- I excelled in my previous, non-management role.
- It’s the next step in my career path and I get a promotion.
- It’s more money.
- It provides higher status.
- I’m owed the positions because I had the most experience.
Do any of these ring true for you? Who wouldn’t want to be rewarded for doing a good job, more money, a promotion and higher status? Although, I am not sure ‘being owed’ is a valid reason.
Some Solid Employees Don’t Want to Manage Others
I actually have met employees who are in the minority on this topic. I am talking about employees who, at least at first glance, seem like they might have the abilities and characteristics to be good managers. But, they understand how difficult it can be to be a good manager, including the extra hours. They will opt out when someone suggests that they move into management.
The Challenges of Being a Good Manager
It is really hard to be an effective manager. It is estimated that 60% of managers fail in the first two years. Here are some of the obstacles that stand in the way.
- Managing employees is different than what you have been doing. The skills that enabled you to succeed as a non-manager won’t necessarily make you successful as a manager. In fact, they may get in the way. The hard-charging sales person may find that approach completely backfires when she has to manager other sales employees.
- Being a good manager requires a more varied skillset than a non-manager role. This includes soft, relationship skills and analytical, business skills. This is a tricky combination of abilities. Do you possess some of both?
- Your employees aren’t a direct extension of you. You don’t control them. You have to influence your employees in order to achieve results through them. Can you influence others effectively?
- You have to create an environment where employees are motivated to do good work for your team and the company. What is the current environment in the organization and can you make it better for employees?
- You may face the lack of support in the organization to manage successfully. If your management team doesn’t value good management practices and doesn’t provide management training, you may feel like you are on an island and not ready for your role.
- You may be saddled with an ineffective team and it may be difficult to get poor performing employees off your team and good employees on board.
- You may be overwhelmed by your workload, especially if you don’t effectively delegate and give up the tasks from your previous role. Can you quickly transition out of your previous role and do you know how to delegate?
Advice If You Are Considering a Management Role
There are several steps you can take to see if management is right for you before you make the leap.
- First, take on responsibilities that allow you to indirectly manage employees, or a group of employees, without actually becoming their manager. Volunteer to lead a project or an initiative for your company. That way you can test-drive being a manager. Another thing you can do, when it’s appropriate, is to sit in for your manager while she is on vacation. You can take on some of her responsibilities but not her entire role.
- Find a mentor who is currently a successful manager. Find out what she likes and doesn’t like about being a manager, and the path she took to become a successful manager. If you do become a manager, try to maintain that relationship with your mentor to get their on-going perspective and advice.
- Take advantage of management training if at all possible. Your company may provide training. Also, there are programs that are available at community colleges and on-line that will help prepare you.
I don’t want to turn you away from being a manager. I just want you to go in with your eyes wide open and not just focused on the promotion, the money and the other sparkling perks of being a manager.
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