How to become management material

Everyone knows that the careers that make the most money are generally in management. When you lead a team, head up a department or run a company, you end up with a larger salary. This is because you have to work hard in order to get into these types of positions and once you have the job, you need to work even harder. In addition to this, you also need to have a number of skills, the most important being leadership skills.

But how do you climb that corporate ladder and ensure that you end up in a management position? Well, first you have to become management material. Here is how you can do just that.

Volunteer to help your colleagues when they are overworked

Working well in a team is definitely important if you want to learn how to be management material and be seen as management material. If you find that a colleague is overworked or needs help on a certain task, volunteer to give them the assistance they need. And once you have made that offer, you need to follow-through and do the job well. For example, if a colleague needs to attend a client meeting in Pretoria for work on a specific project and therefore doesn’t have time to complete their necessary admin tasks, you could do it for them. Of course, don’t just go ahead and start completing your coworker’s tasks without asking. It may seem like a good deed, however, they may think you’re suggesting they can’t do the work themselves.

Develop your communication skills

From the moment you get your first junior-level job in Pretoria to the moment you’re promoted to a more senior position in Cape Town, you need to constantly be developing your communication skills. Communication skills are essential when it comes to being management material. Having good communication skills means that you are able to listen to people and understand where they are coming from and respond in such a way that your meaning is clear without being abrupt. Being able to converse in a direct yet pleasant manner in which both parties walk away with the right information and understanding is not the full extent of communication skills. Being able to actively listen and respond with empathy will help you resolve conflicts between those working under you.

Mentor a junior employee

You don’t have to be in a management position in order to mentor a more junior team member or colleague. You simply need to be able and willing to put in the time and effort to help an inexperienced employee find their feet in the workplace. However, if you do decide to mentor someone, it is important that you are doing it first and foremost to help them and not only to show off to your superiors. People who are truly management material will want to help younger and less experienced colleagues for the betterment of the company and that particular individual.

Take initiative whenever you can

Don’t waste valuable working hours simply sitting at your desk waiting for instructions from someone above you. Actively request new work when you have finished a task. And if your workload is unusually light, use that time you come up with ideas and processes that could benefit your department or even the business as a whole. Once you have developed a great idea, you can then present it to your manager. Even if they are not a fan of the idea itself or maybe they want to work on a different way to execute your idea, they will nonetheless be impressed at the initiative you’ve shown.

Becoming management material isn’t easy, but for the right kind of person, it will be very rewarding. Just always make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and not just because you want a higher salary or to work in the Pretoria head office.


Jun 11, 2018 | Vuk’uzenzele

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