Like with all professions, management is not for everyone. Most of us don’t want to be accountants or engineers or stay at home moms and most of us should not want to be managers.
But many people seek and secure management positions even if the work is not a good fit for their skills and interests. Why?
I wonder how much of this is societal. Management cuts across all occupations and has become a symbol of success. I think many more people seek management than should because they feel they need to become a manager to be successful.
I wonder how much of this is about money. Management positions generally make more money than non-managerial positions. We all want nice houses and to put kids through college.
The word non-managerial is a problem. See how it sounds and looks? Makes it seem as though being non-managerial is a bad thing or somehow less.
Perhaps the problem is that management gets no respect. You have to go to school and have special skills to be an astrophysicist, but anyone can be a manager. Right? Wrong.
Well, I will take that back, I do think anyone can learn to manage well. But most people should not WANT to be a manager. It is a particular job that should appeal to a small group of people.
Why do so many people choose to be managers?
I have worked with many managers who had no interest in management. It was a bad situation and impacted everyone in the organization.
We have strict rules about convicted sex offenders not working in schools. Lives are at stake.
We have strict rules about pilots and alcohol consumption. Lives are at stake.
We ought to have strict rules ensuring that managers WANT to manage. Lives are at stake. Overly dramatic? Perhaps, but you see where I am going with this, right? Motivation, morale, culture, and retention all rely on management. It is not OK to be a manager if you don’t want to manage well.
Why do so many people seek management positions? Will the new generation be different? I think things are already changing. One of the challenges facing larger corporations is that fewer people are seeking management at the same time baby boomers are getting ready to retire.
Do you believe that people have a responsibility to use their gifts?
Why all this babble? Getting the right person each management position is beyond critical – it’s at the top of the 80/20 list of things to do.
What if we did not rest unless and until we found a great match for each management position? What if we never hired people who weren’t interested in managing well? What if we only let rock stars occupy our management jobs?
Yeah, yeah, we all know this. Please don’t just read this and give it lip service. Most companies don’t do a good job hiring rock stars. It is not easy. With the best of intentions we sometimes hire duds. I have made hiring decisions I regret because they turned out to be wrong. Not enough time and energy invested.