Nowadays, technology has become an integral part of any organization, for instance, manufacturing, marketing, operation and so no. Therefore, it is fair enough to conclude that technical experts have become an important factor for a company or organization success.
Some technical experts would continue their effort as individual contributor according to their given roles or title. It is common among large teams where clear responsibility of each team member is vital for smooth and heading towards success progressively.
There are some experts who would dive deep into specific domain which is important for organization. Eventually, these people would become domain expert/specialist which would easily become part of important technical-related decision making process.
There is another group of people who are greatly valued not only because of deep technical knowledge but also having excellent soft-skills. These sort of people could easily be very popular as they are very good in dealing with people, thus, would become part of management level.
Becoming a manager from technical expert would require a lot skills. A lot of time, those skills involve people management which is not technical at all. Machine behavior is predictable, however, people are not.
Your own leadership style
Like every newcomers as managers, they may not understand what leadership style is. Leadership style is really coming from one's characteristics. To know these characteristics, one must do self-reflection. Look at a mirror and ask yourself what kind of person you are. Be honest. Soon, you would understand your own strength, weakness, temperament, personality traits and everything else that are part of you. Sometimes people are more inclined to just copy their previous manager's style. Giving people a feeling that you are not yourself anymore, but more like a copy of the previous manager. This is not your goal here. You should understand yourself and utilize your best characteristics to show your own leadership style.
As we all know, people communication is vital. However, as a manager, you must constantly improve communication skill in order to gain greater efficiency. Rather than being passive, you must become more interactive. Explain others about your mission or goal and how you going to achieve that. Telling other people why you make such decision by data visualization or stories. How and when to speak are equally important. Keep an eye on your choice of words, voice tone, body language, they can help to enhance the message you trying to convey, or vice versa. Last but no least, actively listen to other people's feedback and be aware of your response. Communication is a two-way relationship.
As an individual contributor, to be successful, you don't have to stay in management position only. Having broad perspective helps you to plan ahead and make better judgement. Pay more attention on business strategy rather than technology. Focus on long term goal. Pay more attention on people rather than process.
By helping people to achive great performance, you will be regarded as a successful leader. You should help them to improve technical skills and more talented. You must also build a strong solid relationship with your team and become a motivator, a multiplier to encourage them to move forward, but also let them to have a career aspiration too.
Being a manager, soft skills are more important than technical skills. People are not machines which you can just configure them to your needs, you have to understand and work with them by giving what they need, not your need.