Why do you want to become a Manager?

2010/06/09

I see a lot of people who say they want to become managers, which is a good goal to have no doubt. But when I ask them why, most of the answers hover around more money and a better status symbol. Well, honestly, I don’t think we need to be managers for either. M.K.Gandhi was not a manager, but I guess he had both. So did Martin Luther King Jr, and the list can go on.

So for people who really want to be Managers for the above two reasons, here are some of the “harder things” nobody talks about:

  • Being a manager is a thankless job. All results you produce, is neither sufficient for the team nor your supervisors, and honestly, you too. Are you open to criticism? (Please note the usage of the word “criticism” over “feedback”).
  • The chances of failure are much more than the chances of success in our ventures. Are you prepared to take it in your stride?
  • We need to quantify our instincts to sell our point, again both to the team and our supervisors. Are you prepared to sit and work out formulas for the same?
  • Honestly, being a manager is hard work and can make one feel lonely. Are you prepared to deal with it?

I can go on, but I don’t want to convey a feeling that being a manager is a bad thing, and not a good goal to have. So, to remove any such impressions, here are the good things about being a manager:

  • We honestly have a responsibility over the direction the organization must take and no longer get to do what the boss says. It’s all about how we use it.
  • We have the liberty to promote or at least present in a positive light people who have the urge to perform and grow. Again, it’s about how we use it.
  • It is definitely more responsibility towards all the stakeholders and hence, increases our personal brand equity.
  • We will have the liberty to test our pet projects and ideas. But please see points 2, 3 from the previous list.

So a good question to ask ourselves could be, Why should I become a manager? Is being a manager my goal or my perception of a way to achieve my larger goals? Who knows, the right answers to these questions can even make one think being a manager is not the solution, and also help us arrive at better ways to achieve our goals!!!

The key then could be, WHAT IS OUR GOAL/AMBITION? More on that in the next post.

PS: I know this is a very sensitive subject and will like some honest feedback on my thoughts. I could pretty well be wrong, and like to know what you feel about this.


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