Many years ago, I interviewed for what turned out to be my very first job managing people. I was naive and optimistic, a fact which must have amused the VP of HR who interviewed me. She asked, “Why do you want to manage people?”
I don’t remember my exact answer, but it was something along the lines of, “I know a lot about this area and I feel like I can be a great mentor to people. I’m really excited to share what I know about HR data with others and build a great team.”
She laughed and said, “Suzanne, I’ll tell you a secret. Managing people is a pain in the behind.” I got the job anyway, and I started with a heart full of hope and a head full of ideas. But, I was woefully unprepared to manage other humans.
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3 thoughts on “Leaders Set the Pace Through Their Expectations and Example”
Love this! All managers where I work are very busy, but the ones who are calmer and don’t pass the stress onto their reports get better and more consistent output without the drama.
A manager really can set the tone.
I completely agree that a manager can set the tone for a department or team, which can easily trickle into other departments and create a culture all its own. I love hearing others talk about how daunting and overwhelming the first time managing a group can be! I am not a formal manager but am on several leadership committees within my organization, and I strive to have the interpersonal skills, the ability to inspire and lead like a manager should. The biggest quality I respect in my managers is their ability to set clear and focused expectations of me in a kind and professional way. There is nothing more chaotic when you do not know what is expected of you and getting in “trouble” for not doing something you did not even know about in the first place! I also respect the managers that take time out to appreciate ideas and extra work that may be done. I know I perform exponentially better in my job when I am acknowledged and appreciated. This kind of humanistic perspective of management really resonates with me. When leaders emphasize the importance of understanding needs and behaviors in the workplace.
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