5 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Manager

Posted on June 4, 2012.

I never wanted to be a manager. But when my boss asked me to step into the role, it was hard to say no. After much early stumbling, it worked out for me, but there should have been a way to pre-determine if it was a good fit. So before taking the leap to management, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I content to see one of my peers succeed or get recognized?  Or am I seething in jealousy and spouting off about the unfairness of it all. Being okay with other’s accomplishments will be a way of life when you manage others.  In fact, deflecting credit and recognizing the work of your team is what being a great manager is all about.
  2.  Do I need regular feedback? When you’re an employee, you probably get at least some feedback on your performance.  And if you work for a half decent boss, you have regular conversations about your work. But when you’re elevated to management, especially in a large company, you may go months without even speaking with your boss. 
  3. Do I need to my decisions validated? You may have the best idea in the world but if you always have to run it by someone, you’ll be in trouble as a manager.  Have the power of your conviction and be willing to assume the consequences of your actions. Besides, since as noted in #2 above, you won’t see your own boss enough to get the validation you seek.
  4. Am I organized? Or does my desk look like a tsunami just hit? If you miss deadlines, are late for appointments or can’t find what you need quickly, you have an organization problem. And if you can’t keep track of yourself, how can you possible keep track of a whole team of other people? When you move into a management role, the demands grow exponentially. Without a system in place, you will fail.
  5. Do I avoid conflict?  If you’re the type that can’t even tell your friends or loved ones the truth, you can’t possibly deliver feedback to co-workers and employees.  And your ability to actually fire someone is out of the question. Unfortunately, conflict avoidance is a trait too many managers today possess. How often have you seen bad employees get transferred from one department to another?

Management may seem like the next step in your career, but before you make the leap, be honest about yourself and if you can't answer "yes" to these questions, you may want to rethink your career path. There’s a reason that 1 in 3 workers think their boss is terrible. They never should have had the job in the first place.

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