There is no definitive test available that can tell whether or not someone is ready to make the move into management. Certain steps can be taken to help make the transition as smooth as possible, but no amount of management training is a substitute for the real thing.
All types of people become managers and while some are very good at it, plenty of others are not. Prospective managers do not have to fit a particular profile, but it can help if the person has certain attributes.
Someone considered to be management material will have confidence in himself and his abilities. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, however, and know-it-alls do not fit the bill. After all, a manager has to be willing to continue to learn and improve.
Most of the best managers have a presence about them. A manager has to be a leader and people are more likely to follow a charismatic leader than a firebrand or a bore. Leadership skills can be taught, of course, but it is not possible to teach someone how to have a presence that commands respect.
As a manager relies so heavily on the trust of others, it is vital that he is honest and straightforward. It is just as important that every member of his team feels included in the business, so management roles are not best suited to those who exclude others because they lack certain attributes.
Management types tend to be at least a little extrovert. Being a live wire does help, as management is no place for shrinking violets. Remember that the job is – in a nutshell – a people skill, so those not too keen on people would be better looking elsewhere.
Think Outside the Box
The ability to think outside the box can be a great asset for a manager, as is a willingness to try new things even though not all of them will pay off. On the one hand, managers have to be consistent and dependable, able to make plans, draw up schedules and work towards them. On the other hand, managers cannot be stubborn and should be able to think on their feet, changing plans quickly if necessary.
A good manager should be happy to accept input from others, but still be the one to make the decisions. Every business will go about the training and development of its managers in a different way and much of what a manager needs to know can be gleaned from management training, as management has as much to do with learning new skills as it does intrinsic ability.
Anyone who boasts all the characteristics and skills on this list is surely destined for a leadership role and should sign up quickly for their company’s management training and development programme. Those left lacking should not feel too despondent. After all, there are no rules set in stone to say what does and does not make someone a good manager and anyway, many of the skills a manager needs can be taught.