One of the biggest myths about management has to do with entitlement. In my experience, too many people still believe that, just because they’ve worked at a place for a certain length of time, they deserve to be promoted into a management position. Never mind about natural aptitude and focused training. Oh yes, I hear it regularly: “Can you imagine! After all these years I’m still not a manager. How long must I be there before somebody realizes that the office with windows should be mine?”
Personally, I don’t think anyone should be moved into management based solely upon longevity or tenure. Further, I’m not in favor of promoting people on technical skill alone. In fact, I think such practices are downright dangerous for both individuals and organizations. Not everybody is management material in the first place, and not everybody who’s been on the payroll for a dozen years is ready to step up. In my mind, it’s that simple.
Holding a management position—and actually thriving in it—requires a particular set of skills. In most cases they must be studied and learned. Then they must be practiced over and over again. If you’re in management now, you know this well. Management is about more than cashing a bigger paycheck or receiving a few perks.
This blog highlights some additional common management myths that keep people, processes, and profits stuck.
Staff should respect me because of my title. While employees may respect your title, they respect YOU for who you are, for what you say, and for how you act. YOU and your title are separate. If you currently believe that a job title guarantees respect, think again. Suggested reframe: “I must earn my employees’ respect.”
I need to treat all employees the same. People are unique in terms of strengths, weaknesses, and work style. Paying attention to these differences creates a positive environment in which employees are motivated to meet and exceed expectations. Suggested reframe: “I must treat my staff fairly.”
I don’t have time to manage people. If you believe this myth, you probably lack clarity around your priorities. Once you’ve identified your priorities, you need to build them into your calendar. That’s how things happen. Managing your employees must be a priority. It’s true that you are also managing processes and systems, but people have to fit into the mix. Learn how to leverage your time. That’s the secret. Suggested reframe: “I must schedule time each week to provide appropriate direction to my staff.”
There’s no question about it: Management is hard work. You make it even harder when you buy into one or more of these myths. Have you recently been promoted to management? Gain focus in your role with this!