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3 Keys to Becoming a Manager

The successful transition from employee to manager involves many skills, including self-reflection, discipline and an eagerness to learn.

Amparo Sancen

February 12, 2024

3 Min Read
Male contractor wearing a hard hat looking off into distance on a jobsite
Quality Stock/Alamy Stock Photo

In the fast-paced construction industry, seeking to achieve growth for a manager position requires quite a few skills to master. Going on this journey is not as easy, but it’s not impossible. Being able to reflect on yourself, grow more disciplined and eager to learn the responsibilities is the formula needed to achieve the title “manager” and to grow as an individual.  

Performing Self-reflection 

In order to take this first step that many consider a crucial part of the American dream within our Latino community, you need to be capable of self-assessment. In these first months of 2024, many of us approach self-improvement as part of our new year’s resolution. Addressing bad habits, trying to be more productive or even being more polite or helpful are some common annual resolutions people set.  

These kinds of resolutions align well with attaining a managerial role. Realizing our challenges and opportunities for growth helps us to establish the competence required for leaders in this industry; it unveils where we lie in the spectrum of ability, knowledge and skills of those around us.  

Some examples of relevant competence for construction managers are a focus on results; the ability to independently concentrate and motivate oneself and others; and knowing how to step up and lead a team through a productive day or project. Engaging in research to understand the competencies valued in this industry and identifying areas for improvement are other constructive steps toward advancement.

Building Discipline and Motivation 

Discipline and motivation are key factors in the transition from employee to manager. Many of us are familiar with the motivation that comes and goes in daily life: motivation to go to the gym, to start a diet or to pursue that promotion. Motivation is the fire that ignites discipline, but over time that motivation slowly decreases.  

This is why discipline is a more important factor when seeking a manager role: An employee with discipline has achieved a mindset of consistent effort, focus and self-control, rather than relying on the spark of motivation to pave the way for success and personal growth. Then, when motivation is absent, discipline is still present. Learning and developing this mindset opens doors to success and potential to succeed as a manager and leader.  

Learning the Expectations 

Gaining knowledge of what a new managerial role involves prevents the anxiety and doubt that naturally develop when we are faced with changes. There are quite a few responsibilities of the manager role that may be unfamiliar to a lower-level employee: training and developing, making decisions and tracking performance metrics are three that are especially important for managers in construction.  

Training and developing a team involves helping your employees adapt to new jobs and projects. Making the decisions that will lead the team on the right path is a daily task for managers, and keeping track of team performance while observing how every individual is performing throughout the year is a must for a manager. Having the ability to maintain these responsibilities—among any others specific to your company—in an organized manner is a great sign of future success as a manager.  

The path toward a promotion can be quite long and complex, but it's a journey worth taking for your self-development and that of your company and the industry as a whole.  

About the Author(s)

Amparo Sancen

CEO, Latinos En Roofing

Amparo Sancen is CEO and founder of Latinos En Roofing. She founded Sancen Contracting in 2006 and relaunched the company in 2018, after a period of working as a subcontractor and gaining as much knowledge as possible about running a successful construction company. Sancen launched Latinos En Roofing when she saw the hunger for learning in her community.

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