Last week was rough. The management learning curve seemed incredibly steep. From employee performance issues to my ability to actually complete tasks while struggling to keep up with meetings and urgent last-minute requests from the media and internal executive staff.
We looked like the Bad News Bears and I felt completely incompetent; for a fleeting second I even questioned my own ability to lead. I just knew that at any moment a member of the executive staff or someone from the mayor’s office would come in and say, “okay you’re not cut out for this, it’s over.” Instead, they laughed and offered support.
It turns out, not only is what I just experienced completely normal, in a lot of ways it’s expected. There is no such thing as perfection; the perfect team and perfect manager is a myth. In reality, management is a balance between human ambition, error, humor and efficiency.Here are a few more myths:
Myth #1: I’m great at doing the job, so I’m great at managing it.
This is a common misconception among first time managers. In reality, the best managers know that the business of running the business is a business itself.
The moment you lose sight of your team’s diagnostics and goals it’s easy to get swept up and carried away in the day to day routine of performing tasks. Learn to delegate tasks so that you can focus on the big picture and supporting your team.
Myth #2: I’ve been a part of this team, so I’ll have no problem leading it.
It’s easy to assume that the peer to supervisor transition will be a smooth one. The fact of the matter however, is that it’s twice as hard.
It will take time and adjustment for former team members to accept you in a new capacity. Go into it with an open mind, clear guidelines and open communication.
Myth #3: If things don’t run smoothly, my supervisor will think I’m unfit.
The best advice I can offer here is simply to get over yourself. You’re human and so is everyone on your team, mistakes inherently come with that.
Your ability to regroup, assess and identify tools to become a better manager (books, training, etc.) will take you much further than wallowing in self doubt. Not only does taking the initiative show your ability to lead, it also displays an awareness of what it takes to succeed.