In the earlier years (talking about the IT industry in the ex-USSR countries in East Europe), team leaders could grow only out of the second category. There were no methodologies, processes, or education programs. Now, the IT industry is a complex domain. To become a good team leader, you have to be ready for constant development.
People who become managers but don’t have a specific education cannot make it to their more educated colleagues. They can be proactive and initiative, but they lack culture and professional attitude. In the engineering environment, a well-educated professional is already an authority that’s why his team will be more productive.
It’s not age or gender that makes you a good team lead; personality and relevant knowledge matter. If you want to become a successful team lead, start evolving your business vision. Don’t forget to think in a business-like manner. We all work for companies to succeed, win the competition, and bring profit.
When you grow professionally from a software developer or quality assurance engineer to a manager, the company wants to trust your business decisions. We all should help our businesses to grow.
I hope that my thoughts and experience are helpful to you and that you’ll make the right choice about whether you are ready for such a challenge. Good luck!