TLNT: Being The Boss: Why is Becoming a Manager So Difficult?

Our Summary: most managers remain mediocre, because they fail to recognize the difference between managing others and managing themselves.  Such managers slip into comfortable coasting after making the initial transition into a management role and fail to grow into good managers.

FairSetup thoughts: we’ve noticed that FairSetup creates a very significant pressure on managers to evolve as they themselves become part of the evaluation cycle and are receive constant feedback from their reports.  The pressure from one’s boss can be mitigated with careful political maneuvering, but one’s reports generally have a much deeper understanding of whether the business unit is moving in the right direction and whether the manager is doing his or her part in the system.

Being The Boss: Why is Becoming a Manager So Difficult?

By Linda A. Hill and Kent Lineback published on on Jan 14, 2011, 8:10 AM

Why, for most who enter it, does management present so many surprising hurdles and frustrate so many preconceptions and expectations?

Progress will come more quickly and easily to those who understand the challenges they face. The answer has two parts, based on research we and others have done, our own observations, and our personal experience.

Management is different

First, management is different from anything you’ve done before. Becoming an effective manager is difficult because of the great gulf that separates the work of management from the work of individual performers.

Many managers think at first that managing others will be an extension of managing themselves. They assume they will be doing what they did previously, except they will exercise more control over their work and the work of others. Instead, they find they must make a great leap into a new and strange universe unlike anything they’ve encountered before.

This is especially true if you’re a producing manager who must combine the roles of individual contributor and manager. At first, you naturally tend to think the managerial role is simply a broader version of managing yourself. Only with time and painful experience will you discover it’s totally different.

Becoming a manager requires personal learning and change

Second, becoming an effective manager requires that you not only acquire new skills and knowledge but also undergo difficult personal change.

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