How to Go From Employee to Boss

 Do you dream about becoming the boss?

Are you looking forward to the day when your company finally asks you to sit in the corner office? For many people, becoming the boss is a key part in their plan to climb the career ladder. However, going from employee to boss isn’t always easy. You have to have a few key qualities and characteristics to get the job done.

Speak up

If you want to be the boss, you have to know how to make your voice be heard. Bosses are instrumental in both making and guiding decisions, and part of that decision-making process includes speaking up during meetings and knowing how to make good, actionable suggestions that move the meeting forward.

There’s a balance between speaking up and talking too much; a good boss knows when to cede the floor to others, and when to take control of the room. Ask your current boss if you can chair an upcoming meeting, and see if you are able to navigate the tricky balance between leading and dominating the conversation. Need a refresher course on how to run a meeting? Effective Meetings has some great tips to help you get started.

Demonstrate your leadership capabilities

To become a boss, you have to prove that you can lead. Right now, you probably have a few people working underneath you, either as assistants to your team or as interns. Demonstrate your leadership capabilities by working to both manage and mentor these people, giving them the respect and guidance that they need to succeed.

Don’t forget to collect quantitative data demonstrating your leadership skills — that type of information is useful to present in performance reviews and can help you get that next promotion. Consider sending out an employee evaluation or survey, like one of the employee surveys from Infosurv, asking the people whom you supervise to rate your current leadership capabilities and offer suggestions for improvement. Then, use their ideas to grow as a leader. Don’t forget to re-administer your employee surveys later, to create an improvement metric that shows you respond to employee feedback.

Know how to complete tasks and projects

You’ll never become the boss if you can’t complete your own projects on time. Before you plan your next promotion, take the time to become the best, most productive employee you can be.

There are two ways to go about this. First, you need to get things done yourself. This means everything, from your big projects to those weekly expense reports that the Finance team is always nagging you about. You’ll never become a boss until you begin turning in every assignment in, on time, no matter how large or small.

Second, you need to learn how to delegate. After all, as a boss, one of your primary jobs is distributing and managing other people’s work. If you never delegate any of your own work to interns, assistants, and other staff, you’ll never be seen as someone who can handle the tough job of management. As Forbes notes, only one in three people actually delegates effectively, so brush up on your delegation skills and learn how to be in that special third of people.

Know how to guide institutional change

There’s one more job that a boss has to do well: guide institutional change. Groups of people are often very resistant to change, as you’ve probably noticed! A good boss helps guide people through a change process, whether it’s implementing a new health care plan or changing the way the office pitches projects to new clients.

Find a small change opportunity, like installing recycle bins in the common areas, and then do the steps to make sure the project gets done. Once everyone in your office starts dropping off their recyclable paper and bottles, you’ll be seen as a true change effector — and will be one step closer to becoming the boss.

Easy enough? Well, the climb to the top is definitely manageable, but you’ll have to put a lot of dedication into it. If you want to sit on that nice chair, a simple adage must be put to heart – You need to act like one to be one.

Good luck!

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.