/ IT Leadership

Management Calling

Management is a calling. Your leads should be compelled by internal motivations to lead. There's a lot going on behind all the glamour (ha!) of management that many people aren't aware of. Beyond the extra nickel an hour you'll see in the paycheck is a lot of work that's going to come at you fast. Being a manager is ugly and unpredicatble and thankless. It will wear on you unless helping others achieve their goals truly motivates you.

Let me tell you about a story about a situation that has haunted me for years. I learned from it so it's not all bad.

My team was getting too big for me to have everyone reporting directly to me but not quite big enough to warrant another full time manager. I was bringing a new person into the group and asked one of my employees if he'd be the new guy's supervisor. He said "no thanks." I kept coming back to him explaining how great he'd be and all the benefits but he still said "no." "No, no, no!" I didn't listen and said "You'll grow into it and love it!"

What a disaster. I almost lost both of them. One resented time lost to stupid things like writing someone else's review and the other figured that coming into this group was the dumbest thing he'd ever done. He wasn't getting any kind of encouragement or direction. Before too long I realized I'd made a big mistake and undid my misdeed. Twenty years later they are still peers, thank goodness.

What I learned from that is that before anointing anyone "Manager" make sure they are 100% motivated and aware of exactly what they are getting themselves into. Your employees will thank you.