by Michael Holland    

“I’m a working manager.  I just don’t have the time to do all these management things I’m supposed to do”

Yes, you are a working manager.  And so is every other person out there who is responsible for leading and managing other people.  Every foreman, supervisor, team leader, manager, senior manager, project manager, assistant director, director, VP, Senior VP, Executive VP, Super Secret Very Special Senior VP, CIO, COO, CFO, CAO, CCO, CTO, CHRO, CVO, CMO, GM,  CEO, Divisional CEO, Chairman.

You can choose to use the “but I’m a working manager” phrase as an excuse attempting to make yourself feel better.  But the truth is your friend and the truth is. . . .

  • Managing people is work.
  • You have a lot of things – tasks, projects, meetings, work – to get done.
  • You have needy employees who are not fully trained, never will be and who don’t have the same ambition and drive you perceive yourself to have or had when you were just an employee.
  • You are accountable and responsible for the workload and mistakes of your employees.
  • You are an adult, living in a free country and had the option to take the role you’ve chosen.

Now that we have that settled, what’s your next move?  You can wallow in the vast black hole of “woe is me” falsely comforting yourself in comparisons of how hard you work compared to Joe over there while ignoring your responsibility.  Or, you can woman up/man up, thank God for the opportunity you have to be employed making more money than 99% of the people in this world, and take seriously the responsibility that you have signed up for, that is, to manage and lead people.

Take seriously the responsibility that you have signed up for, that is, to manage and lead people.

Managing people is work.  If it’s too much trouble then you should consider walking over to HR and announce your decision to be demoted to an individual contributor with a full salary reduction to the average wage for the other employees in that role.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • Have you ever caught yourself thinking of your leadership duties as “not real work”?
  • What happens to the employees under you if you don’t give your work as a manager the proper attention or training?
  • Take a peer leader out to lunch or coffee and talk through how you each perceive yourselves as working managers versus engaged leaders.