Are you sure you want to be the boss? While considering topics for a leadership blog post, I crowd-sourced a question, “What leadership blog topics would interest you?” The first comment I received was, “Not everyone is happy as a manager.” This is true, but why? So, I proposed a second question: “Have you ever been unhappy in a management position and why? Here are a few of the comments.
- “Sure. Because I didn’t really have the authority necessary to meet the responsibility I’d been provided.”
- “Yes, the manager would leave at noon or earlier every day (salary), and I worked 50-60 hours a week (hourly).”
- “I was talked into it by upper management.”
- “I was good at the work but not at managing people, and no one helped me.”
- “I got into management for the wrong reasons.”
Are You Sure You Want to be the Boss?
How Can You Know if Management Will Make You Happy?
First, you need to know how a new position will affect what you need and want. If you’re motivated by income, power, or prestige, you may find those things without being a manager. If it’s less responsibility and more free time you desire, you’re probably barking up the wrong tree. You can manage projects, but you must lead people. Leadership is about people, and the most satisfied managers are those who like to help others.
The most compelling reason I know to be a manager is because you enjoy helping others. You get a kick out of watching your team members grow as part of the team and as human beings. You may have secondary considerations, but if coaching, teaching, and helping aren’t your primary reasons, there may be better options than management. If you’re uncertain about your motivation to be a manager, consider your experience. Have you been a helpful teammate? Do you revel in others’ successes? Do you enjoy helping others?”
You Don’t Have to be a Manager
Let’s consider the first response, “Not everyone is happy as a manager.” If someone’s career path doesn’t include management, they’re considered a failure or lacking. But leadership isn’t for everyone. It may not be a good fit, or you may not be ready. Are you currently in management? How do you measure success and happiness in a leadership role. What advice would you offer anyone considering management? Are you sure you want to be the boss?
How Can I Help You?
I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me.
Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.
If you liked this post, you might also appreciate, What’s Holding You Back? Could it be You?