Management isn’t easy, understand that

Management isn’t easy, most people who have never worked in a management position don’t understand how much is asked of you.  That being said, employees do look to you for guidance and to set a standard.  This is a big responsibility and you have to be willing to accept that when you take the job.  If you’re not up to the challenge then it’s going to come back to haunt you.


Let’s say a manager is off on vacation and you’re asked to stay over one hour to cover until another manager can take over managing the shift.  Now the reason you’re asked to stay over is there are parts of the job that require management level system access and without a manager certain operations are put on hold.  But you decide to take off an hour early figuring it will be fine and the incoming manager can fix the issue when they get in.


  1. The employees of the shift you’re supposed to cover will see this and understand you are not dependable.
  2. The employees on your shift will hear about how you took off early and will be more likely to be apathetic about the work and willing to take off when you really need them.
  3. If it’s a larger company having to wait for a manager to get in to perform certain tasks can have a cascading effect down the line causing delays which can hurt the company as a whole.

What happens?

Employees will come to know you as not dependable and will start to work around you.  Maybe that means coming up with ways to just not have you in the loop, or worse for you, start talking to upper management about how they have to work around you because they can’t depend on you.

Management starts hearing about how you aren’t dependable and starts to think about replacing you.  Maybe replacement means demotion or firing, either way it’s hard to come back from either of those outcomes.  Even if you aren’t moved out of your mamagenet position upper management will be aware of your failings and as a result when you apply for a promotion they will hold that failing against you.

Maybe the management level access is needed to clear an expedited part for shipping to a customer and the delivery driver is waiting for that part.  They aren’t going to wait long for the part, they have other stops to make and they are on a time frame.  The result is the driver will leave and now the next manager will have to pay someone to drive the expedited part to a service center to make sure it gets out on time.  This means the manager will have one less employee and will have to authorize mileage expenses if they use their own vehicle, just to make sure the customer gets their order on time.

What should you do?

Understand the management position you are applying for, if you’re unsure about a part of the job, ask!  If you fully understand what you’re applying for, be ready to take on all the responsibilities, you can’t pick and choose which responsibilities you’re going to take.  Management is all or none.

Understand how to protect your future power (see the only power is future power post), by not being dependable you are hurting your future power.  And don’t think word won’t get out about how you’re not dependable, employees talk and managers listen, it will be used against you when it comes time for promotions or just continuing your employment.


Like I said in the beginning, management isn’t easy.  Some people are naturals and it’s easy for them, some work hard but make it look easy, but those who slack off set a bad standard for everyone and hurt those who are doing the work. Remember, they are looking to you to set the standard for their work.

You have to be ready to do the job, if your not don’t take the job.  If you get into the position and find you can’t handle it, tell your boss.  Most managers will respect the fact that you recognised you weren’t ready for the position and let you go back to your previous position without any repercussions.  Now obviously next time you go for a promotion within the company you will need to make sure you can show you know what is expected of you and that you can handle the position, but showing those things will improve your chance of getting the promotion.

Every manager needs to think long term, you should always be thinking “how will this decision affect me long term”.  

Like what you see?

Sign up to receive new posts in your inbox, every month.

I do not spam! Read my privacy policy for more info.