If You Don't Feel The Weight Of Being A Manager You Are Doing It Wrong

A friend recently posted the following quote:
A bad manager can take a good staff and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation.
 As a manager, words like this scare me. One of my fears is letting down the team that I am supposed to be serving and leading. We have probably all been in a job where the boss is destroying the team; how do I know that I'm not one of those bad managers? How do I know if I'm doing the right things and pushing people to excel and not causing them to be defeated? If you are in a situation where you are responsible for employees do you think of these things too?

I will often ask my employees at least once a year, where they see themselves going in their career, what their goals are. Inevitably there are people that say they want to get into management one day. When I ask why the responses vary but for the most part fall somewhere in the area of wanting to be the person in charge, making the decisions. My feedback to anyone that believes they want to be a manager - if you are doing it just to be in charge don't do it, because it is the wrong reason. Too often we have managers that want to be the smartest person in the room, be able to order others around and ultimately make the decision because they think they understand better than others. Managing people is about working with them and helping them achieve things greater than they could have on their own. It is about serving them by removing obstacles and finding ways to make their jobs easier, not so they can coast, but so they can take on even more challenging problems. It is about having their backs and making sure they feel like they are appreciated for the work they do.

I know I've failed at these things more times than I would probably care to admit. I know that I'm not a great manager, but by keeping my eyes focused on what is important I think that I'm becoming a better manager. I just hope that I'm able to deliver for those whose lives I have direct impact over. That I am impacting those good staff members, helping them be great.

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