If you ever want to be a manager... (...start investing here now.)

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If you ever want to be a manager

If you are eyeing the management track as a potential career path, you may wonder what you can do now to prepare yourself for future success as a manager.

Coming from a technical track like IT or software engineering, it’s tempting to think that developing deeper or broader technical skills is a good place to invest. Depending on your specific context, that might be true. But here’s an area that’s always worth investing in, even if it’s not immediately obvious.

Start now to build personal relationships with your team members, with other informal technical leads, and with the peers of your current boss.

As a formal manager, you’ll be responsible to speak to your team members officially on behalf of the company, and to speak to the company officially on behalf of your team members. Eventually, you’ll have difficult messages you have to deliver, and having positive personal relationships with your team members will make you that much more effective in communicating those messages.

Another responsibility of successful management is the ability to understand and honor the needs of departments other than your own. If you are one of several technical leaders moved into management in an organizational “unflattening” exercise, then having good personal relationships with those other technical leaders will be crucial. If, instead, you are moved up the organizational chart next to your current boss, then the relationships with your boss and their peers will be the ones that help you understand their departments.

So if you’re a respected informal IT or software engineering leader who’s considering a move into management, start now building positive personal relationships with your team members, other technical experts, and your boss’s peers.

If that feels daunting to you and you’d like some help, let’s talk. Visit https://stevedwire.com/connect for a complimentary conversation.

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