Meet Sarah.

Sarah was recently promoted to a sales management role.

She was successful in her previous role as a sales rep.

She helped clients, met targets, got along with her peers, and was a respected employee.

Sarah and her manager assumed the obvious career advancement for her was to be a sales manager. 

Being good at sales, meeting targets and getting along with people doesn’t guarantee a successful management career. There are a number of skills that can be transferred to the role of manager and others that need to be learnt and continuously developed.

A good manager removes obstacles so that their team members can achieve their goals.

A good manager will ensure the best work processes are in place so that their team can achieve their own and business goals.

A good manager will make inquiries, connect team members with the relevant people, use reporting figures to motivate, they will make things happen so that individual team members, the team as a whole and business goals are achieved.

The same person, at different times, will be required to lead through the power of influence. This involves forming a connection with team members, being authentic, inspiring others and create an enabling culture. To do this (and more), it’s important to understand your own strengths and vulnerabilities and have a framework in place for your own professional development.

A team needs an individual who is a manager and leader, and for someone who is new in an executive role it’s imperative they understand the difference between the two and what is expected.

For Sarah to be equally as successful in her new role she will need to define what success looks like, have support from her superior, and access to tools and resources to get the job done. Relying on past successes, luck and a winning smile will only get you so far.