Divas, While Talented, Don’t Make Good Managers

I’ve talked before about it being perfectly acceptable if you would rather stay as a hands-on member of a team rather than assuming a leadership position at work. In that post I said:

Being a manager is not a good fit for everyone.

It really is not. And that’s not a bad thing — it just is what it is.

In Authentic Leadership Can Be Bad Leadership, it talks about managers who use authenticity as an excuse to do and say whatever they want in the management of their teams because, hey, it’s how they roll. The one specific example cited is that of a magazine head who requires her employees to do things her way and her way only to put each issue together. While she may be a very talented exec who knows her business inside and out, she is a terrible manager.

Again, being a manager is not a good fit for everyone. It’s not a good fit for those who don’t want to lead, and certainly not for those who are divas.

These 10 characteristics of a leader from Chat at the Cooler provide a good description of what a manager needs:

  1. Character
  2. Communication
  3. Listening
  4. Relationships
  5. Vision
  6. Passion
  7. Positive attitude
  8. Responsibility
  9. Decision making
  10. Initiative

Anyone thinking about going into a leadership position that entails the management of people should take a bit of time to reflect on whether or not they possess these qualities or are willing to do the work necessary to cultivate them well. If not, this kind of role is probably not the best job fit.

Are there other ways to be a leader? Of course! Here are a few options:

  • Industry consultant
  • Speaker
  • Author

Not wanting to go the management route is not a failure. Rather, a person who recognizes that in him/herself possesses a keen self-awareness and makes it much easier to have the career they really want, not just one that is formed by peer pressure.

Agree/disagree? Let me know your thoughts!

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