“Manager” does not have the same impact as “Teacher” and “Coach” (Had a conversation with L, an employee now a manager elsewhere…”)

L was one of my Sales Reps.  During the time she reported to me, she was agreeable and enthusiastic.  Her texts and emails to me were a lot of exclamation points and expressions of gratitude.

Now she is a Buying Manager for one of our clients.  And it is funny communicating with her.  The exclamation points and the enthusiasm have gone.  I’d never ask her for business in a million years (that’s not my style), and honestly have never made an unsolicted call to her, but she did call and offer us business which was nice.  But when she talks to me she has that robotic and neutral voice that so many Buying Managers have.  

Honestly, it’s disheatening in many ways.  I could care less about her business, but I do invest a lot of time and energy into my employees (I truly care) and I hear things like “Best boss ever” (which I take with a grain of salt considering they have a vested interest to say that when working for me) but 9 times out of 10 when they leave I don’t get/hear much from them again.  

When I taught and when I coached, it was different.  Even years later, my grown students still saw me as teacher and former players saw me as coach.  But management doesn’t mean the same  – its impacts aren’t as permanent.

I am fighting the urge to wonder why I care about my team so much.  But then again, I do owe it to them the do the best I can while they work for me.  And recently I was contacted by a company who’d spoken to my former employees who’d mentioned I was a favorite boss of most people who report to me.  So maybe the impact is there, just not visible.  And I don’t do it for the visibility, I do it because I care.

Human nature is funny.  

“Manager” does not have the same impact as “Teacher” and “Coach” (Had a conversation with L, an employee now a manager elsewhere…”)