Ways to Prepare for a Career in Upper Management


Many people talk about how they’d love to be the boss and call the shots. However, there’s a lot of pressure that comes along with the title. Plus, there are many sacrifices you’ll need to make to reach this type of goal. However, if you feel called to a career in upper-level management, be confident and relentlessly pursue the goal. Consider these tips when you’re pursuing the vision.

  1. Mentorship

Seek the counsel of someone who’s already where you’re trying to go. Understand that professionals in upper-level management are typically very busy. Don’t approach them and ask if you can “pick their brain” because they have lives. It’s insulting. Instead, find out how you can serve them. If you can be the one that grabs their dry cleaning or even picks up lunch for them once a week, serve first. As you serve them, they’ll benefit from your presence and will desire to return the favor in some way.

  1. Education

In many cases, there are institutions and corporations that require a significant amount of education. Many CEOS, CFOs and presidents of companies have doctorates, MBAs and other certifications. Before you enroll in a university, decide which sector you’d really like to work in. Once you’ve decided what you’d like to specialize in, take a look at the industry outlook date on their website to get an idea of where the field is headed. If everything looks good to you, enroll in a university and begin working on the required degrees.

  1. Leadership Practice

Look for volunteer opportunities to serve as a leader. If you don’t have any experience, it’s time to get some before you head into upper-level positions. Start with leadership positions in your job. Volunteer and take the initiative to position yourself as a leader. Once you do this, take note of the experience. When you gain practice, it’ll show you some of your weaknesses that you need to improve on. You’ll also be able to pinpoint some of your strengths. Once you figure out the strengths, make sure to highlight them and make them superpowers that help you stand out from the rest in your field.

  1. Read

It’s commonly stated that readers are leaders. Take a look at the top ten leadership books recommended by leadership professionals. Once you have a few mentors, ask them what their favorite leadership books are. Follow prominent leaders on social media and take note of any time they share their favorite books. Take note of many of the popular lists such as the New York Times’ best-sellers list and the Amazon best-sellers list. Granted, these lists change pretty frequently, but it’ll be good for you to remain up-to-date regarding the most recent leadership books on the market. Take notes from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in his book, Onward. Many prominent leaders like Bishop T.D. Jakes have written books that teach leaders how to thrive where they are and take their careers to higher heights. It’s also important to get into the habit of reading. Read daily for at least 15 minutes. Before long, you’ll work up to an hour of reading and will go through books like water.

Upper-level management roles aren’t for everyone. It’s commonly stated that it can be pretty lonely at the top. However, as long as you develop a strong sense of self, implement these tips and keep supportive friends and family around you, the goal is attainable. You can achieve this dream and experience a life of happiness and fulfillment.

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