What’s the Best Way to Move Into a Leadership Role?

I currently work as a Research and Development Analyst for an insurance company, but I am desperate to move into a management role preferably within the industry or in another. So far I have persuaded my boss to put me in charge of handling compliance matters on an ad hoc basis, and he has reluctantly agreed to this. Besides this, how can I move into a management role? I have no formal management skills but hold a Masters degree in Business Management, where my thesis was on Managing Diversity. Should I do a short course or something? Thanks in advance.

The Team Doc Says…

Two things bother me about your message. First the you are “desperate to move into a management role” and that your boss “reluctantly agreed” to put you in a role you desired. These are not good signs.

I think you need to examine why you are so desperate to get into a management role. You can do that by evaluating what it is you think you will be getting from being in that type of role. Are you looking for power, status, more money … something else? Determine your motives before you move to the next step. You could use a leadership assessment to help you here.

To achieve success, it's important to have the support of your supervisor. Schedule a meeting to discuss why you want to be in a leadership role and how you can contribute to the success of the company by being in that role. Ask your supervisor what improvements you need to make before moving into a leadership role and set goals to achieve those improvements. You need to prove to your supervisor that you are competent for a management role by showing what you can do to enable the organization's success. (You might want to pick up a copy of my free goal setting guide.)

What do you think reader? Please leave a comment with your suggestions.

About Denise O'Berry

Denise O'Berry is President of The Small Business Edge Corp, a small business consulting firm. A small business owner since 1996, Denise understands the challenges facing small business. She's lived them herself and helped hundreds of clients work through the frustrations, fears, and joys of owning a small business. Denise is the author of Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business a Financial Success, a practical guide about keeping the cash in your business - where it belongs. Find more resources and tips at deniseoberry.com and askteamdoc.com