Why I don’t want to manage people. That is what I decided to write about today.
I was a manager for 17 years and It’s been about three years since I elected to step down from my management position. The upside of that decision has heavily outweighed the downside. The only real downside was the cut in pay and not having an office (which I’ll discuss in a later post), but the reduction of stress, frustration, anxiety and anger far exceeds the monetary difference.
It’s been interesting working beside the same people I use to manage. Some of them I managed for over 15 years.
The old manager in me still wants to come out and teach but I try to just sit back and keep my mouth shut.
I often think to myself that maybe I’d still be a manager if I had another me to count on.
I rarely talk to my current supervisor as there is no need to do so. I understand what needs to be done and do it. I don’t need daily guidance and affirmation of my work.
Some of the people under my supervision didn’t perform as well as I expected. They followed instructions but lacked creative thinking and paying attention to details. They could understand the expected results, but could not come up with a plan and execute the plan to achieve the goal.
They would come to me and lay the problem on my desk for me to solve. When they would be pressed for important information that was required to formulate a solution to the problem they would have no answers.
For instance the supplier has increased their price. I would ask “What is our sell price?” This would be followed with “How many do we need? How does it affect our profit margin in both percentage points and actual dollars?” To me this was pretty basic stuff.
Their answer would almost always be “I don’t know”.
But now as just another employee I listen to the same people and former subordinates discuss things like their favorite TV show.
They will spend twenty to thirty minutes uninterrupted discussing the action, the characters, the plot, the back story, etc.
Their conversations are very detail oriented and full of critical thinking.
All this about a TV show.
Yet when I needed some detailed oriented critical thinking about a situation that affects their livelihood I got “I don’t know”.
Maybe I failed as a manager, or maybe as with most people they just have no passion for their job, just as I have lost mine.
But I’ll still give detailed information and critical thinking to solve a problem. Maybe that’s just my nature and not theirs.
These are good people, they’re just not engaged in their work. At least not beyond insuring that they maintain a paycheck.
But I have no desire to ever again spend my days herding disengaged human beings. Unfortunately I feel that on a corporate level that’s all management is, herding people.
Again maybe I just failed as a manager, but you can lead a horse to water…….
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.