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Ali G.





What is the hardest thing about being a manager?

I would really like to be a manager or CEO one day. What is the hardest part about managing a team? What do you like best about it?

Thank you! #technology #management #leadership #human-resources

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9 answers

The hardest part of managing a team is TIME. You want to spend time communicating and giving lots and lots of feedback to the team on final product. Unfortunately, your role as a Sr. Leader will pull you in directions that may not allow you to see that final product or watch your team work as closely as you like (budgets, shareholders, press, strategy sessions with your boss, etc.) The best advice I got for leadership was a 5 step process and it has served me well: 1. Set Clear Expectations--no one can get there if they don't know where they are going, 2. Educate to those Expectations-- you have to SHOW THEM what success looks like, 3, Hold the Team Accountable--celebrate the wins and learn from the failures, but don't ignore them 4. Be Consistent in your Leadership--they should be able to anticipate your moves because you are so consistent, and when you are not, make sure you tell them why, and 5. Reward and Recognize--if you want good performance you have to provide specific, immediate, and meaningful feedback to see it repeated. Hope this helps!

Last updated Aug 15 '16 at 09:19 PM

Hi! What a great question. Not only will you glean from the answers current leaders provide you, but you also have caused me to reflect. :)

Early in my career the hardest thing was to put my success in the hands of others. When you are a people leader your team’s stats are your stats. Very soon I learned not to look at my own stats. I learned that when investing my time, energy, and focus on my team my results took care of themselves.

Today the hardest thing is letting go and taking quality time away. I find I’m so involved with my team that I stay in an always connected state. I’m learning to unplug a little at a time. I do this by turning off my connected devices when I need to spend alone time or time with family.

Last updated Aug 16 at 02:03 AM

There is a whole cottage industry dedicated to advice on Leadership - what makes good leaders, what's hard about leadership. I would say, if you're doing it right, EVERYTHING is hard about leadership. But that's what makes it exciting and challenging. The key is unlocking each issue, what's hanging you up - what's the underlying obstacle or issue to be addressed, and then identifying and marshaling the right people to help you solve it. Leaders get into the most trouble when they're arrogant, they stop learning and they don't empower their people to help solve the problems, a.k.a do the work. As a leader, you have everything you need within your four walls, you just need to recognize that there's a problem or something to be addressed, and then you have to have the willingness to engage and empower your team to help. Also, you have to be willing to be vulnerable and want to work on being a better leader every day. It's like golf, you'll never get it perfect, but you have to love working on improving everyday.

Last updated Jul 17 at 03:38 PM

Great question! There are many aspects to being a manager or executive. To me, it is important to understand if your focus is on management or leadership. I see management as focus on the process, objectives, and systems. In that regard, you must understand how your particular focus works with others in the organization. Having an understanding of how other elements are integrated, who the stakeholders are and not working in a silo will go a long way. It can be difficult. On the other hand, leadership involves directing people to effectively deliver on the process, objectives and systems. Finding and maintaining a leadership style that strikes the right balance among organization's and stakeholder's needs while adapting to the changes of each of those interests can be difficult. In either case, I would focus on learning/acquiring skills in change management, negotiation, operational efficiencies, leading across generations, and effective communication.

Last updated Oct 13 '16 at 02:11 PM

You will need to focus on stress and time management. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>

Last updated Apr 03 at 06:47 PM
The biggest challenge is to learn to adapt your coaching style to what fits best for your direct reports. It would be great if you could just say Do X, Do Y. then they get done. However, that is rarely the case. You may have one employee who does a great job, but you need to give them very clear, very detailed instructions. Another employee tends to lose focus and not do the task by the deadlines, so for that person you need to learn to constantly follow up and set short terms tasks so you know that they are working on the project efficiently and able to complete by the deadline. Another employee you realize after working with just isn't a good fit and you need to let them go. So learning how to manage a variety of employees and also to identify what works best for each employee is most challenging.
Last updated Dec 20 '17 at 05:58 PM
Being available to your team when they need you. Different needs can potentially come up when you have a conflict on your calendar. Prioritizing and setting proper expectations is key. Don't over-promise and under-deliver. Make time for regular 1x1's with your team members to understand areas where they need guidance or would like to expand on their career development. Always know what motivates your team and make the time to recognize the wins.
Last updated Oct 20 '17 at 09:00 PM
Hi Ali, after several years managing teams, i would say that the challenging part of management, is dealing with different profiles, and be able to adapt your communication to them. Being accountable of what your team delivered can be challenging too, and you can learn a lot by driving and monitoring team members to achieve your commun goal. my advice is to keep in mind that you're one team with one goal. Good luck and hope it helps. Sanaa
Last updated Oct 04 '17 at 01:24 PM
As a CEO or a Manager (at all levels), I think that managing expectations of people is most challenging. It is not difficult to do a job or meet timelines or say the bottom-line (i.e. profit) provided your people oriented skills are sound. I as a Circle CEO of a telecom tower company with huge portfolio in a most difficult terrain of Uttar Pradesh (East) in India found that it was definitely challenging to meet the professional delivery to the clients month- after-month or y-o-y but not impossible. What was almost impossible to keep everybody happy : like when you are trying to meet the demands of clients, your team gets over stretched and keeping that kind of momentum for 24X7, 365 days is not sustainable. If you fail in that your boss as well as clients will be unhappy. Imagine, out of 48 districts, 42 was under severe floods, yet the expectation from one of the clients was like that of summers. When you can not do any construction, movement of material is just not happening, ware houses are flooded with stocks, everything is stuck as rains/floods are just not relenting, trucks are standing on the highways with the goods for days and labours are not ready to work, climbing on the towers or poles are risky..and so on...but demand has to be met or else you are a fall guy. Escalations will not be liked by senior bosses but that will continue pouring. Every meeting/reviews will be like an one sided war wherein you and your team is shredded into pieces without a leader you can not lower your guard. You might be crying your heart inside but the sound of that cry has to buried deep down within you else your team will break...morale will go for a toss...which will take serious toll on your overall performance. Nobody accepts failure....come what may! You have to stand firm on your ground that may be shaky or even sinking, but never say "Die". I think this is the challenge. Fighting the battle everyday with smile is a challenge. Mind you, when you are at the top, you are very lonely! So, you need to have very strong family, friends and colleague's support and lastly, not the least, you have to have faith in you. Like Swami Vivekananda said: "Faith, Faith, Faith in yourself. Then Faith in GOD! " Meaning thereby that you have to have strongest possible belief in yourself more than even god, as saying goes: God helps those, who helps themselves! One must remember that your team is the one which delivers, but you are the driver, who is driving them to success or failure. Responsibility lies on you, not on them. Thus, work hard, develop your team, train and mentor them and give adequate support so that they succeed. It is also important to remember that "Success is theirs but Failure is Yours"! Thank you!
Last updated Nov 18 '17 at 11:13 AM
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