Are you sure you want to be a manager?

By Joseph Grenny via hbr.org   Article

Count the cost. It’s fun to play on a bigger stage. More pay is nice. Taking on more complex problems provides new satisfactions. And learning to lead people is a novel opportunity for growth. But new responsibilities always require the surrender of familiar pleasures. …

  • Tribe. When you become the boss your peers are no longer peers. This might unsettle valued friendships. Also, your new peers may be less to your liking. … when you are granted more power, you are implicitly agreeing that your loyalty from that day forward is expected to be more to the enterprise than to your colleagues. This may offend your former tribe. …
  • Simplicity. The world is no longer as simple as your opinion — it’s now about our. … You don’t get to sit in the cheap seats and blame ‘management’ anymore — because you are now management. You can’t take simple positions like ‘the customer comes first’ because you have to balance cost, quality, schedule, and other factors. … You will have to advocate positions that you may not totally agree with because you are now a part of a management team. …
  • Take counsel from your fears. Fear is normal. … Faking confidence doesn’t work. If you’re worried about failure or criticism, that’s normal. Authenticity — first with yourself and then with others — is the path to legitimate serenity. … The ultimate display of confidence is a comfort with truth. Acknowledge your deficiencies without dwelling on them. Then focus on your strengths.
  • Check your motive. If you say yes to becoming a manager, think carefully about why you are saying it. Is your primary motive ambition or contribution? Is it about looking good or doing good? If you want power to gratify your ambition, your leadership will be all about you. You’ll fail to cultivate the legitimate trust of your team. You’ll guard your power jealously rather than being generous with it. You’ll obsess over others respecting you rather than doing the right thing. And all of that will hobble your capacity to be bold and decisive.”
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