Managing people is like…
Driving on a dark road with only one headlight. You know where you’ve got to end up, but you’re squinting, going REALLY slowly, and hoping you see the chicken before it tries to cross the road.
The hardest thing I’ve ever encountered as a manager is:
Departures. Regardless of the specific circumstance for an individual, there’s a ripple effect that impacts the team and puts everyone into a place of uncertainty. Much like task-switching, it takes time to recover from a change like that and it’s impossible to know how long that could take, and what the “new normal” will look like.
If you’re thinking about moving into management, do this first:
Think about the traits good and bad managers possess, and honestly assess yourself relative to that list. You should have items on both sides, and making changes toward the positive should be the foundation of the work you want to do BEFORE you take on the responsibility of managing humans.
I take care of myself by:
Paper crafting [I always keep a pair of 3-inch crafting scissors in my bag]; organizing [My label maker has a label on it]; and spending time with tiny humans/younglings [I never decline an opportunity to blow bubbles]. It’s nice to be able to create things with my hands, feel a sense of personal order, and watch a kid light up over the intro to “In My Feelings” (aka “The Kiki Song”).
Here’s a practical tip about managing:
When contemplating your team, think potluck over melting pot. While working toward the same business/project goal, the team should be made up of individuals with varying strengths and perspectives. This gives everyone an opportunity to share their gifts and learn in an organic way.
Want to attend a manager training where we turn traditional management tools on their heads? Join us at an upcoming event… details here.