March 29, 2017

How to Tell If a Team Member Is Ready for a Management Position


There are a few, telltale signs that an employee might be ready for a management position within your company and ready to take on a small team of their own. That’s why we asked 11 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

“What is a telltale quality of someone who is ready to take on a C-suite role within your team?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say when determining if a team member was ready for a management position:

How To Determine If  You Are Ready For A Management Position

They Question Everything

“By question, I don’t mean that they are undermining existing authority. Instead, they’re questioning if there are ways to make changes and do things better. It’s the idea that this person is stopping, reflecting, measuring and weighing the processes being used to move the organization forward. Having this interest, focus and passion means they have leadership potential.” ~ Peter DaisymeInvoicing

They Attract Followers

“When I see other people following one of my team members and looking toward them for advice about what to do next, I know they’re primed to take on a more official leadership role. It’s like a guy at a concert dancing alone. He seems a little crazy, but with one follower dancing with him, it’s not weird anymore. Add one or two more followers, and he’s a leader.” ~ Joshua LeeStandOut Authority

 They Demonstrate Lateral Thinking

“I am constantly on the lookout for staff who demonstrate lateral thinking. C-suite roles require lateral thinkers who can develop creative solutions to bolster a current project or initiative. Someone who is inherently innovative and can be relied upon for delivery of creative solutions is invaluable to a business.” ~ Luigi WewegeVivier Group

They Show Me Ownership

“This is someone who doesn’t wait to be “given” responsibility. When I see someone taking ownership of their responsibilities, not letting excuses get in the way, digging through the problems to find answers, and basically taking on the responsibility without officially having the title, I know this is someone who is ready to lead.” ~ Alisha Navarro2 Hounds Design

They’re Invested in the Company

“Senior-level employees need to be able to take initiative and be self-directed. When people get things done without much guidance, that means they don’t need a manager anymore and can start managing other people. It’s also important that they’re equally as bothered by challenges as the founder/CEO is. When they’re up at night worried about the company, it means their heart is in the right place.” ~Douglas BaldasareChargeItSpot

They Have a Shared Vision and Fresh Initiatives

“It’s important the C-team shares a common vision and has a similar agenda to making the company better, but they want to do it in their own way by backing up new changes they propose. If someone shows the initiative and actually has a new, creative plan to bring the company to the next stage of its life besides, “I’ve been here for years,” then they should be considered for a C-suite role.” ~ Andy LeffElectricity Labs/Warp Speed Labs

They Already Act the Part

“Someone is ready for a C-suite role when you find they are already doing things that someone with a C-suite position would do on their own. When someone takes on that responsibility and mindset without having an official title, it is a clear sign that they are ready.” ~Matthew WeinbergVector Media Group

They Are Dedicated to Personal and Professional Development

“When someone is immersed in self-development (both personal and professional), they can’t help but begin to grow into a leader. You see this in the team member who is constantly reading and learning from the greatest thought leaders and applying learned principles daily. You will also see this person searching for the “why” of problems when attempting to solve them. This is a C-level candidate.” ~ Kevin Conner, WireSeek

They Find and Fill in the Gaps

“Strong leaders constantly look for places where they can step in and help improve the organization. They do not solely bring ideas to the table. They take action. When they see a gap that needs to be filled, they fill it. They take an active role in coaching their team members and mentoring others in the organization. They know when to act and when to analyze based on risk. ” ~ Aviva Leebow WolmerPacesetter

They Show High Emotional Intelligence

“The most important quality I look for in a leader is emotional intelligence and the ability to stay calm under pressure. Stress and pressure are commonplace in any work environment; however when stress turns to panic, rationale and smart decision making is often compromised. The ability to handle adversity with emotional awareness allows us to guide our thinking and behavior appropriately.” ~Dustin CavanaughRenewAge

They Have a Proactive Approach

“When someone on the team just goes out and gets things done rather than waiting around to see what everyone else is doing, this is a sign to me that they are ready for a leadership role. They see the priorities and are proactively taking them on or delegating the work related to these tasks. Their willingness and sense of urgency driving this kind of approach means it’s time for a C-suite role.” ~ Murray NewlandsDue.com

Fish Jump Photo via Shutterstock

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The Young Entrepreneur Council


The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

2 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    You can somehow tell if the person is ready because you have this vibe about them that they have the capability to lead.

  2. I’d recommend first-time managers for a position somewhere south of a C-level role however.

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