Who Is Teaching Our Managers?

Management is a word that is used so frequently in business today that I think we lose site of what it means to be a manager. There is project management, task management, financial management, server management, content management, the list goes on and on. These have much to do with managing things, in a sense we all do that, but a manager is in charge of people. Because of that we need to put a lot more emphasis on what those people do and the fact that it is so different then simply managing a list of things.

One of the biggest gaps in business, and I would probably think this reaches into all areas of the world, is that we have a lot of very smart people, that get promoted because they are good at their jobs, and ultimately they become responsible for people. They have reported to people their entire career that are in the same boat, so we are perpetually identifying new managers and not teaching them how to manage people.

When I first became a manager, that was me. I focused on the things that needed to get done and ignored the individuals. Somewhere along the way my eyes were opened to the fact that I was doing it wrong. I appreciate the people that I have worked for in my career and have learned a lot from them, but I believe I have learned a lot more about how to work with people by reading books about leadership, psychology, strengths, teams and organizational health.

I encourage you, if you have any responsibilities in managing or leading people, or hope to one day move into a position like that, push yourself to learn more about becoming a manager. Don't trust what you see from your managers, because it isn't the only way to do things, and it certainly might not be a good way to do it. If you have responsibilities for growing and educating people that work for you, you first have a responsibility to grow and educate yourself.


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