What Is It Like to be a Manager?

by Greg Skloot
Management   |   3 Min Read
how does it feel to be a manager

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to lead people? If you’ve never been a people manager before, these 5 points will give you an idea of what it’s like.

1. It feels like heavy burden on your shoulders

A bit like a camel, it’s like carrying around a lot of weight on you. When you move from an individual contributor to a manager, you are suddenly responsible for more than just yourself. This is a big adjustment, and the weight on your shoulders feels heavy. You are now responsible for other team members’ success, failure and well being. If you own the company or are the founder, you are responsible for ensuring they can feed their families. That’s a BIG deal.

2. It feels empowering and exciting

As you become more comfortable as a manager, things start to become more exciting. The responsibility — and a bit of power — can feel good. It’s validation that you have advanced your skills to the point where you can now coach and mentor others. With more power comes more responsibility, hence the burden on your shoulders.

3. It makes you feel bigger than yourself

When you become a manager, you start to see the organization and team as something larger than yourself. You realize the team is only as strong as it’s weakest player. You become more focused on developing people as a group rather than individually. This requires giving lots of feedback and evaluating team members holistically. This is a sharp contract to being an individual contributor, where you just needed to worry about co-workers personalities, not always their individual performance.

4. It reminds you that you are still learning

As a manager, you’ll often be presented with problems that you don’t have an immediate solution to. Your team looks to you to provide guidance and confidence that it can be figured out. This is a great reminder that everyone, even managers, are still learning. In this case, stay humble and work with your team to identify and evaluate potential solutions.

5. You feel better as you stay organized

Getting information from your head to your team’s heads can be difficult. Just because you understand something doesn’t mean everyone else does. Teams and managers perform best when they are kept in the loop and the team is organized and focused on a core set of objectives. You quickly learn the value of strong organization and team communication. Your weekly team meetings, written status updates and goal planning should help keep the team organized.

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