If your career looks anything like mine, you’ve spent more than your fair share of time watching other people around you get promoted while you stay put. It can feel sometimes like you’re stuck in career quicksand. And, If you’re like me, I’m willing to bet that you occasionally (often?) look around the table during company meetings and scratch your head at some of the people that seem to be rising up the corporate ladder ahead of you. Related: 7 Reasons Why You Lost That Promotion It hurts, I know. For smart, ambitious managers and aspiring executives, there is very little that's more painful than watching your peers jump ahead of you – especially when you’re sure they’re less talented than you are. To make matters worse, major promotions seem to be increasingly scarce these days as our organizational structures get flatter and flatter, which means you have fewer opportunities than ever to make big advances in your career. As managers, we too often fool ourselves into thinking the company will eventually recognize and reward our hard work and reliability, and as a result we adopt overly passive career strategies. We mistakenly assume that people are paying attention to our dependable work and value it enough to promote us. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality of the environment we work in. To actually get ahead in a company these days you need to actively differentiate yourself from your peers. You have to find creative ways to separate yourself from the pack that go well beyond the fundamentals of working hard and being reliable - you have to outplay them to win. Here are three of the most effective strategies for differentiating yourself at work. They aren’t predicated on intelligence or talent or hard work to be successful either. You don’t need a special degree to learn these tactics. You can implement them tomorrow. They worked for me, and I think they can work for you, too.
The successful business manager needs skills and talent.
Managerial skills can easily be developed as time passes through experience, mentoring, and training. However, when referring to natural talent, this is definitely something that cannot be obtained.
Productive companies will always invest a lot of money in developing and identifying truly effective managers. If this is the type of job that you are after, you should know that the following traits are necessary.
You Must Have Great Leadership Skills
This is one crucial attribute that so many managers actually lack these days.
Most companies will promote those employees that have great individual results. The problem is that a really good salesperson will rarely be a really good manager. The true leader will always be able to inspire trust, delegate responsibility, and provide direction. A manager won't be a "leader" if they cannot perfectly perform these three tasks.
While leadership skills can be gained in time, the innately talented manager will actually be able to gain all that he or she needs to be a true leader in a short period of time. This is something that is a lot more important than what many believe at the moment. Every single successful business manager out there is a leader who takes the team he or she manages and makes it work better, faster, and more effectively.
You Need To Have A Clear Communication Strategy
It is very important for the manager to have really strong communication skills. It is not enough to show that you appreciate your employees. You need to properly highlight what you want from them so that everything can go smoothly.
The effective manager has to be able to properly decipher, understand, and then relate the vision of the organization to the employees so that productivity is maintained. If communication is ineffective, employees will not understand what the manager tells them. This can lead to so many different problems in the future, and such a chain reaction can have a devastating effect on the profit of any company.
If you need help figuring out your communication style at work, take this FREE quiz. It helps you determine your communication style, and how you can use it to your advantage in the workplace.
You Must Have The Ability To Adapt
This is something that makes him/her really effective at the job. If the manager can adapt to the circumstances that are unexpected, the entire team will achieve more success in the future. This also means that a successful manager has the necessary creative thinking skills to find a new solution to any problem that may appear.
You Need To Focus On Developing Your Team
You cannot have employees that remain still when referring to the skills that they have. Any financial blog on the internet will tell you that an effective manager will make sure that employees improve and that they become better at the job that is done.
Developing other people basically involves cultivating talents and then motivating them to channel gained talents towards increasing productivity.
You Have To Build Relationships
It's a shame to see that there are still managers who do not understand the importance of networking. A manager needs to establish good relationships with potential clients and employees. Those employees who feel they are valued will always be more effective and will put in the extra effort that can bring in better results at the end of the day.
When building a relationship with an employee, it is really important that the manager showcases empathy and trust in the ability of the team. This is something that helps everyone enjoy working under the guidance of the specific team leader. Make sure that you know as much as possible about the employees—their strong points, and their weak points.
You Need To Constantly Develop Your Skills
The effective manager is the one who knows the problems that he or she has and constantly works on solving them. Career development is a huge part of career success in this job and in any other job. You need to develop in order to be able to lead employees.
If you remain at the same level, the entire team remains at the same level. That manager that continues to grow will eventually learn how to use the above-mentioned natural talents in order to make the team work flawlessly and even encourage the employees to do the same thing.
The manager who never develops is basically bound to eventually lag behind as he or she cannot adapt to the market. This and adaptability go hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other.
Try to improve as much as possible with every single project that you do and always be truthful to yourself about the flaws that you have. Work on them as soon as possible and your team members will see that you put in the effort to change.
It is so much harder to be an effective manager than we think. There is this belief that you can simply learn how to be a great leader in college. This is definitely not the case. Many of the really successful managers from around the world did not have formal training. You need to be sure that you constantly grow. That is, most likely, the most important trait to have if you want to be a great leader.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.