As everybody wants to be a manager and make big fortune for doing little, let me share a few words about the learning curve.
Project Management is certainly a thing what a manager should know. It is a science itself with its literature, books, training and certificate. If you don't do it, you are just a witch doctor without license.
My list is the following:
- Learn communication skills. Not just the use email, phone and IM, but to organize meetings, TCs and VCs, write minutes, track issues, track tasks and responsibilities. Effectively and selectively use them, e.g. to reach somebody who is not reachable via phone.
- Learn how the work with people and lead teams. People skill is always important, because you always work with people. There are lazy, mean, amateur, unskilled, busy, strange, difficult people, but you must get the best out of them.
- Able to learn processes, follow processes, and create new processes. You must understand when to use and when not to use a process. You must be able to work in chaos, but organize it into processes when the chance is given.
- Be proactive. Reactive managers fail in long term. But in the same time you must be able to react to a situation - called crisis management.
- Focus always on the result. If you or your team don't deliver, you are not good enough.
- Learn different management styles and use them when appropriate. Your default management style must be positive, because people prefer to work with a positive manager in long term.
- Know the business domain where you want to be manager. This knowledge must be deep enough to challenge experts.
- Always look for learning opportunities. When you feel you know enough, that is the point when you fail.
- Must work a hell lot abroad. It comes with multicultural awareness and on the way to respecting others. On the today's global market foreign experience is a must for a manager.
- Must speak languages.
- Must be able to work hard, very hard, harder then your team.
- A good manager can take responsibility for someone else's work.
- Spend a few years next to a superstar manager, learning his/her way and methods. Management is not about innovation, it is about learning and applying the right methods.
Please don't think this is a joke - being manager is very demanding. If you don't like the hard work and don't want to learn, then go for other job.