Managing, supervising, being a team leader is the hardest
job in the world and I’ll tell you why.
Imagine what it’s like to drive a car. You turn the key to
start the engine, select drive or the gear you want and
press the gas pedal. The car then moves off and if you want
to turn you rotate the steering wheel to the right or left
and to stop, you press the brake pedal. All this was quite
difficult when you first learned to drive but its easy now.
If I asked you to drive my car, you might take a short while
to get used to it, but you’d immediately be able to drive
down to the supermarket and get me some food.
However, if I was to tell you that my car was different from
any other you’d driven then I’m sure you’d have a problem –
“You don’t start it with a key there’s a little switch
somewhere. When you engage forward gear it might go backward
and if you turn the wheel left it might go right but
sometimes it goes left. And the gas peddle is what stops it
and the brake pedal makes it go faster but not every day.
You’ll get used to it in time; I’ve lived with it for
Managing people is pretty much like this, every model is
different and you need different skills to “drive” each one.
Just because pressing the gas pedal on one model makes it go
forward, doesn’t mean to say that the next one will be the
same; it might, but it might not.
The problem arises because we “learn” on certain models and
then find to our annoyance that the others are different.
“Why can’t they all be the same” we scream in frustration.”
Human beings are the most complex and complicated pieces of
“equipment” you’ll ever have to deal with. Many of them have
similarities but every one of them in this world is
different and they all work in a slightly different way.
Your job as a manager is to get these complex humans working
as efficiently as possible, there’s no one around to show
you what to do and there’s no instruction manual.
What also complicates the relationship between the manager
and the team is this –
Human beings are totally driven by their emotions.
When managers face a problem with one of their team they try
to solve it logically and then they wonder why it all goes
Imagine that one of your team announces – “I’m leaving this
job, I’ve found another job doing the same thing and it pays
more money.” You realise that you don’t want to lose this
team member so you approach your boss and agree an increase
in salary. However, when you offer the increase in salary
the team member turns you down.
So you think logically –
“What’s wrong with this person, why are they leaving?”
They might be telling you that they’re leaving for more
money however that now doesn’t seem to be the reason. It
might just be that they’re leaving because they feel you
just don’t care about them.
I’ve seen this happen so often with the good guys in a team.
Because they’re one of the high achievers who don’t give the
manager any problem they get left alone too much. What
happens then is – they feel that the manager doesn’t care
about them so they leave.
Managing people is a hugely difficult job, a degree in
psychology would help but if you haven’t got that then click the link below.
Discover how you can generate more business by motivating
Alan Fairweather is the author of “How to get More Sales
by Motivating Your Team” This book is packed with practical
things you can do to get the best out of your people.