Monday, March 17, 2008

So, what do you do again?

Having spent more of my working life as a non-manager than as a manager, I know how people often look at a manager and say "What does he/she DO all day? They're not producing anything - they're just dead weight" or something similar.

I went to the Manager Tools website and took a look at their podcast categories and culled out some that illustrate a fair amount of what it involves.

HR (and all that that entails)
  • Evaluations
  • Staffing / Hiring / Interviews / Recruiters
  • Retention
  • Termination / Layoffs
  • Employee Behavior
  • One on Ones /Feedback
  • Networking
  • Employee Performance
  • Company Strategy
  • Communication
  • Delegation
  • Meetings
Employee development
  • Books
  • Career
  • Coaching
  • Training
  • Email
  • Presenting
I have not even touched on the budget cycle or any of the other administrative sinkholes that can eat up your day / week / month / year.

Any one of these areas grows with headcount, as the number of communication channels increases. Some of the tasks are emotionally draining, while others take their toll physically.

Yet, I remember when I thought managers did not do anything but drink coffee and loaf around. So when somebody asks me what I do I say "Wander around and wave my arms, hoping it makes a difference." I suppose it diminishes the work somewhat, but the only other option is to try and laundry-list it all and nobody wants to hear about that.

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