The most important thing you can do when moving up into senior management

May 10, 2022

Nigel Girling

Head of Professional Qualifications

Moving into senior management to become a leader at the higher levels can be a surprisingly big transition – and one which catches a lot of people out. The temptation is to focus on the rewards of the promotion more than the challenges of the new position.

The skillset needed can be very different, the goals bigger, the objectives further ahead and usually more complicated, the influences more unpredictable and the stakeholders more numerous – and often more vocal and demanding.

Perhaps this is one significant reason that so many apparently capable people fail so spectacularly at that next level up.

The data shows that a high proportion of successful managers and leaders at lower levels quickly become very unsuccessful ones at that next level.

Why is this? Often, they simply aren’t prepared… or worse still they try to carry on doing the new job the way they did the old one – when it’s really a very different role and one where there is so much to learn.

So, if you are a “middle” manager wanting to move into senior management… what are you going to do about that?

Are you going to rely on your past track record to protect you?

Are you going to assume your natural abilities will be enough?

Are you going to try and wing it?

All of these have been shown to be very bad answers for a lot of leaders – leaving them to slide quickly back down that greasy pole they worked so hard to climb. There is however one very good answer, and that is to become professionally qualified at the next level – maybe before you even get there.

The Management and Leadership professional qualifications at Levels 5 & 6 are designed for exactly this purpose.
They prepare you for the more tactical and strategic thinking needed at that higher level and they give you the opportunity to grapple with some of the challenges you’ll face when you get there.

They give you the ideas, approaches and thinking of a leader at the higher levels and they get you ready for the big step up.

At IDG we enhance the programmes beyond simply achieving a qualification by assigning every participant a leadership mentor. The advice, feedback and guidance you’ll get from our executive mentors – who are all experienced leaders that have successfully made this transition earlier in their careers – will be invaluable and help you to learn from the mistakes of others.

Instead of having to make them yourself.

Learn more about our internationally-recognised Leadership and Management Professional Qualifications here.

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