The Manager Effect

By Katie Corbett

 

I’ve often been told I’m a good leader. I’m adept at breaking projects down into manageable pieces, creating synergy amongst group members and providing the idea that sparks a project into action. If this describes you as well, you might wonder how to apply these skills in your career. I did, too.

 

Although I’ve never been in management in a formal capacity, I’ve had the thought, “I might be good at that.” I wanted objective proof. I wanted someone—other than my mom—to tell me I had what it took to make it in management. I discovered this first spark of hope when I read “The Everything Career Tests Book,” by Robin Holt. The tests in the book–while only self-assessments, which cannot take the place of real-world experience, knowledge of specific jobs, and other factors—served as a confidence-booster for me because they lent an outside source of validation to my internal musings. And yes, they had a test about managerial suitability.

 

When I took the test, my total score was 130 points out of 144. I scored highest in the areas the book called Vision and Motivation of Others. Vision is described as “ability to understand the big picture, the direction of the organization, and goals of the project.” Motivation of Others is described as the “ability to encourage and inspire employees to achieve goals and objectives.” I scored lowest in the areas of Communication and Self-Awareness. If I wanted, I could look back at the items with the lowest scores and work on self-improvement in these areas. I haven’t decided if I will do this yet, but who wouldn’t benefit from growth in communication skills and self-awareness?

 

I have since done research on what else it takes to be a manager of people and have decided that it’s not something I’m interested in pursuing right now. It often involves working long hours, having more work than can get done in a day, and talking with subordinates about difficult topics, such as the need for performance improvement. It’s encouraging to know, however, that I’m well on my way to developing managerial capabilities.

 

If you wonder if you have what it takes to manage people, grab this book and take the test to find out. You might be surprised by how suited you already are. Plus, learning about yourself is fun! You might discover you’re adept in skills you didn’t know would be useful beyond getting good grades or developing cooperation for group projects.

 

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