At A4 Scotland, we always follow the ethos “act as if, and you will be”. Okay, let me break this down into relevant terms- If you act as if you were a manager (therefore if you demonstrate the positive traits of an individual holding a management position), you will eventually find yourself holding that very role. It is so important that, if you’re aiming for a leadership role within your company or even just in general, you utilise your own skills and attributes effectively to prove to the people around you that you definitely have what it takes to do the job and more importantly, do it well. The A4 Scotland Management Team have put together some ideas for me to share – which is great – because I think a lot of people know exactly which position they want but they’re not always entirely sure of how to get there.
Here are some ideas you can implement today to develop your own manager’s mentality…
FOCUS ON NOW
It’s always important to think big if you want to succeed, but no matter how big your ambitions, don’t let them distract you from being the best that you can be in your current position. It’s definitely best practice to focus on now, rather than the future, because that is the first step to getting ahead of the game.
GRAB OPPORTUNITIES WITH BOTH HANDS
Be the first to raise your hand! Show off your ‘let me take that on’ attitude – it shows that you’re not afraid of hard work or responsibility. These sort of gestures will make you shine in the eyes of a senior management team because it sends the signal that you aspire to leadership potential.
Please take this at face value and be confident – not arrogant! There is a very fine line between being ambitious and being too big for your boots, so be sure not to cross it. Although it’s good to display leadership or managerial attributes, certainly don’t take it upon yourself to exert authority if you don’t have it. Always show appropriate modesty in your role and people will respect you for it.
A lot of people live by the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, but I disagree. I personally think it’s more “it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you”. You should treat every single situation and interaction as a unique opportunity to demonstrate the value, skills and personal traits you bring to your company. It’s always worth proving your potential and networking is key.
By that, I mean find role models. I know a lot of people are motivated in a lot of different ways, but it’s always good to have someone to look up to. Don’t choose a celebrity with a career path that is meaningless to you though, look for people who have the roles you want and physically study what they do – how they communicate, how they’ve succeeded, how they act, how they lead, how they dress. Ask yourself – what makes them successful?