Why is it Difficult to Be a Manager?


Many people aspire to become a manager – and that’s a good thing! Companies of all sizes desperately need good managers. However, for most, when they get into this new role they quickly discover that it is very difficult to be a manager! (Not to mention a good one!) Why is that?

There are at least three challenges that make it difficult to be a good manager.

Here they are:


The first challenge that makes it difficult to be a manager is the Time Challenge.


Particularly in small to mid-size businesses the manager is a “working” manager. By that, I mean that the manager still has technical or production responsibilities along with NEW management responsibilities. This means that the manager must pay more attention to managing their own priorities and time than ever before!

This can be especially challenging for the new manager who is not accustomed to the responsibilities of a manager. To be successful now, one must have good self-awareness and manage themselves more effectively than ever before. They must get better at setting priorities, they must think more about the big picture, and they must develop their skills at positive delegation. They must learn to build production time, strategic thinking time, and problem-solving time into their daily schedule.

Problem-solving time is often the greatest time challenge because other people now need for you to mentor, guide, and support them. You must not give in to the temptation to just “do it yourself.” You must delegate more and more work, and you must patiently take the time to help others succeed at that work. This leads us to the next challenge.


The second challenge that makes it difficult to be a manager is the Mindset Challenge


Most of us begin our careers as Individual Contributors. By that I mean we get recognition and rewards for our individual achievements. This is true in sales, operations, back office, everywhere. If you work well with others on your team that’s a huge plus. But at the end of the day we attain high levels of success because of the individual contribution we make.

When one takes on the responsibilities of a manager the scorecard changes. Now we’re graded by how effective we are at getting work accomplished through others. Can we build a high performing team? Can we delegate work effectively? Can we coach and train others? AND, are we effective at holding others accountable?

This requires the new manager to make a mindset shift from getting work done effectively and efficiently themselves, to valuing the time investment required to get work accomplished through others. You must think differently than before. This leads to the third challenge.


The third challenge that makes it difficult to be a manager is the Skill Challenge.


Most of us are trained in school or in the workplace to produce the work, but few are effectively trained to be good managers. You must master skills such as:

  • Personal time management
  • Big picture and long-range thinking
  • Talent assessment & development
  • Effective delegation
  • Team building
  • Individual coaching & mentoring
  • Corrective conversations
  • Complex communication
  • Tracking, measuring, and reporting on progress
  • Interpersonal skills/emotional intelligence, and more!

When one realizes the time challenge, the mindset challenge, and the skill challenge it’s easy to see why it is so difficult to be a good manager. If you are a manager (or business owner) I would encourage you to make this the focus of your personal & professional development. If you would be interested in a conversation to help you think this through, contact us below and we’ll schedule a complimentary call, give you some resources and to see if our services might be right for you.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get Marketing, Business, and Leadership Development Articles sent to your inbox.

Share this post with your friends

Are you ready to grow in your leadership?

Schedule Your Call With Glenn Smith Today

Scroll to Top