004 How Do You Know You’re Ready for Management with guest Catherine Rice

Welcome to The New Leader Podcast. I’m your host, Ian Daley. Today we’re going to answer the question: How do you know you’re ready for management?

This episode is geared towards those who aspire to leadership roles but are not there yet, and are curious to know – how do you know when you’re ready for that first management role?

Today’s guest is Catherine Rice, a seasoned sales and marketing VP, who has a great wealth of experience and knowledge in this topic. She is a highly effective and motivational leader who inspires improvement at district, regional, and national levels by driving performance and change management through tenets of simplicity, focus, and competitiveness.

In this episode, we look at:

  • Catherine’s biggest failure and success as a leader
  • How to know you’re ready for management
  • Going from “I” to “We”
  • Being open to criticism, and a lot more.

I hope you enjoy this one.

Biggest Failure

As a people manager, it’s natural to want something for someone, but they don’t necessarily want that for themselves. You can see potential in them, and you try to push, and you try to get them there, there’s a lot of advice giving, but nothing’s happening because they’re not there yet. They may not have the self-awareness nor the desire to want what you potentially want for them.

If you ask me the reverse question, what some of my greatest successes were was helping people grow and develop and get those promotions. The failures were not recognizing when someone had the roadblock up and didn’t want it for themselves, or they just weren’t there ready to change, but I was pushing them to do it when they weren’t there yet.

It was really hard, and I had to learn not to get frustrated. I would resort into becoming too much of an advice giver –“You should do this. How about you try this?” versus “What is it you want, and how can I help you get there?”

From “I” to “We”

For me, the number one thing is, “Are they ready to make that transition from it’s all about me to it actually has absolutely nothing to do with me?”

That’s a key distinction if you’re going to be a strong people manager.

It’s tough, especially in sales when you have high performers. I’ve done a lot of reading in this area, and if you look at any group, those who tend to be promoted and put into management positions are the people who are super strong, key contributors, or individual contributors. These are your top sales people, your best physician, your best office worker. If they’re really good at their task, they tend to get promoted.

However, do they have the skills necessary to be a great people manager, and can they make that transition from “it’s all about me and my results” to “it actually is about the team and the team’s results”?

That’s a key distinction, and people have to have an awareness of that.

Being Open to Criticism

If you find yourself being open to people being critical of you, then you’re ready to become a people manager.

As a manager, it’s not just about you giving feedback – you’re going to get it yourself, and sometimes you don’t necessarily like what people have to say about you as a person.

You’re in a spotlight role as a people manager; you can’t hide. So you have to be open to that. And some people are, and some people aren’t.

Links and Resources

Connect with Catherine: LinkedIn

Visit their website: https://www.roche.com/

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier

Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott

Brené Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown