Leadership & Management: 5 Barriers to Being a Great Manager
If being a decent manager were easy, we would have more good managers than we currently see. Obviously, it’s a challenge to be a manager, much less to be a good or great one. You can look in any bookstore and find hundreds of books on the shelves on this topic, along with countless hours of management training that are available. You would think with so much advice on the subject that our businesses would simply be oozing with managerial greatness. Yet, that simply isn’t the case.
Do you really want to be “just” a manager, or even a bad one? (Let me answer “no” for you.)
What is stopping us?
Barrier #1: Our own ego. Too many managers ascend to the managerial ranks almost by accident. Once we are there, we feel a bit over exposed for any flaws we may have. Get over it. You will be much more acceptable if you are willing to admit what you don’t know and take input from your employees. They will respect you more if you are authentic and not busy covering up.
Barrier #2: No skills. Just like every job, management requires a skillset that must be developed. Most of the time those skills have to be developed ‘On-The-Job’. Everything you do will be an experiment. No one is perfect and I guarantee you that without training or support, you will be a stinker. This barrier is not your fault, but it is easily yours to solve. I often help define and teach the management skills at various levels. Simply ask someone who knows.
Barrier #3: Failure to listen. You don’t need to have all the answers. That’s why you have smart people working for you. They know most of the things going on both good and bad. You want to listen to their insight so you can target your solutions through great discussions.
Barrier #4: You don’t know what your job really is. Some people think that as a manager you need to either micro manage, or be the ‘super doer’. No, both will demoralize your group, productivity will go down and people will leave. You are not likely to continue to do the work that got you here. Your job is to set direction for your group, acquire the resources to do the work and course correct. Sure, there may be other things like budgeting, planning, hiring and misc, but your job is to figure out what your job is. Your job is not doing your employees’ work.
Barrier #5: Lack of sensitivity. All too often, people going into management think they need to be tough. You need to be tough-minded, but if you lack the emotional intelligence to realize that you are dealing with people, you will fail miserably. Just as everyone does not learn the same way, you can’t treat everyone exactly the same. You have to adjust your style to get the most out of each person. This doesn’t mean you have to be a push over. It means a big part of your job is maximizing each person. People are your biggest resource and you need to treat your resources well to get the most out of them. You wouldn’t beat up a piece of equipment, so don’t beat up your employees by your lack of thinking through your actions.
Some people are naturals at managing and leading. The rest can be, but need to learn how.
If you are on the management track or want to be, learn more insight on how to be the best. I continuously share information on how to achieve growth and success. I invite you to FREE access to “Should I Stay or Should I Go” eworkbook when you sign up for my FREE newsletter full of ongoing advice and career insight just for you. Sign up now: Get your copy of “Should I Stay or Should I Go!”
For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/ From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from www.nextchapternewlife.com and www.mbahighway.com. And check out Dorothy’s new book, “Career Mapping for Climbing Managers – Planning Your Career On Purpose”. You can find the book in print or Kindle on Amazon.