As your career develops, one of the steepest hurdles to jump is from being a doer to being a manager. The best managers still “do” – especially in creative and professional fields – but learning how to get people to be their best is a stretch for most of us.
It took me an especially long time to learn how to manage, and then to lead. So many days I just put my head down and did the work rather than setting up a meeting to give my people guidance, and to let them try and succeed – or fail. I was so busy proving myself that I forgot to give others the chance to prove themselves.
Speak to anyone in business who manages people, and you will hear many of the same complaints and frustrations. These can be categorized as some version of the following:
- They can’t read my mind
- Explaining things takes time I don’t have
- Even if I take the time to tell them, they may not do it right
- I can probably do it better myself anyway
- I don’t want to micromanage or be too critical
- If I do it myself, I will get more credit
Sound familiar? Yet if you ask anyone what they want, as they persevere and work hard and look ahead to career advancement, and this is what they will say:
- More time
- More opportunities for higher level work
- Happy clients
- Proud bosses
- Feelings of satisfaction
- Support from a team of people you trust
- Respect and recognition – and raises!
The two are linked. The things we all wish for in our wildest dreams are right under our noses, if we take the time to learn how to manage and teach and nurture our people.
So take a step back, right now, make a list of the people who can help you most, think about how you want them to grow, and schedule some time with them in the next two weeks to talk through what you are hoping for, and how much you believe in them.
We can all do this more and better!
To reach Abby: