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Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
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Devora Zack's latest book focuses on the difficult task of managing and how managers who don't particularly relish their roles as leaders and managers can be more effective and even grow to like what they do. But what do managers hate most? Devora polled a large cross-section of them, and here are the five things managers hate most about managing:
1. So Long, Passion for My Real Job.You pursue a career of interest. You turn out to be halfway decent at it, earning a promotion. Suddenly, you find yourself in the alarming, distressing quandary of Managing People. You have less time to do what stimulates you and more responsibility for motivating, leading, and prodding others to be stimulated. It is an alarming side effect of achieving success at your initial job to then be put in a position to tell others how to be successful at theirs.
2. “Hell is Other People.” Let’s not mince words (just as Sartre didn’t in coming up with that great phrase). Managing others can be a royal pain. You gotta deal with all their . . . stuff. When did you wake up and suddenly become a therapist, mediator, and cruise director? -And when did all those great people you work with devolve into kids with junior-high grade personal issues and vendettas?
3. It’s Cold and Lonely Up There. It turns out that simple workplace friendships aren’t so simple after all. You’re still the same friendly, supportive person, just no longer one of the gang. Things are different when you’re the boss and all the chatter dies down when you walk by. Plus, just wait until you get to the emotional carnival that is giving performance feedback to your own friends.
4. You’ve Got to Behave Like a Leader! Legions of managers suffer from the misperception that to be a strongmanager they must somehow assume a plethora of traits that don’t come close to seeming natural. These include not showing emotion, making strong decisions without a hint of doubt, and having a hairline and chin that would make Mitt Romney jealous (actually, surgery could help you with that last one, but not the others).
5. And Just in Case You Were Missing Your Old Job Duties Too Much... The kindness of those above you is so amazing. Not only will you have all these new managerial duties, but they’ve also decided to let you hang on to many of your old duties as well. And because you’re so brilliant, there’s no doubt that you can now do both in the same amount of time! Fantastic! Like two jobs in one! Not so fantastic, in reality because you have no time.
Have no fear - all of these five nightmares have an antidote in Managing for People Who Hate Managing.One size has never fit all in the management arena. People come equipped with a pesky item called a personality - including you. Finally you can learn a customized system that takes into account your natural style - and the styles of those around you. Your sanity will thank me.