“Give me a management role, so that I can check it off my requirements-list for promotion”, is a common statement that can be heard explicitly or implicitly by people heading for their first career level with management function. Or you hear something like “I hope, I get the promotion soon, so that I get people that I can delegate to.”
Both versions display an understanding that career involves something with ‘managing people’ but it lacks a vision of why this position should be acquired. Managing people usually is attached to earning more money, getting a new title and a change in the daily tasks. But if these topics become the major driver for the wish of promotion, chances are high that the next generation that needs to work with that type of management will be quite frustrated and leave – because nobody wants to be the staircase for somebody else’s ego.
So for those who want to lead people or who are in a leadership position, answer this question: Why should people work for you?
Why should they do a night shift for your topics? Why should they deliver good quality? What should they be in good mood in your meetings?
If you can answer that question from the perspective of your team, you will find people following you easily and happily. And that will influence your career, too. It will be visible that you are the right person to hand out tasks to. Your bosses / project leads / clients will know that people like working with and for you. And that has an effect on your promotion.
For sure, you can also use ‘lying’ and ‘bullying’ people as management tools to manifest your superiority. From what I have seen in business so far, that strategy is successful to some extent. People will work hard for you – but as soon as they see their chances, they will leave or backstab you. They will talk bad behind your back, won’t support you in years to come and even celebrate silently once your luck turns.
So, it’s up to you what you want to build with your career. To work and lead with a perspective of ‘why should people work for me today’ has a long lasting effect. It builds your network, opens chances in years to come that you cannot predict. But it requires discipline. You need to put your ego and inner scream of “I, ME, MINE” promotion aside and rather focus on how you can serve your team for them to create better results and become better in their jobs – maybe even better than you. These people and that network will influence your career stronger than anything you can build yourself as an egocentric lonesome rider.
Why should people work for you today?