Most Managers Suck Until They Get About Twelve Years of Experience in The Role

These six essential practices can transform anyone into the ideal manager in a short time

Jim Farina


Photo by vlad shu on Unsplash

I've had dozens of jobs and countless managers in my nearly fifty years in the workforce. I've had some great leaders and some awful ones. I've been in management roles myself. I'm not comfortable in the role. I like autonomy. I'm too soft on people. It's not for me — it's not for everyone.

Being a manager is a huge responsibility, and for the majority of managers, the skills required to lead well are not innate. Being a good manager is about helping others thrive, fostering talent, fueling success, and supporting your team through challenges. The faster you develop these skills, the quicker your team will flourish.

In the book, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager by Scott Jeffrey Miller, the author identifies six key practices that will help transform you into the ideal manager. This volume has been field-tested with hundreds of thousands of managers worldwide.

Don't focus on your own success but the success of your team

The author tells a story about his friend and fellow salesperson, Carolyn. She was a high performer. When a leadership position opened up, Carolyn seemed like the obvious choice. The upper management figured that her team would potentially do the same with her at the helm.

They were sorely disappointed when Carolyn's team didn't seem to be developing. The problem was that Carolyn was always trying to save the day and was too focused on swooping into action to close the next deal. With her focus on sales, she was neglecting the support and nurture of her team.

Many first-time leaders fall into this trap. They think it's their job to swoop in and fix all the problems. What's happening is that you're sabotaging your team's opportunity to learn.

The team would best learn by making some mistakes. Sure, a few sales might be lost in the process, but it would provide an opportunity to explore what could be done differently going forward. It would also demonstrate Carolyn's trust and confidence in them.