Hi All, 

BLUF: I'm not viewed as a senior manager - should I be concerned or just due to age?

I work in a company of 150,000+ people and at aged 25 have found myself in a 'senior manager' role with hard work, manager tools and some luck - I joined in 2005 as an apprentice, went in to a manager role and now 10 months in to a senior manager role.

A key reason for getting my current role was my technical knowledge and ability to represent the area confidently to the client.

I am a 'Senior Manager' and *could* have ~8 direct reports all of which can have ~15 directs. In my case I don't have this number primarily due to other accountabilities but I head up a matrix team with accountability in to our client for a particular area.

The structure of the company is:

Team Member (Range of Grades) > Manager > Senior Manager > General Manager > Director > Managing Director > CEO > Group CEO > Chairman


Some of the past feedback from my manager is a need to focus on my 'gravitas' and influence within the team - I have worked on the influence but some comments recently suggest I am not seen as a senior manager.

I did several engagement sessions last week - covering around 50 people - all at team member grade; they are all skips of a peer of mine. The feedback from the sessions was *very* positive - I managed to get the level of it spot on and I created an environment that everyone felt comfortable to ask anything.

Then came the element of doubt for me - They didn't know I was a senior manager and assumed I was a trainer based on the quality of the engagement session.

When I introduce myself I tend not to say I am 'Head of X & Y' but instead accountable for X & Y. I dress smart, good notebook/pen and smart bag etc.


How important is this gravitas - is it a case my manager is used to using power influence and I like to focus on relationship & knowledge influence? Does my age reduce my power influence and it will just grown over time or do I have an issue?


Tom Green's picture
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Sometimes it is best to accept your weakness and move on.  Nothing you write shows this is in any way hindering your performance.  M&M did a cast on 360 feedback where they recommended ignoring weaknesses that are minor in nature, and instead focusing on strengths.  Concept was if you work hard you may get from low gravitas to medium (mediocre) gravitas, at best, it will never become your strength.  However, the same effort on your strengths may get you noticed above and beyond your Sr. Mgr. peers, and if you're lucky, that will also bring some gravitas.  Good luck.