3 Smart Ways for New Managers to Climb the Corporate Ladder

3 Smart Ways for New Managers to Climb the Corporate Ladder
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How to Climb the Corporate Ladder as a New Manager
If you are like most new managers, you welcome your management position as the first of many rungs on the corporate ladder. Your hope is to prove your abilities in this role so that you are promoted to the next more responsible position and so on up the leadership ladder. What are the smart ways for new managers to climb the corporate ladder of success?

3 Smart Ways for New Managers to Climb the Corporate Ladder
Follow the tried and true advice of new manager training experts:

1. Know Thyself
Be sure that your personal strengths and weaknesses are consistent with what it takes to be a great manager and leader. Check in with colleagues, utilize a leadership 360 or conduct your own self-assessment by asking questions like: Do I typically…

  • Understand and support the overall company strategy?
  • Create a positive working environment for others?
  • Excel at attracting and retaining top talent?
  • Enjoy working with others?
  • Offer to coach others and receive positive feedback when I do?
  • Lead groups that I join?
  • Step up when there are difficult problems to solve?
  • Handle stress well?
  • Take a bigger picture view of issues?
  • Give credit to others when or where it is due?
  • Create and foster clear goals and roles?
  • Enjoy informing others about developments that may affect them?
  • Set personal examples for others to follow?
  • Keep commitments to others?
  • Challenge and continually improve processes and productivity?
  • Promote and utilize diverse viewpoints and styles?
  • Exemplify continuous learning and adaptation?
  • Behave authentically and with integrity?

We know the list is long.  Welcome to managing others!  “Yes” answers indicate that you have the basic qualities necessary and the motivation to become an effective manager. “No” answer highlight areas for improvement if you want new managers to climb the corporate ladder of success.

2. Be Eager to Learn and Develop Your Talents
The best managers are always open to new and challenging experiences that they can learn from. Seek out the advice of others on how you can improve and then act upon it. Experience will be your teacher…learn by doing, by observing and by working with others.

Give yourself the opportunity to reflect on inevitable missteps—what went wrong and how you could handle it better the next time. Be willing to work on yourself and hone your skills. The self-satisfied new manager will never advance very far.

3. Welcome New Leadership Challenges
Be ready to volunteer for tough jobs but be smart about which ones you choose to take on. You want to foster a reputation for someone who is confident (and able) to take on difficult assignments. You can learn much from stretch goals but beware of the risks.

Assess carefully what development opportunities the new position has to offer and how good a fit it is with who you are and what you want. Take on a job where your strengths are really needed but where your weaknesses will not create problems. In general, if you cannot show positive results within 6 months, the new job will not be one that moves you up the ladder. Look for another challenge that suits you and the organization better.

The Bottom Line
While there are some nuanced differences between being a manager and a leader, there are significant differences between being an individual contributor and a new manager of people. Individual contributors are responsible for their own success and development while managers are responsible for the collective success of others.   If you want to move up the ladder of success, know your strengths and weaknesses, be eager to learn, and proactively take on new challenges.

To learn more about how to be a successful new manager, download 5 Unnecessary Misperceptions that Slip Up Too Many New Managers

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