This week I read an online article from Fast Company, Inc. titled Why no one on your team wants to be a manager anymore – and how to change that1. The article cites a survey from CareerBuilder “of over 3,600 workers” claiming that “most people don’t want to be managers.”
I agree with the author’s assessment that managers have “a very poor reputation.” Why is that? I contend that it starts with interchanging the word manager with leader. There is a distinct difference between the two. A manager is someone who manages resources, and a leader is someone who exerts influence on people.
Yes, people are resources and as an incident commander on emergencies I managed those resources, but I also led them at the same time. Problems arise when managers, supervisors, bosses, etc. try to manage people as if they were boxes of Styrofoam cups in a warehouse. That approach has never worked, and it never will work.
I believe the underlying problem lies in two areas:
- Technically competent people are promoted into supervisory positions, yet they do not have the training to lead team members.
- Leadership training is either not provided or it is of such poor quality that the content, presentation, and instructor are completely dismissed by the participants.
In other words, all of it goes up in a ball of flame and everyone loses.
Is there a solution? Yes! Provide meaningful and relevant leadership training to everyone who supervises people. This includes not putting people to sleep with endless slides filled with data and avoiding monotonous lectures from instructors who are not qualified to teach leadership.
I have the leadership background, experience, and resources to provide meaningful and relevant leadership training to your current and emerging supervisors. Training that is customized to your organization’s challenges, training that is engaging, and training that makes an impact on your most important asset: people.