You Want to Be in Management?

Not everyone can be the manager

People tend to think that the natural progression of a corporate job is management. It’s almost a perfect formula: start at the bottom, put in 5 to 10 years, become a manager. And if you have extraordinary ability, move up into a VP, Director, or C-level role.

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In speaking with candidates, the current mindset seems to be that they are ready for management, or rather, they deserve management. Not everyone can be Manager, and not everyone has the chops to effectively do it.

Motivating Factors

The ideal manager is somebody that has an innate tendency towards leadership, and through their sheer attraction and willpower, can convince others to follow them. Others are inspired to take action on their behalf. There are only a handful of leaders in world history who fully achieved this ideal (Napoleon, Caesar, Washington) . In a corporation, these are the types of people you notice right away that are destined for leadership. There’s an aura about them that exudes confidence and influence.

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Believing that it is your turn, or that you put in enough time at the company as a qualifier for leadership, is pervasive. It does make sense from a strictly “promote the most senior colleague” point of view, but it might not be the most effective. After all, those that have been there the longest likely know the business the best, the rationale goes.

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Now, the worst reason people become managers is that some people just don’t want to grind anymore. If you are in sales, you don’t want to knock on doors or make cold calls. It’s not necessarily negative to want out of that daily struggle, but moving into management to avoid it doesn’t seem like a noble cause. It’s a harsh way to look at it, but we’ve all worked long enough to know this is a reality that can’t be denied.

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Interviewing managers

Here are some questions to ask potential managers:

  • Why do you want to be in management?
  • What are the skills that qualify you for management?
  • What is your management style?
  • In your mind, who exemplifies great leadership?
  • Will you step in for an underling and do a “low-level” task?
  • What is your day-to-day plan for personal and professional growth?

Using these questions, you should be able to get a good sense of whether this person is destined for leadership, or if they are hoping for management to “get out of the trenches.” The goal here is to find out if a potential managers has genuine intentions towards leadership.

P.S. You can use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to assess potential managers. The science behind Type and leadership has been proven out.

To chat more about MBTI and management, find me on LinkedIn at

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Introverts Guide to the Workplace

Being an introvert, no matter the type of environment you are in, is going to be filled with internal clashes and possible conflict with your more extraverted colleagues.

As an introvert myself (INTJ) who has navigated the corporate environment, I want to give you some of my personal tips along with some tips from various other MBTI materials that will help make the workplace a better place for you.

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Understanding Extraverts

Carl Jung, in his original work, Psychological Types, spelled it Extraversion, which I will faithfully maintain.

We live in an E world. Though there is much debate over what the exact percentage of Introversion to Extraversion actually is, the official MBTI data shows it a dead heat. In the corporate environment, however, the ratio is skewed towards Extraverts. Starting with this as our foundation, we have to understand from the beginning that most people we’re going to deal with are not going to interact with the world the same way as us. That being said, here are a couple of things you will notice extraverts do that can disrupt your mood and your workflow.

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How Extraverts Act at Work (From the Introverts point-of-view)

• Chat incessantly about irrelevant things like what they did last weekend and what they will do this weekend
• Brainstorm out loud no matter who’s listening
• Stop by your desk and talk to you when you are clearly deep laser focused on work

This is how introverts interpret the actions of extroverts. However, this attitude creates a negative perception that is not actually real.

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Extroverts need to work their ideas out by bouncing them off other people. Brainstorming and throwing ideas around are standard actions that help E’s determine their plan of action. This process is completely foreign to I’s.

Introverts like to consult themselves and bounce things around in their head. Oftentimes you can catch them “self-talking” or debating themselves before coming to a conclusion about a plan of action. This fundamental difference in approach to life can be quite the annoyance to the introvert who just “needs a second to think about it!”

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Introverts get their energy from within, while extraverts get their energy from without. If you take this at face value, then you can see where the conflict will arise. Extraverts need to do things in a team setting and be in constant communication with others as it keeps them motivated to figure out what they’re going to do next.

Introvert Solutions

Once we understand how extraverts interact with the world, we can start implementing some solutions right away. I want to make it clear that all the literature tells us this could take a very long time to adopt and is not something that will change by next week.

• Schedule time in your day to do something outside of work away from the office. This could be listening to a podcast, listening to music, reading a book, or something that allows you to mull over things in your head.
• Re-frame your view that extraverts are purposely trying to annoy you. This is the hardest obstacle to hurdle, but it’s the most important one for progress to happen.
• Fake it! Try to emulate other extraverts or access your inner extravert (it’s in there somewhere) and strengthen that part of you that’s likely very weak.

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As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, poor communication is not a sign of intelligence, it’s a personality type difference. As soon as we learn to cater to our opposite type, we can relieve some of the stress and friction that exists in our workplace.

If you know someone who would benefit from MBTI counseling, please send them my way!

To message me directly, find me on LinkedIn at

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