Why You Desire Leadership and Not Managership

Why You Desire Leadership and Not Managership

Have you been offered a more senior position and rather than being excited, had reservations?


It’s not uncommon to question whether the move up the ladder is in your best interest. A good friend of mine is going through this. They have concerns because they are in a great position where they feel they have a good work balance, don’t take work home and are responsible only for their performance, oh and they like the boss.


When offered a promotion to a management or leadership position there are decisions to be made; will there be more work, politics to navigate, managing other people’s performance and perhaps having difficult conversations with poor performers. We can question whether we have the skills to be strategic and accept more responsibility.


Jane talks about her experience “I remember my first management role, I was terrible. I didn’t have any skills in how to manage people which meant I had no faith in the people that were working with me, that they would do the job that needed to be done. Rather than have the confidence to give them more power, give them more authority and autonomy, I tried to control them out of my own lack of trust. “


We are often promoted into a role with no skill development, learning on the job. I’ve spoken before about the Peter Principle, developed by Canadian psychologist Dr. Laurence Peter, it predicts that “in a hierarchical organisation, employees tend to rise to the level of their incompetence” and this is what happened to Jane. Luckily Jane was surrounded by a great team who had the courage to tell her what an awful leader she was (her words not mine).  She started on her path of self-development and has evolved into a great leader.


Being a manager is hard work, you’re the meat in the sandwich juggling executive expectation, getting the job done, whilst motivating teams to understand their role in the bigger picture. Being a manager is also not particularly sexy….

In his book Amplifiers, Matt Church describes the perception of management as “a kind of cardigan wearing, boring compliance function”.


Unfortunately, being a manager is far less appealing than being a leader. No one is accusing Richard Branson or Brene Brown of wearing a cardigan.


BUT – there is journey to leadership, there is work that needs to be done.


 Mindset model.jpg


On the journey there are opportunities to build your leadership skills and in next weeks blog I want to explore the three key areas of managership to help you on your path to leadership…