Why should someone become a manager?

Most people begin their management careers by accident and then spend a lifetime learning about people and things and themselves. Good managers are rarely appreciated as much as they should be.

Like teachers, the joy found in other’s successes is deep and lasting. Like teaching, management is a calling.

Topic question: Why should a young manager consider a career in management?

Discussion questions

  • Who inspired you to be a manager?
  • Have the rewards of being a manager changed for you over the years?
  • Is being a manager as respected as it should be?


  • Bob DeVita
  • Susan Dineen
  • Patti Epstein
  • Kevin Hickman
  • Bryon Johnson
  • Bill Mitchell
  • Tim Stewart
  • Kristi Thering
  • Carolyn Tretina
  • Derrick Van Mell

What is a manager?

I did what was mine to do. Pray may you find out what is yours.” – Saint Francis of Assisi

  • A manager is someone who helps people work together. A leader is someone who inspire people to take a risk. Almost all managers are also leaders and vice versa.
  • To clarify roles, it helps to put the manager’s and the employee’s job descriptions side by side
  • Good managers tend to believe the best of people, in their innate compassion and goodness
  • A manager keeps people safe, makes the feel appreciated and gives them work to be proud of

Who inspired you to be a manager?

“Some men are born great. Others have greatness thrust upon ‘em.” – Shakespeare

  • Most were “negatively inspired” by a bad manager: that made them want to be a good boss
  • Most were forced to be a manager, yet given little or no instruction
  • Were introduced to management early: in school, summer jobs, sports, the military or family business
  • Also in common: someone spotted an inherent ability in us
  • Some tried to avoid being a manager, many left management positions for years
  • Still, most did feel the “call” of management

Have the rewards of being a manager changed for you over the years?

“Execution is the chariot of greatness” – William Blake

  • Good managers are rarely appreciated or thanked: they need to find their own rewards
  • Universally, the reward-the joy—was seeing other people grow and succeed
  • Managing is teaching and has similar reward
  • Is managing a spiritual practice? Perhaps, but it’s certainly a way to develop oneself personally
  • A good manager learns to see people as individuals, a great life lesson
  • An indicator of success is when the employees no longer need you
  • For a chief executive, the reward is making and leaving the organization safe and healthy
  • Good managers can enjoy being life-long learner

Is being a manager as respected as it should be?

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” – Lao Tzu

  • No. Why?
  • For some reason, people think it’s easy to be a manager
  • Leaders and innovations get a lot of attention, within organization and the press
  • Managers get things done, but that doesn’t get much attention, either
  • Good managers keep a low profile, so don’t get recognized
  • Management is always ambiguous, so it’s hard to measure directly
  • Good managers should be generous in their praise—and we should praise them, too.
  • Perhaps STEM earns respect today, instead of the “softer” skills of a manager

Relevant Terms

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