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5 signs you’re not cut out to be a boss

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in The Savvy Office Manager

So, you got what you wanted. You rose up through the ranks and achieved that lofty management position. More money, more prestige, more headaches.

But are you really cut out for the job? For the most part, your gut will tell you. In case you’re getting mixed messages from within yourself, here are some signs that maybe you’re not quite boss material.

1. You glean approval from your subordinates. If you find yourself monitoring and analyzing your employees’ reactions to everything you say and do, you probably have little faith in the validity of your decisions and the authenticity of your authority. Your employees should be fishing for “Likes” from you, not the other way around.

2. You make decisions based on employees’ personal lives. Joe’s got a lot of kids and drives a junky car. He could sure use a raise. Joyce doesn’t really need the job; her husband’s a heart surgeon. She could absorb the layoff. Hey boss, whatever happened to job performance, special skills, attitude?

3. You are wagged around by workplace politics. When you feel yourself caving to the main clique, and the movers and shakers of that group make you feel second-rate, you’re in trouble. This is an indication you not only lack leadership skills, but you’re dutifully subservient. Perhaps you belong in the clique, not necessarily as its leader.

4. Conflict makes you queasy. Remember, you took the job for the prestige and the raise. Don’t forget the headaches, too. Your job is to manage people, and people squabble, lie, back-stab, brown-nose, loaf, cut corners, whine, bicker, underperform and start trouble. These are things you must correct. If you find you are uncomfortable approaching employees on these issues, someone above you will not have any problem approaching you.

5. You lose a lot of sleep over a firing. This is the toughest part of being a boss. You’ve got to pull an employee into your office and cut the cord. Even if it’s Joe with the junky car. No doubt you’ll lose sleep the night before the firing, and the night after you sent him packing. And maybe the next night, too. But if you’d rather get a tooth pulled with no anesthetic shot than fire another worker, then maybe it’s time to slip back into the rank and file.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jane January 13, 2015 at 6:41 am

Very informative and self appraising.


Linda Galindo January 12, 2015 at 10:18 am

Terrific post. I do find that #’s 4 and 5 have a lot to do with being good at holding people accountable. If you accept a role as a manager being accountable yourself will stop the “rescue, fix, save” mindset and create the need to be good at holding others accountable with mentoring, coaching or managing.


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