When I was fresh out of college, I worked in the IT department as a help desk representative for an insurance company in upstate New York where I grew up. I was the person you called if you had a computer problem, forgot your password or couldn’t get your macros to work in Word Perfect.
One day my boss told me he was going to hire another representative to help me and that this person would report to me. I didn’t really know much about leadership or managing, but from the outside, it looked pretty cool. Better pay, better title, a nice office and more authority. It seemed straightforward, a nice reward for doing good work. It seemed like when you became a manager, you’d finally made it.
Four weeks later, I started managing for the first time. I had no idea what I was doing. I quickly figured out that management wasn’t so straightforward after all, and frankly, not as fun as I had imagined.
As leaders, we need to give people a peek behind the curtain of what leadership really is before they become leaders. Perhaps then we will begin to fill leadership positions with people who want the job for the right reasons—to serve others and make an impact.
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