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Transitioning from a Manager to an Executive

This topic is of importance to you if you are reading this article! And why not – many of us (if not all) want to see ourselves transition into bigger roles! Some may believe this journey is daunting, but trust me, IT IS NOT!

Below is a brief tried and trusted guide with regards to your transition from a Manager to an Executive:

  1. Firstly, do self-analysis. Understanding who you are as an individual, what your strengths are, where your passion lies in work is critical. This step leads you in the direction to identifying your “true you” and where you will flourish! Not everyone is built to be a Finance Executive or CFO and being a Chartered Accountant does not mean staying in finance only. Some of you may have a passion for being involved in Operations, Entrepreneurial ventures, IT etc.


  1. Once you have identified that, do research in terms of what is it that successful executives have done well in these roles. Research can be anything from reading books, google and most important(!), reaching out to other seasoned executives for mentoring or

Remember – if you don’t ask, you will never know the answer and the worst response you can get from someone is “No, I am not interested”. So, by not asking, you already have the worst answer. CONCLUSION: REACH OUT FOR ADVICE!


  1. Now that you have identified any shortfalls in your current skillset (both IQ and EQ), identify what needs to be done. This can be anything from training, studying or even having a life coach or dedicated mentor.


  1. Have you understood the difference between an executive leader and manager? A simple summary to this is: “Leaders are thinkers with a future in sight, Managers are doers with the present in sight”. The role of an executive is to “add value”, and being visionary means needing to have a “holistic” understanding of your company (and not just a financial understanding).


  1. With the transition from doer to thinker, you need to be able to have an influence on your team, so that they excel in delivering what is required of them. This means understanding the required deliverables of each individual, equipping them with the necessary tools (training, processes, systems etc) to succeed. The CART model works well in this instance: 4 wheels, namely: Commitment, Appreciation, Respect, Trust. If one of these wheels break, your team and business will stumble.


  1. Lastly, if you are working in a large corporate organisation, DO NOT disregard the opportunity to work for a smaller medium size entity. Often roles in these entities provide a wider responsibility set which gives you the opportunity to enhance your skillsets. Before saying no (or yes) to this type of opportunity, do a thorough check on what the potential gains will be for you from a personal career growth aspect. Being an executive in a small medium size entity is just much as a responsibility as that of being in a large corporate entity!


In conclusion, if there is one advice I leave you with, it’s the following: YOU HAVE the capability of being an executive. It’s a matter of unlocking your true talent and building your skills!


You can also connect with me on LinkedIn via , and also search for my LinkedIn Group, Mentorship Room

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