Karin’s Leadership Articles

Ready or Not? Do I Really Want That Management Gig?

by | Mar 22, 2013 | By Karin Hurt, Career & Learning |

You’re the best at what you do. You’re a technical genius. You skip to work. And now you’re feeling pressured to move to the next level. You’re honored, and humbled. It would mean more money.

But, you see what your boss goes through. All those people problems. Questions of job security make you queasy.

You are not alone.

Ready, Set Go, Management Here I Come

 A few signs you may be ready


  • believe in the organization’s mission and values
  • are the go-to guy for your peers
  • always fill in when the boss is away
  • find filling-in fulfilling
  • ask great questions
  • have a vision
  • are fired up
  • enjoy inspiring
  • want to make a difference
  • want others to succeed
  • you’re scared (that’s okay)
  • ?

Oh, No, This is Not For Me

Some signs it’s not the time


  • want them to do it your way
  • disagree with senior leadership most of the time
  • find helping a hassle
  • are most attracted to the money
  • dread filling in
  • LOVE the technical parts of the job
  • hate stress
  • crave affirmation
  • detest meetings
  • need a fixed schedule
  • abhor change
  • ?

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.


  1. Steve Borek

    If you find yourself asking questions, that nobody else likes to ask, and you’re ready and willing, the next rung up the ladder is for you.

    If it stresses you out, keep doing what you’re doing and chill.

    • letsgrowleaders

      Steve, that’s a good sign. I do find I encourage the question askers to continue stretching.

  2. Alma

    This is such a fun topic. I completely agree with Steve, asking lots of questions is a sign you are ready. I call it “being really Nosey”, just to keep it light. Conversely, you are NOT ready if you want to move away from the front line and you mind getting Tactical. Great Managers get their hands dirty too sometimes and stay connected. My favorite from the “Ready” list above is without a doubt, “FIRED-UP”! Leaders don’t mind if it’s Friday or Monday (TGIM), we skip any day!

  3. Wally Bock

    Nice post, Karin. Let me suggest three specific questions you should be able to answer “yes” to that indicate whether you will do a good job in a boss’s role and enjoy it. I’m assuming that a person will answer them based on experience “filling in” or in temporary leadership roles.

    Are you willing to make decisions? Think of some examples.

    Are you willing to confront others about poor performance or unacceptable behavior? Examples?

    Here’s the big one. Do you like helping others succeed?

  4. Karin Hurt

    Alma, thanks so much for adding that. FIRED UP. Is my favorite. I love to see fire in people’s eyes and hearts. Keep skipping.

  5. Karin Hurt

    Wally, these are great questions. I know several folks wrestling with this decision right now. These will help. Thank you.

  6. Louise Lobinske

    What if I have stuff from both lists? For instance, I’m the go-to person and I’m okay with that, but I don’t get along with stress very much.

  7. letsgrowleaders

    Louise, great question! I am sure we all have stuff from both lists from time to time. Which list felt more like you in the aggregate? What brings you the most joy… accomplishing something on your own, or empowering the success of others?

    I also like Wally Bock’s 3 questions from above.

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