To manage or not to manage?
I was recently told that I would make a good manager.
Yeah, that actually came out of left field for me too. I had been operating under the assumption that because I am not great at X, Y, or Z when it comes to dealing with people, that makes me specifically not a good candidate to manage people. Now, managing process is a whole different story. I love problem solving and believe that proper processes, when implemented correctly, can make everyone's job easier.
This person, however, was reflecting on my ability to manage real, live people. Not only that, but this person is a successful marketing director, esteemed in his field, has incredible management experience, and leads several programs. I mean, he's never managed me, so his management style could be terrible, but the statement alone got me thinking. Let me explain...
I was having coffee with said marketing director and lamenting the fact that my current role has no paths to leadership that do not require managing people. He asked me, "Do you just not want to manage people?" I said, "Well, I've realized that I am not great at saying things in a diplomatic way... I'm just too blunt. I don't do overly emotional stuff very well, and I really don't understand negativity and self pity because I believe every person has the ability to change themselves and themselves alone. I cuss a lot. I'm sure there are a lot more reasons why I shouldn't manage people." He looks at me quizzically and says, "That sounds like you are self aware enough to be an awesome manager of people. You are very cognizant of your flaws, you seem to work actively to address them, and you explain your faults and needs with no ego."
This is where I shut my damn mouth, thanked him for the compliment, and stewed on that for a while. The thing is, I think he might be right. I don't know about all of you out there, but some of my biggest issues with management is that they have huge egos, can't admit when they're wrong, are selfish, etc.
Maybe, just maybe, I could be a good manager of people if I kept working on my skills, stayed grounded, and had the right opportunity. I could be shit at it, but at least I would've tried, right? I can be my own worst handicap, simply because I shut down paths that seem like "not a good fit" but that is entirely dependent on how you look at it. I might not be a good fit for a lot of people, but I might just right for some. Who knows? I guess it's time to start considering the option, at least.