4 Ways to Overcome the Deadly Traps of Managing

76% of employees did not want their boss’s job. (HBR)

Most American workers are not aiming for the corner office. Approximately one third (34 percent) of workers aspire to leadership positions, with only 7 percent aiming for senior or C-level management. (CareerBuilder)

Why are workers avoiding leadership? 52 percent are simply satisfied in their current roles. 34 percent don’t want to sacrifice work life balance.

A Berrett Koehler study found only 43 percent are comfortable being managers. Only 32 percent saying they like being managers. (Managing for People who Hate Managing)

Why managing sucks:

You were promoted to your level of incompetence. (The Peter Principle)

Companies promote the best salesperson to sales manager. In the process they lose their best salesperson and end up with a frustrated manager.

You’re caught in the middle between upper management’s goals and employee empowerment. You don’t have authority to make decisions and aren’t included in company goal setting.

You were promoted and not trained. 61 percent of new managers DON’T receive management training. Only 34 percent report receiving any mentoring.  And only 31 percent report receiving any coaching. (Blanchard)

Finding enjoyment in managing:

#1. Stop working so hard.

Let talented people do their jobs. Stop telling people how to do the work you assign. People resent your interference and enjoy your support.

You might be able to do the job better than others. Keep your mouth shut. Let people do their work.

#2. Show up to coach, inspire, and encourage.

Delegate authority and get out of the way. Show up to offer support, but don’t tweak everyone’s work.

  1. Show respect.
  2. Offer encouragement.
  3. Stay available.

#3. Schedule follow-up meetings.

Ambiguity is stressful. Alleviate ambiguity by scheduling follow up meetings. “Let’s touch base next Tuesday at 3:00 to finalize things.” (Then stay out of people’s hair.)

#4. Get a mentor/coach. Don’t wait for permission, just do it.

What makes managing a painful experience?

How might managing become more enjoyable?

Bonus material: Who wants to be a Middle-Manager (USAToday)