaluating managers based on their team’s feedback and their own self-assessments, Leigh Steere, cofounder of research group Managing People Better LLC, has seen some people who should not be in the role because they’re happier working on their own.
“Deep down [managing] is not where their passion is,” Steere said. “They’re ignoring their people … to do their own projects.”
Do I get real satisfaction helping others succeed?
Have you ever thought you’d make a good coach and talent agent?
You’ll wear several hats as a manager. But coaching and championing your team members will do more to boost their engagement and loyalty than anything else.
That means helping them develop skills, giving them growth opportunities and having their backs when talking with your higher-ups.
“If you really enjoy managing, you have an innate love of investing in others,” said Jim Harter, chief workplace scientist at Gallup. “You can build long-term relationships and a [professional] reputation off of that.”
And much like a team coach, the best managers figure out how to motivate each employee and keep them engaged with a compelling mission and vision, according to Gallup’s research.
Can I handle different personalities and work styles?
If you have a seven-member team, that means you’ll be managing seven distinct personalities, each with their own work styles and quirks. You’ll need to figure out what they are and accommodate them if you want to get the best work from everyone.
“Everyone comes with their own stuff. Two people can come to the same answer by different paths. You have to respect that. If you’re a good manager, you look forward to that. You get the whole person,” Harter said.
How do I respond to pressure and disappointment?
Managers are under pressure to deliver excellence from their teams and to do so on deadline.
So Steere suggests considering how you’re most likely to respond when you’re under the gun and someone on your team messes up.
Will you lose your temper and shame that person? Or are you likely to keep your cool, realize it’s not the end of the world and figure out a workaround?
A good manager chooses the latter most often.
Am I willing to be seen as the bad guy?
All managers should be trained in how to offer feedback effectively. It’s not an innate skill, Steere said.
But you do need to bring courage to the table.
“The No. 1 task that managers shy away from is confronting poor performance,” she said. “They may be conflict avoidant. Some say ‘I’m not comfortable judging others.’ Or they want to be viewed as a nice manager. [But] it is not nice to withhold feedback from somebody that they need to learn and grow.”
Can I listen to my gut?
You’ll be faced with more decisions and more pressure to get things done as a manager. And it is helpful to be decisive.
But you also need to be self-aware enough to realize when you’re not ready to make a decision, said Janice Marturano, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Institute for Mindful Leadership and a former vice president at General Mills. And that means having to live with the ambiguity of not knowing what to do until you can make a call that feels right.
Who has inspired me the most and why?
Marturano always asks those in her workshops around the world to describe who in their own lives has been the most inspiring and influential.
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The most frequent responses describe someone who is kind, compassionate, respectful and humble. They have a sense of humor. They know how to communicate well. They’re present. And they’re visionary.
“Leadership is about influence,” Marturano said, regardless of your title or position in an org chart.
And the higher you go, the more potential influence you can have. That’s the opportunity that comes with your promotion.
Used well, your influence will get people to go the extra mile for you. And as a manager, that’s invaluable.