As Corporate America increasingly goes through reorg and consolidation hell, an amazing number of managers and DIrectors I’ve worked with over the years are now individual contributer worker bees. And it is amazing how many of them didn’t like managing people. In fact, I’ve yet to meet one manager at a cocktail party, meeting or other who actually said they enjoy managing people — most find it stressful and unpleasant. THe most common phrase I think is “babysitting.”
I just spoke to a woman who just a few weeks ago went from management to being a worker bee. She is in heaven. She has gone from 70 hours a week to 50, and doesn’t have to be positive all the time (it is like the Frasier episode where the middle school drama teacher said she was sick of being positive all the time 🙂 ).
My very own dad, who managed as many as 2500 people at one point (but is retired), said his happiest days were as a programmer.
It is hard to manage people. THings come up in their life that impact the team that you as manager have to deal with. SOme people don’t like to work. There is a lot of tattletaling and complaining about co-workers. And the bottom line is your management holds you accountable for the people beneath yo. Maybe that is why their are so many sociopathic awful managers in management — if you are sane you try to get out, but if you are a sociopath you like bossing people around and treating them like dirt 🙂
For me? I have a love hate relationship with managing people. I love being a part of people’s lives and being able to help them. But the tattletaling and the worrying about apathetic contributors is stressful.