It can be tough to know how to make the transition from employee to manager. Even if there's a clear path ahead within your company — which isn't a guarantee — it's not always obvious what will make your boss realize you're ready to take that next step.
According to bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, simply saying you'd like to advance isn't enough. You need to show your manager that you're already capable of the new responsibilities, and that you understand the role a manager needs to play.
"Show that you're ready to manage people not just for your own sake," Welch says, "but for the sake of the team, and you're on your way."
Here are four ways to show your boss you're ready to manage others:
First, you'll need to meet and exceed expectations in your current role.
"You need a rock-solid record of achievement," Welch says. "The 'bigs' above you want to make sure you've made every team you've been on better with your behaviors."
Ask yourself a few questions, such as, "Do I work well with others?" "Do I find solutions to problems and take initiative?" "Do I inspire other people?"
If so, you're in a good position. If you're not sure, start making collaboration more of a priority.
Managers have to follow through on their own long-term projects as well as oversee assignments from their direct reports. If you want to become a manager, it's important you show that you're diligent.
According to Welch, the people above you in your company "want proof you're not in love with the sound of your own voice," but that instead, you "love" delivering results.
If you're organized and on top of assignments, your manager will take note. If not, make some personal adjustments, such as setting calendar deadlines and keeping a to-do list.
Also, to something and still be seen as a team player.
"This doesn't mean you must be liked to be promoted," Welch says. "It certainly doesn't hurt, but what helps even more is if you're respected."
Whether it's your skills, maturity or way of inspiring others, "your colleagues should take you seriously," Welch says.
Producing great work and working well with others will help you gain respect, and how you present yourself matters, too.
"To become a manager," Welch says, "you have to show you're an adult and that you have your life and career in order."
Ditch the of arriving late and dressing unprofessionally. Make sure you know how to send a succinct email. Company leaders want managers who are competent and in control.
"Bosses know there is no worse manager than a person, even a very talented person, who's a personal wreck," she says.
Being a manager isn't always glamorous. And people above you in the chain of command want someone who won't shy away from the less-than-fun parts of the job.
"Once you start managing people, you become part of 'the system,'" Welch says. "You have to hire people, write performance reviews, settle employee disagreements and occasionally let people go."
That means working with HR, managing paperwork and other administrative tasks.
You need to show that you're someone who "can and will do that dance — without resistance or exasperation."
To show that you're up for that challenge, make sure you know how to communicate well with others and that you're willing to see company processes through to the end.
"When you think about it, all four of these traits are about the same thing," Welch says. "You've proved you're ready to manage people when you've shown that you know work is not all about you."
Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker.
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