When you have genuine conversations with managers and leaders about managing and leading people, you find that the majority don't want anything to do with it. It is often viewed as the necessary evil that comes with the package, which is why leadership is poor across the globe. Can we fix it? Sure! Hire people, not for technical competence but those who say, "I find joy in managing & leading people. It is tough, but this makes it very fulfilling when you get it right".
Good luck with that, you will never fill your vacancies. You often hear, "I would like to grow" or "My background and experience equip me to fulfil that role", even if the person is a first-time manager. We focus on the technical aspect of the role. To assess leadership potential, recruiters ask ridiculous questions like "Give me an example when you had a difficult employee, what happened, and what the outcome was." Or, "Please explain your leadership style". Just because we can handle a difficult employee or articulate our leadership style (highly questionable), it doesn't mean we want to do it or enjoy doing it. And when you force something...... well, that is not a pretty picture.
So here we are; workplaces are filled with managers and leaders with no desire to deal with their teams, which shows in their effort. When I think about it, I have never heard anybody saying, "I want to manage people's performance", "I enjoy having difficult conversations and learning about the person's reasons behind his behaviour" "I love setting a vision or a goal and figuring out how to lead my teams toward it" "I find great satisfaction in identifying unique talent and place them strategically" or, "I really enjoy spending at least 50% of my time on managing and leading my guys".
Managing & leading people can be a daunting task for which not everyone is cut out. It requires a unique set of skills, including leadership, communication, and decision-making abilities. However, despite its importance, managing people is often seen as a necessary evil nobody wants to do. This article will explore why managing people can be viewed in this light, the challenges that come with it, and how you can approach it effectively.
One of the main reasons why managing people is viewed as a necessary evil is that it can be a time-consuming task. When managing people, you must devote time to training, coaching, and monitoring your team members. Additionally, you may need to deal with conflicts, mediate disputes, and manage individual and team performance. All of these tasks require a significant amount of time and effort, which can take away from other important tasks that you may need to do.
Another reason managing people is viewed as a necessary evil is that it can be challenging to manage people effectively. When you manage people, you need to strike a balance between being assertive and being supportive. You also need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively with your team members, and you need to be able to make tough decisions when necessary. Furthermore, managing people requires emotional intelligence, the ability to read and respond to the emotions of others, which can be challenging for some people.
Managing people can also be stressful and emotionally draining. When you manage people, you are responsible for your team's success, and you may be held accountable for their mistakes. Additionally, you may have to deal with difficult team members or team members who are struggling with personal issues. All of these factors can make managing people a challenging and stressful experience.
Despite the challenges, managing people is a necessary part of many jobs and essential for any organisation's success. The first step is to recognise that most people in these roles do not desire to manage & lead people. Can we make them? Hmmmm, probably not, but we can develop their skills in these areas.
We could start restructuring workplaces, so career and financial progress doesn't necessarily mean managing and leading others. Most would opt out of people management duties if people could get the same professional recognition and pay.
Managing & leading people is hard, and it is only for the very few. So what do we do with the rest? Not sure, but you can start the conversation around it and see how many of your managers and leaders would opt out of people-related duties if they could.