Management Perks and Pitfalls

Management Perks and Pitfalls

Management looks easy. You have a staff. You make assignments and tell others what to do. You make more money. You get credit for all that your direct reports accomplish.

If that sounds too good to be true, it is. A promotion to management requires some additional–perhaps new–skills. Most important among them are leadership and supervisory skills.

For every perk of management, there is a accompanying pitfall. For example, your salary might be higher, but you also have increased accountability. You get to set direction for your staff, but you also have to maintain that direction once it is set. Staff will defer to you as the boss, but they expect you to have the plan and the answers. They expect you to lead.

Perhaps you can hire part, or all, of your own staff. Hiring decisions can be critical. So is motivating your team once it is established. As the manager, you get noticed, even rewarded, if the goals set for your team are accomplished. If your efforts fall short, you will need to manage the fallout while also managing the morale of your team.

Moving up the ladder and becoming a manager is a positive step in your career. As you do so, be certain you are as well prepared as you can be. If you are lacking in any needed skills, find a mentor, or ask a trusted peer manager for advice. If necessary, find a resource or short course online. Take advantage of any career development opportunities and work closely with your human resources department.

Most importantly, be sure your own goals, and those for your team, are clear, appropriate, and achievable. When you know where you want to go, you will find that others will follow.

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  1. Elizabeth Tewari

    One of the critical issues that I have confronted, in my role as incoming innkeeper at a bed and breakfast, has been the residual psychological baggage left by the previous innkeeper. My small staff draw comparisons between my predecessor and me (natural human tendencies) and they have admitted to having been “traumatized” by her controlling and intimidating style of management and yet, they are also uncomfortable with someone who welcomes their feedback and participation (me). It sometimes feels like the penumbra of the Stockholm Syndrome. In order to counteract this, I have set boundaries but the situation has been further exacerbated by my predecessor refusing to “let go” of what she chose to leave and maintaining contact with the staff and the owners. This is undermining what I am attempting to do professionally and so I find that I am pushing back rather than staying silent. I now understand why in many situations, new managers choose to gradually let go of the previous staff and replace them with their own hires. In my case, I would prefer not to do that since I value the knowledge and the advice of the current staff but the ongoing meddling of my predecessor feels professionally inappropriate and has gotten me rather charged up.

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