Even my close friends didn’t seem as happy for me as I expected. I was the first within our group to gain a senior management post. I don’t remember any of use saying we had ambitions to be a director or chief executive when we were training, it would have seem ridiculous, arrogant and hypocritical . We were after all very critical of senior management considering them as a group out of touch with reality, distant and apparently unwilling to share their thinking behind changes which we knew had no chance of working. We slipped into management, after all we now had the experience. Often the prompt was the departure of our line manager. Not that we thought we should apply for the post but not long after the new appointment took up the post we started looking around.
It turns out that there are two types of managers those who are ambitious and those who are not. Note I am not saying effective and ineffective, inspirational or dull and conservative just that some become comfortable retaining a close link to the front line where as others are very ambitious, whether or not they admit it. Their career doesn’t just happen they plan it. They don’t just have an eye on the next job but the one after that. They identify the experience, skill, and knowledge they will need for that future post and that determines what job they will apply for next. Of course things rarely go to plan and sometimes a sideways move is necessary in order to move forward in the future and at some stage there will be a major set back. Very ambitious people have bounce back ability they don’t always get the jobs they apply for but the disappointment doesn’t last long, their remedy is to identify another vacancy. They take the opportunity of feedback to have an upbeat chat with the head hunters who are always looking for ambitious would be directors and chief executives to add to their interview long lists.
Just because an individual really wants to be a senior manager doesn’t mean they will be appointed to a director or chief executive post. However I have noticed that directors and chief executives don’t suffer much self doubt. As a director once said to me, “ if you can’t convince yourself you can do the job then your not going to convince the interview panel”.
Blair Mcpherson former director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk