Which am I?

Read this from JenC’s FB feed a moment ago. I know she posted this a few days back but isn’t usually get all the feeds displayed on my tiny FB app 😛


I thought this comparison was very apt to what I have been relatively confused about myself for quite a while now. I remember having this conversation with Shiny recently on what are the criteria you would look out for when in search of a new management candidate. Do you evaluate if the person is a leader material or a manager type? Would a team player or a team leader characteristics be one of the key elements for a successful manager? Should a manager be the idea generator of the encourager for idea generations? I also had the same questions asked to several other friends and people around me. Of course, pretty much as expected, no clear answer. Otherwise I won’t be typing this now 😉

I don’t know how many of you are people managers or have ever wished your boss of certain leadership “style”. As I was reading the above comparisons, it is extremely clear to me that I’m totally not the “boss” material. While I’m not suggesting that a manager does not have any leadership traits, but assuming it can be somewhat clear cut; at least for the purpose of this post 😛 I guess I’m making this statement about myself simply because I struggle to manage people because I don’t see how and why I ought to be given that authority to do so. Technically everyone is their own manager. At least that’s what I always tell my team. You need to take responsibility of your own career and future. No doubt you have very little control over what happens ultimately with regards to increment, promotion or even opportunities that may arise without your knowledge. But hey, same goes for me! I’m but another employee down the food chain! Ain’t it?

So, that said. I’m not sure if I fit entirely on the “develops people” part either. Cos I think I’m really stuck with where I am now. Having of reports within my team that has way more working experience than myself (be it in the role or experience in the industry), I feel crippled not knowing what’s more installed for them and how to get them to the next level. It almost feels like I’m trying to imagine how to get them to the top of the ladder when I’m rooted on the ground whilst they, already on the steps of the ladder. Ironic right? Hence it’s no surprise that there’s some (I’m being very kind to mysef) lacking of respect & trust. Not to mention confusion; at least if I’m them, I bet I would be confused as to what my boss is trying to do to me or my team.

My point being, how do you know if you are a mismatch? Should you be a “boss” or a “leader” to be a successful people manager? Or rather which of these two traits would be most necessary to warrant for a good manager? What were the characteristics of some of your favorite bosses that you look up to?


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