These Types of Employees Are Not Management Material
You may have your eyes set on the corner office (and the bigger salary that comes with it), but you’ll never get there if you’re not management material. Getting promoted at work isn’t just a matter of paying your dues. If you want a position with more responsibility and better pay, you need to prove you have what it takes.
The best candidates for management positions are motivated and have strong leadership skills. They’re also good with people and have business expertise, according to a survey of executives by The Creative Group.
But even employees who excel in their current positions might not have the talent to be great bosses. And many of those worker bees are OK with not being management material. Only a third of people CareerBuilder surveyed said they were aiming for a leadership position at work. Just 7% were hoping to become a C-level executive.
But some people are itching to work their way up the ladder at work and are wondering why they haven’t yet been tapped for a management position. Their behavior might be to blame. If you’re one of these types of employees, you might not be management material.
1. The control freak
The micromanaging, control freak boss is the stuff of employee nightmares. This perfectionist manager wants to be involved in every decision, from approving the font used in a big presentation to choosing which snacks are stocked in the break room.
Control freak bosses make for unhappy employees who can’t reach their full potential. Of people who had worked for a micromanaging boss, 68% said the dynamic was bad for morale and 55% said it decreased their productivity, a survey by Accountemps found.
Being unable to let go is not only annoying for your employees, but it’s also stressful for you. If you can’t trust your subordinates to make the right decisions, you might not be management material.
Next: The responsibility dodger
2. The responsibility dodger
Passing the buck is harder when you’re the big boss. Employees who are in the habit of blaming their failings on others won’t fare well once they’re in a management position when it’s much more difficult to shift responsibility. Though bad managers might try to point the finger at employees when deadlines aren’t met or a critical mistake is made, they’re ultimately responsible for making sure the team meets its goals.
“[B]eing a manager isn’t just a matter of getting a pay raise and getting to boss people around. When you’re the manager, there are no excuses,” Liz Ryan, the founder and CEO of Human Workplace, wrote in a blog post for LinkedIn. “If someone goofs up, it’s on you, because you hired them and you trained them.”
Next: The wishy-washy leader
3. The wishy-washy leader
Do you hem and haw over the tiniest decisions? Are you guilty of making choices and then changing your mind? Is setting clear goals difficult for you? Then, you might not be great management material. While good managers listen and adapt, they must also be strong leaders who can guide their team to success.
“Can you lay out a vision for your team, set goals and timelines around it, hold people accountable to meeting those goals, and be disciplined about saying no to activities that won’t drive you forward toward your objectives? Many managers struggle with pieces of this — especially saying no to projects that sound worthy but belong lower on the priority list.” HR expert Alison Green wrote in an article for U.S. News & World Report. If the idea of having people looking to you to make big decisions gives you a headache, a management position might not be the best choice for you.
Next: The slacker
4. The slacker
People who are already having trouble doing their current job aren’t likely to set the world on fire as a manager. Being the boss means more responsibility, not less. Thirty-two percent of CFOs surveyed by Robert Half said balancing individual duties with the need to oversee others was the most difficult part of being a manager. Slackers need not apply, in other words.
While chronic laziness won’t make you management material, it won’t always stand in the way of a promotion at work. You might get a bump just because your current boss wants to get rid of you.
“We see a lot of organizations where managers will even promote a low performer just to get them out of their department,” Leadership IQ CEO Mark Murphy told NBC News.
Next: The too-nice team member
5. The too-nice team member
Jerks get promoted for a reason, and it’s not just because they’re bullies. Making difficult decisions and being able to criticize others is part of being a manager. Those are tasks the more tenderhearted tend to shy away from.
Managers who are too nice “don’t give tough feedback, shy away from going to bat for their teams, and give in too easily to demands,” according to the Harvard Business Review. As a result, the conflict-averse boss can drive away good employees and jeopardize the success of big projects.
Next: The egomaniac
6. The egomaniac
Managers have to be able to take criticism. In fact, they should welcome it as a tool to improve their team.
“If you think you know better than everyone else and aren’t afraid to show it, you’re not demonstrating expertise — actually, quite the opposite,” David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom, authors of Appreciate: Celebrating People, Inspiring Greatness, wrote in Forbes. “Overconfidence can signal that you’re not empathetic or mature enough to lead a team.”
Next: The downer
7. The downer
If you don’t want everyone on your team to grow and be successful, then you’re not management material. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Skilled managers have never been more critical to the success of firms than they are today. Not because employees can’t function without direction, but because managers play a vital role in talent management.”
Bad managers drive away quality employees because they don’t help them realize their full potential. They drag their employees down by not acknowledging their individual talents. But good managers take stock of everyone’s skills and assign their employees work that fits their strengths.
Next: The yes person
8. The yes person
We’ve already mentioned that as a manager, you must be able to make decisions. And that includes saying no. Managers have to turn down employee requests all the time for the good of the team, even if it results in some hurt feelings.
They might have to say no to vacation requests, for example, because someone else had already planned a vacation for those days. Or they might have to reject a request for a raise because the company can’t afford it. A good boss has to make decisions in the best interest of the whole team.
Additional reporting by Mary Daly.