There’s a reason I devote on average one-day per working week to supporting the development of new managers in my practice. It’s important.
Our new(er) managers are often on the front-lines in our organizations, and they reflect a significant percentage of every organization’s emerging leader pipeline. And sadly, my experience suggests the number one method of developing new managers is still the “Sink or Swim” school. I’m trying to ensure we close this school for good!
In addition to creating First-Time Managers Academy (on-demand version and quarterly live-online), I recently added a two-hour live-online program: What You Need to Know Before Day One as a First-Time Manager. The purpose of this program is to make sure our aspiring managers have “the talk” on the realities and challenges of this role and are better prepared to make what is arguably one of the most challenging transitions of their careers.
Our inaugural session for What You Need to Know is 1/13/21, with the next session scheduled for 1/27/21. If you are considering the move to your first managerial role, or you have aspiring new managers on your team, this is a great way to help make an informed decision and to prepare for this crucial career step.
I’ve spent a good deal of time in my work and writing describing the challenges of managing. Below, enjoy my thoughts on why you might just love this job. I know I did.
Six Big Reasons Why You Will Love Managing
1. Managing Tests Your Ability to Learn and Adapt
Taking on the role of the manager is a commitment to learning new skills at a rapid pace. From the soft skills of delivering performance feedback and conducting coaching discussions to budgeting and reporting issues, expect your first few years in management to be a whirlwind of new learning. Exposure to all of the “new” elements of managing is one of the most exciting aspects of the role.
2. You Get the Opportunity to Create
I love the creative side of managing. Creating an effective working environment where people are excited to do their best is a challenging task. As you rise through the ranks, you may get to develop new programs, teams, products, processes, and even markets or businesses. Within twelve months of my first management job, I was involved in creating new programs and departments for new markets. Within four years, I worked inside one of the world’s largest businesses, helping create a new business unit. This work of building and creating was rocket fuel for my motivation and performance.
3. You Get the Opportunity to Create with a Group
One of my favorite responses to the question, “Why did you get into management?” came from a newly retired CEO, reflecting on his career. His answer: “I enjoyed my engineering work but realized I could create much more for my firm by leading a team of engineers.” In my examples above, building new departments and businesses, I was privileged to work with some incredible people united around a common goal. While the accomplishments fade, the experience of working with great people stays with you for a lifetime.
4. You Get to Help Good People Succeed
While you will navigate some challenging characters, it’s energizing to work around and support people interested in doing their best and growing in their careers. If you care for people, it’s a privilege to support their efforts.
5. You are Tested Daily—There are Always Problems to Solve
If you like solving puzzles, the job is perfect for you. An intense level of satisfaction comes from untangling a customer problem and making it right or solving a vexing technical or process issue that leads to success. As you grow in your career, you will face challenging people and structural challenges, and at some point, you may help navigate the ultimate puzzle of solving for strategy and bringing it to life.
6. Get it Right and You Will Look Back and Marvel at Your Impact
The best leaders I’ve worked around are motivated to create results but inspired by helping others build their careers. If you put your heart and soul into this work, someday in the future, you get to look back just for a minute at the people you helped launch into their careers and genuinely marvel at what they’ve achieved. There’s the person you gave a break to who’s now running a business. And the person you worked hard at coaching back from the brink of the job is now a successful executive. And you smile because you had the opportunity to support them for one brief step during their respective journeys.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
I love the work of managing and leading. Managing is everything I mentioned above and then some. In addition to the six benefits above, I can cite the changing role of the manager in our world and the need for managers s who can help their firms level-up. Of course, life doesn’t deliver the benefits without demanding hard work. You will struggle and strain and deal with strife and naysayers along the way. But know that if you stick with it and are good at what you do, the positives are just so much better than all of that noise you’ll encounter along the way.