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The road to leadership – these seven tips can help


Many job starters do not want to remain in the role of the “lowly employee” for the rest of their lives, but dream of a promotion to the executive suite. However, it is often not yet clear to them how this career leap can be realized. In fact, just a few good tips can pave their way to a management position.

1. keep your goal in mind

If you want to sit in the boss’s chair at some point, you should first be clear about your wishes and dreams. This requires a concrete analysis of your current position and your plans for the future. If it becomes clear that a career in the executive suite – and not as an assistant – is the goal, the important questions come into play. What skills do you need for this? It is clear to most that qualities such as strong communication skills, social competence and the ability to work in a team are in demand. What many do not know: In addition to good preparation, it is the right attitude that can make a career as a manager possible.

2. illuminate your own motivation

The right attitude plays a decisive role – but what does that mean exactly? First of all, it can be useful here to ask yourself why you want to work in a management position. The reasons can already reflect what one can expect from the later job. However, if you want to be in a boss position because of more money, more power and a fancy company car, you are wrong in this role. While financial aspects can influence a job decision, they should not come first.

If a career in management is to be crowned with success, one needs a completely different motivation. For example, one would like to

  • realize innovative ideas and achieve new goals together with your team,
  • drive the development of the company through one’s own commitment,
  • support employees in their professional development, or
  • represent the company and its values to the outside world.

The desire for more freedom to shape one’s own working environment can also be a good reason to climb the career ladder.

Tip: It makes sense not only to name this motivation to yourself, but also to communicate it to superiors or the HR department. If no one knows that you want to take on a leadership role, no career leap will develop. However, one should not be disappointed if a position in the executive suite does not immediately become available in the company or if one still has to work on oneself.

3. lay a good foundation with an MBA degree

The abbreviation MBA stands for “Master of Business Administration”. This is a course of study to which one can devote oneself after the first academic degree. It is designed in a generalist way, so that no special knowledge for a specific field is imparted here. Instead, the focus is on the entire range of business administration abbreviated as BWL. The question for whom the MBA is suitable is easy to answer: for career changers and career enhancers.

This means that those who are looking for a new job, for example in business, or who would like to reach the executive level in their current company, can benefit from it. By the way, there are now also MBA programs that can be taken without a first degree, provided you have sufficient work experience.

4 Know the value of your own work

On the way to a management position, a number of hurdles – including other work positions – have to be overcome. If you want to sit in the boss’s chair at some point, you usually start your career somewhere further down the line. But even in this work, one should look for meaning instead of resenting the supposedly “low” position. Otherwise, you will quickly lose motivation and your career leap will become a distant prospect.

If one sees one’s own work as meaningless, the question naturally arises: Does this have to be? Do you have to torture yourself through an unpleasant job in order to perhaps move up in the company at some point? The answer here should be a clear no. It is better to change jobs in order to improve the quality of life. After all, if one’s work is perceived as meaningless or boring, frustration, anger and a psychological strain can set in.

5. consider a change of location

If you are planning a career in the executive suite, sooner or later you should think about the possibility of relocating. If a new executive is not being sought in one’s own company, one can look elsewhere for vacancies. You should also look abroad. You can look for new challenges in the entire German-speaking area. You can find a wide variety of vacancies in South Tyrol here.

6. assess your own abilities realistically

One of the most important qualities for future managers is self-reflection. In every situation, one should realistically assess one’s own abilities, strengths and weaknesses. If you overestimate yourself and think you can do too much, you can quickly fall down the career ladder. Even on the way up, you should therefore consider whether and when you are at all capable of taking on the tasks of your superior. Would you be able to step right into his role, withstand the pressure and cope with the demands?

If there is no answer to these questions, this is usually a sign to wait and work on oneself. However, it can be difficult to perceive and honestly admit one’s own mistakes and weaknesses. In order to be able to realistically reflect on one’s own personality, feedback from

  • superiors,
  • colleagues,
  • friends or
  • partner

can do no harm. For example, you can ask the people around you which skills you already have for a leadership role and which are still lacking. If you want honest answers, you should not react to possible constructive criticism in an offended manner. Because the ability to take criticism and the commitment to respond to it also make a good leader.

7. accept the help of others

Once you’ve made it and gotten the promotion you’ve been longing for, a whole new set of challenges can arise. Even in the executive suite, no master has fallen from the sky. If it is difficult to find one’s way in the new position, one can fall back on the support of a mentor. For this, you should look for a person with whom you can have an honest exchange. If this is not possible within the company, you should expand your own network.

  • Figure 1: © RoyalAnwar CCO Public Domain
  • Figure 2: © bertholdbrodersen CCO Public Domain

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