Being a Manager, Different From Being a Supervisor

Joel was not shaking, but he was certainly shaken.

“I just don’t know,” he said. “Since I was promoted from being a supervisor to a manager, things are different. It is certainly not as easy as I thought, a bit out of control.”

“Being new to management is tough. No one prepared you for this, they just promoted you and expected you to figure it out,” I replied.

“And what if I don’t figure it out?” Joel asked.

“Oh, you will figure it out. But that is no insurance that you will succeed. There are a number of reasons that managers don’t make the grade. The first reason is commitment. This is harder than you thought it would be. Being a manager requires a passion for being a manager. Being a manager is a lot different than being a supervisor.”

“You are right about that. Being a supervisor was fun, fast paced, things were always changing and I had to respond quickly. Being a manager, things move slower. I have to think about things. And the worst part, most everything I do is accomplished through other people. Other people are hard to control. They don’t always show up the way I want them to.”

“So, you are facing the first challenge of a being a manager. Do you really want to be a manager? Do you have a passion for it? Just saying yes doesn’t make it so. Why do you have a passion for it?”

One thought on “Being a Manager, Different From Being a Supervisor

  1. Gordon

    Certainly an interesting question. I think in many businesses, particularly larger ones, moving into management is sort of the natural progression of one’s career. People end up in those roles as a result of wanting career advancement.

    This is what happened in my case – it was a way up. But as time went by, I really started to enjoy it because I was able to map out the strategy for my organization and watch as the plan came together. And despite the pressure and politics, I enjoy meeting with employees to talk about assignments that will help them advance their career. The reaction you get from an employee when they see you’re vested in them is rewarding.


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