Why I became a manager. How many days each week do people in my role ask themselves the same question. I could be diagnosed with a tendency to do things that seem dumb, but I have my reasons…
This is the scenario:
- I was not a manager ever before and the opportunity came up where I thought the hiring party would give me a chance and mentor me.
- I would be a manager over the most difficult person for me to interact with that I had ever met in my whole life.
- The technical environment is so outdated it gives me the shakes, and I was going to be partly responsible for it.
My goals were
- Unite the team and help each person thrive
- Move them towards a more efficient, modern and less complex technical environment.
Finally, I need to share that I took this on assuming in the end I would likely not be successful in accomplishing both of those things. There were too many obstacles between my two goals that I didn’t think I could even accomplish one of the goals completely. In the end though, I started the role in a place where the two goals were actually conflicting with each other. The capabilities of the team were not necessarily conducive to fixing the problems that currently existed.
So I knew that first and foremost I had to find a way to make my goals symbiotic in nature. That is my backstory.
So why did I become a manager?
Why did I do this? My income didn’t increase. My work/life balance decreased. I had to drive more. I moved back into a less stable industry. On top of that I gave up free gourmet coffee from my old job!
I took this job because of what it would take to accomplish both goals. The challenge would try, test and torture some of my most detrimental weaknesses as a person. These include pride, being picky, idolizing perfection, and terrible moodiness. I have needed to overcome these weaknesses for a long time, so I decided to throw myself into the fire and rely on praying that I can somehow come out the other side!
These weaknesses affect my personal life tremendously as well as my maturity as an employee. They affect my ability to have compassion on others and to be generous. Moodiness, above all, crushes my ability to display patience, forgiveness and love.
These weaknesses cause me to sway way too far from the man I want to be. From the husband I want to be. From the father I want to be. Somehow with this role, and some divine intervention, I hope it will naturally lead me in a process of maturing. Gaining control over these weaknesses so that I can be a better support to all the people in my life, especially for those who are most important to me.
Being a manager will try and test these every day, and I have a mentor who lives out the opposite of my weaknesses. I knew this going in. I could count on his example to help me learn the ropes of my new role, to help me become a better person, and to learn ways to mature and grow through the experiences I have.
As a manager my goal is to act selflessly for the best of my team. I want to say that is how I act as a husband, father and friend too, but I find myself often leaning towards being very selfish instead. The same view of servant hood I will develop as a manger will need to carry to the other roles of my life in order to be the man I want to be. Or even better would be for it to start with the other roles and carry over into management.
In the end I see a beautiful picture of spending more time laughing, more time enjoying my family, and to be known by those around me for the encouragement and positive attitude that flows out of me.