Why Good Employees End Up as Bad Managers?

I have written here before that the best thing that can happen to your career is to have a few bad managers. The more the better, just learn something from the interactions. I wish that you to meet only normal managers or really good ones, which is quite a rare thing.

bad managers

Photo Gratisography

The same as in sports, there are positive examples, when a very good player becomes a very good coach, but it’s a rare thing. The worse than can happen is for a person who never played any sport outside the school yard to become an important coach. The same happens with those who “pass” through Bosses College without ever working in the actual field. What you learn in school is merely a lab environment.  

Management is a highly desired position, but having “boss” written on your business card is not a guarantee that you are a good one.

The major difference between an employee and a manager is that the latter manages performance and development of other people, a task which is not meant for everybody. From treating everyone equally, up to the sandwich feedback, the probability of working with bad managers is pretty high. NOT all men are the same, thus you can’t treat everyone the same way, each person has particular needs, and they each react to different stimuli.

To continue my parenthesis, the sandwich feedback is another bull*hit, ‘cause no one wants to eat something great covered in something rotten. Even when you did 98 good things and messed up 2, only the bad ones will be remembered and will impact you in a negative way. Trust me, I’ve been there!

What are the signs which will tell apart a good employee from a potential good manager:

  • He/she never asks for help, and as manager you should be able to delegate if you want to survive;
  • Doesn’t insist on professional development unless it was suggested. As manager, the training level provided by the company is a lot lower;
  • Always blames the other. If a manager blames his subordinates, who is the main culprit? Well done Sherlock;
  • He is not interested in other people problems – collaboration with other teams/departments is vital in order to reach a common objective;
  • “Breaks the door” at 5 no matter what. Under no circumstance am I stating that it’s good to stay after hours or that it’s good for your image, but when you are a manager you will stay late sometimes;
  • It’s hard for them to acknowledge other colleagues’ performance, as manager you are supposed to do this often;
  • They can’t communicate any negative news. As manager you’d have to take some unpopular decisions or even fire people.

The responsibility rises exponentially from individual to team level, along with the good and bad aspects.

It’s not that hard to become a good manager, as long as you channel your efforts toward your people, which in turn will deliver the expected results. You have every chance to have a bad hospital manager if you pick the best doctor for the position. Also, this will make you lose two good people: a potential medical director and your best doctor.  

Getting back to the sports comparison, the coach role is vital. Even if you have a team of stars, you must coordinate them and succeed in making them perform together in the best interest of everyone.

Good luck succeeding!