Financial Literacy - Careers
Are you management material?

Get training and practice

People who are innately at ease in social settings may have an easier time with all the personal interaction and talking -- and listening -- required of managers, but the basic formula can be learned and, more importantly, practiced.

"It would be ideal if management candidates had a mentor that they could learn from. Most of the people that come to us, come for that very reason -- for formal training. These behaviors don't happen on their own," says Manny Avramidis, senior vice president for global human resources at the American Management Association.

Beyond working and learning settings, manager hopefuls can put themselves in situations to rehearse interpersonal skills and leadership behaviors.

For instance, an organization called Toastmasters helps neophytes and experts alike in honing their communication skills.

"Anything you can do to put yourself in a leadership mode. It could be church, a charity or a nonprofit. Anything you do to give yourself practice will be good for two reasons. It will help you develop your skills and help you determine if this is something that you really should be doing," says author and executive consultant Marshall Goldsmith.

Understand the big picture

Besides being good at schmoozing the bigwigs, which never hurts, employees looking to move up the ladder should show an interest in how the business works beyond their own little niche.

"In my experience, the folks who exhibit a curiosity about the industry, the company, the customer base and try to develop a sound understanding of how it all ties in usually have a significant advantage when it comes time to be promoted to manager or leader," says Manny Avramidis of the American Management Association.

Managerial traits
Employers look for these definitive qualities when assessing potential managers, according to Stuart Crandell, senior vice president and practice leader at Personnel Decisions International, or PDI, a human resources consulting firm.
  • Intellectual capacity -- problem solving ability.
  • Open to feedback.
  • Driven and motivated.
  • Level of personal maturity and air of confidence -- emotional resilience.
  • Interpersonal impact.
  • Organizational ability.

Knowing what your customers want, how the business works and the major players in the industry will help you land a higher level position and it will also help you do the job once you're there.



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