Hail to the King? – Not If You Want to Manage
Have you ever worked for someone who thought they were the center of the world? The person was so demanding that if you didn’t do what they wanted you to do, when they wanted you to do it, you would be getting an earful or worse? When you hear the term “manager”, does your past experience make you think “dictator”?
Chances are, if you’re thinking about moving up to a leadership role (or are even in a leadership role now), the “bad boss” example from above probably showed you how not to behave. However, in some cases, the way that person acted may have shaped an image for some who think that’s how a manager is supposed to act, especially for younger employees who may not have had many managers.
Consider the purpose of a manager – in the simplest terms, they provide task distribution and guidance. Being a manager does not mean you are above others. Just because you are in a position of power, it doesn’t mean you are “Lord of the Cubicles”.
I might be able to get away telling my dog “Hail to the King!”, but if I tried that with my wife, I’d be sleeping in the doghouse. If I can’t get away with it at home, you better believe I can’t get away with it at work with people who aren’t even related to me.
History shows that most dictators only last so long before their people rise up an overthrow them. While employees might not literally rise up against a toxic boss, you better believe that senior leadership will eventually take notice when a manager’s employee turnover rate exceeds the rest of the company, or that the manager-in-question seems to have their own filling cabinet of internal complaints in HR.
The bottom line is that a manager is there to support their people. The best managers look at their employees being the real bosses. They tell their leader what they need, and the leader helps them get whatever they need to be successful. If they are successful, the leader is successful, as well. Plus, it makes for better all-around working conditions for managers and employees alike.
If your mindset still falls into the realm of management equaling power, you might find yourself facing your own coup d’état in the future…