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Career Planning Training and Education Sales and Selling Promotions Expectations

I have been in sales with this company for a few years, and I am one of the better salespeople. My goal is to move into management, but my manager told me yesterday that he does not think I have what it takes to be a manager. I don't know what to make of this or what to do about it. What do you suggest?

Based on your manager's comment, it sounds like he does not have what it takes to be in management. His comment is unfair, insensitive, arrogant, and with questionable merit at best. It also sets a negative expectation that can easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Your manager's underlying message is that there are inborn managerial skills that cannot be taught. If this were true, then it is a waste of time for millions of people to attend management training programs or pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in business. Perhaps your manager believes that a salesperson should not move into management because the skills that are required for success are so different. Although sales and management jobs are indeed quite different, there are great managers and corporate leaders across all industry lines whose careers started in sales.

If your goal is to move from sales into management, you should set aside his comment and focus on the specific actions you need to take to meet your goal, especially in terms of building your supervisory and managerial skills. Although your manager sounds like he can hold you down in your career, the only person who can actually do so is you.

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