There are hundreds – nay, thousands – of blog posts about how hard it is to be a manager, the struggles one faces, the challenges we deal with. I’ve contributed to that number. Heck, this whole blog was created on the premise that it’s difficult to be a leader, as well as to be led.
None of that has changed. It’s hard out there for a pimp, yo.
But we focus so much on negativity that I thought it would be good to take a moment to talk about the best part about being a manager – employees.
Yes, employees are the best part about being manager. (Some of them are the worst part, but that’s another story.) Unless you are ready to work with your employees to help them be successful, you shouldn’t even consider being a manager – I don’t care what the compensation rate is. You need to WANT to develop people. Because it’s hard work and can lead to heartache.
I’ve had the opportunity to manage a lot of different people in a lot of different situations in my career – some good, some bad. While every single one is one of God’s special creatures in their own way, there have been a few that stood out because of what they accomplished. And let’s be clear…they are the reason they are successful. I was just lucky to be there.
I don’t want to publicly embarrass any of them, so I won’t go into great detail about their circumstances (Sam, Steven, Jim, others…you know who you are). I worked with all of them when they were individual contributors – some in mid-career, some at the very beginning. All of them loved challenge, hated me from time to time, and have moved on to build training organizations of their own, to manage people, or to find the job that brings them happiness. And they did it because they are awesome.
There was no secret ingredient to helping them. Really, it was about having high expectations, having their back, letting them fail from time to time, challenging them when I thought they were selling themselves short, and then getting the hell out of their way.
Whenever I have a chance to interact with these former employees, I’m always in awe of what they have been able to accomplish in spite of me. It’s always a shame when a great employee moves on, but that’s tempered by the knowledge that they have done so much more than what they could have done if they had stayed my employee. And I learned far more from them than they did from me.
So, yeah…there are times when I hate being a manager; when I wish all I had to do was sit down, do work, and not be responsible for anyone else. But all that (well, most of that) goes away when I see an employee succeed.
Treat employees like they make a difference and they will.
– Jim Goodnight, CEO SAS
Do you have a great employee success story? ARE you a great employee success story? Share in the comments!!!