Top 5 Skills You Need To Move From Manager To Director

You’ve reached the point in your career where you are ready to take on more responsibility and move up to the position of director?

I’ve got you.

While the transition from manager to director is a big jump and can be challenging, it is possible with the right approach. Here are some tips to help you make the move from manager to director.

1. Develop your Leadership Skills

As a director, you will be responsible for leading a team and making important decisions for your organization. To be successful in this role, you will need to have strong leadership skills. You are moving from a doer to a director of people. This move requires the ability to communicate clearly, delegate tasks effectively, and motivate your team to work towards a common goal.

Pro tip: If you feel that your leadership skills could use some improvement, consider taking one of my leadership courses or working with me as your leadership coach to develop these skills.

2. Build Your Knowledge and Expertise

Directors are expected to have a deep understanding of their industry and the specific area for which they are responsible. To move into a director role, you will need to build on your existing knowledge and expertise in your industry. This could involve taking additional courses or workshops to deepen your understanding of your field, or networking with other professionals to learn from their experiences.

Pro tip: Don’t underestimate the power of listening here. You need to listen and learn from your team and your colleagues during this critical state. Figure out who knows what. Also, focus on building relationships with other departments that have the knowledge you need.

3. Demonstrate Your Ability to Drive Results

As a director, you will be responsible for achieving specific goals and objectives for your organization. To make the move from manager to director, you will need to show that you have the ability to drive results and deliver on your commitments. This could involve highlighting your successes as a manager, such as delivering on key projects or achieving specific targets, and showing how you were able to contribute to the overall success of the organization.

Here’s where being able to articulate your achievements in a way that aligns with the organization’s business goals becomes critical to your success. You are keeping a file of your specific achievements, right?

Pro tip: Develop a report on how your team’s deliverables align with the goals of the organization, then find specific metrics to measure the value those deliverables bring to the company. Get leadership to buy into those metrics. Now you have a way forward for reporting and in your day-to-day decision-making.

4. Take on Additional Responsibilities

One way to demonstrate your readiness for a director role is to take on additional responsibilities in your current position. This could involve leading a cross-functional project or taking on additional tasks that are outside of your usual scope of work. By showing that you are willing and able to take on more responsibility, you can demonstrate your readiness for a director role. I’m not talking about leading the company party or the birthday fund, I’m talking about taking on responsibilities that show you are ready to manage above your current level.

5. Network and Build Relationships

Honestly, this one should be listed first. As a director, you will be working with senior leaders within your organization, as well as external stakeholders. To make the move to a director role, you need to network and build relationships with these individuals. This could involve attending industry events, joining professional organizations, or networking with colleagues and peers within your organization. By building these relationships, you can gain valuable insights and advice that can help you succeed in a director role.

It can feel weird, especially for women, to leverage their network in a way that directly benefits them, but you have to be able to do this to move up. It’s not selfish and it’s not using people.

Moving from manager to director requires a combination of strong leadership skills, deep expertise, the ability to drive results, and the willingness to take on additional responsibilities. By following these tips and putting in the effort to develop yourself, you can successfully make the move from manager to director and take on a new level of responsibility in your career.

One-On-One Coaching

I’m ready to help you move from manager to director by polishing your leadership skills. Learn more about my leadership coaching here.


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