Anyone who moves into a management position will tell you that at some point, things change. Something clicks. A switch flips. Suddenly your job becomes much harder. The problem is, it is really hard to identify why that happens, exactly. After all, you have worked for managers before, and observed what they do (or didn’t do)… it isn’t that hard, right? Well, or so you thought…
Then you got the big promotion.
Boom. It all changed. It all got WAY harder. (maybe not immediately, but eventually it did…right?).
Why is this, exactly?
Simply put – because virtually nothing in management is black or white.
There is no simple formula for success as a manager.
Consider a few examples –
- A member of your team has lost all motivation and isn’t performing his job well. A ‘prescription’ of how to cure this condition would be great. Even the standard processes (call them performance management, or progressive discipline, or whatever…) are not completely black and white most of the time. The most common answer becomes “it depends” – because there are so many reasons and factors and data points to consider. There’s no magic switch to flip that will instantly motivate a person, unfortunately.
- Team meetings are a drag. Everyone arrives late, people are totally disinterested, check their phones, or even create reasons (excuses) not to go. But you know that an effective team meeting should be very important! (and I agree with you) So what do you do? Is there a magic structure for meetings, or agenda to follow that will suddenly make them brilliant? Sorry, nope.
…and the examples go on. So many things that seem daunting, overwhelming, and frustrating are simply that way because they aren’t “black and white”. There’s no simple solution. Each will require a unique approach to solve them, completely different from what others may offer, and completely different from what you have done in the past.
So, what does this mean?
Well, it means that your success as a manager will depend on your ability to understand and evaluate each individual situation to decide on the best course of action. It is HARD work. It can be long, tedious, and frustrating. There’s no magic bullet.
But understanding that there isn’t an easy answer is the first step. You’ll stop looking for easy solutions, or waiting for a magic date to arrive when it all becomes easier. It won’t. You just need to roll up your sleeves and start doing work!
What do I do now? Continue reading