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Are You Ready to Manage?

Are You Ready to Manage?

Not everyone wants to lead or manage others. In fact, research reports that about 25% of the adult population has no aspirations whatsoever to move into a management or leadership role now, or at any point in their working life. Instead, these individuals prefer an individual contributor role in which they are happy to be managed by others or work independently. The other 75% of the population is either already managing others or aspire to do so at some point in their career.

Many managers are simply not ready to manage

Once appointed to a leadership role, many managers are unprepared to handle the new challenges presented by their role as a manager. In fact, many managers are simply not ready to manage very well and their general readiness to perform up to expectations in their role is questionable, at best.

There are others who eventually get hired into a managerial role but may have struggled to get there for years and end up in a role that is not ideal for them; they also may not be well prepared to manage and their relative readiness to perform effectively in such circumstances is questionable.

A common mistake

Assuming that they are willing and able to take on a managerial role, an extremely common mistake that many people make is to constantly see their future appointment as in the “gift” of another person (the hiring manager) or arising from fate (the “stars” aligning in the right way). In actual fact, the individual is much more in control of his or her future than he/she might think, and there is one thing in particular that can be done today by everyone who aspires to his or her first managerial role, or would like to get to that next rung of the ladder in order to optimize his or her chances of success or get that managerial job much more quickly.

So, what is this magic elixir to managerial success? It is simply to do everything possible to be “ready to manage” well before the right opportunity arises and/or before the person arrives at the employment interview.

Self-analysis and personal development

Being ready to manage is not a fixed path that every person can follow. Each individual journey should identify personal strengths and natural talents, as well as identify the person’s unique development needs that become apparent in anticipating the managerial performance factors of the future role. This self-analysis should then become a basis for a whole range of relevant learning experiences — reading, writing, finding a coach, going to training seminars, attending conferences, listening to podcasts, browsing the web, watching development videos and many others. In so doing, the person becomes more and more able to perform well at the managerial level well before he or she gets there. They consequently become “ready to manage” well ahead of time and are not only a more natural choice when the right job comes up, but can “hit the ground running” once appointed, and perhaps be more quickly ready for that promotion when it is available. This is a “win-win” for both the individual and the organization of which he/she is a part.

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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