Day 6 of Seth Godin’s “Your Turn Challenge” – Tumblr
What am I doing wrong? I read all the right books; shared them with the team. I stay positive. Motivated. I make myself available. I propose the morning meetings. The quarterly reviews. I do the dirty work; cold calls, customer damage control, brainstorm sessions, slide-decks, white papers. I run the business AND bring in half the revenue. I don’t complain about the late nights. I make sure my guys know how valuable they are to me, to the business, to the ultimate achievement of our lofty goals. I am the beacon of light that offers hope for our future. And I suck. I’m no good. I can’t manage for shit.
…The above is a small sampling of my internal dialogue circa Fall 2013. My first true entrepreneurial endeavor. You know the kind where you walk away from the good money? When shit is actually on the line? Yea, that kind.
My partner and I had been building the business solo for 18 months. The foundation was in place. We had a brand. We had a marketing plan. We had some monetary wiggle room. Next step? Let’s grow the team! In three months we went from two people in one city, to seven people in two countries.
Whether or not I was going to be a “good” manager never crossed my mind. Of course I would be. I have the tact. I have the self-discipline. I have the hustle. I can lead a team. I can maintain composure in tough times. SURPRISE!!! I was wrong.
I failed in my first attempt as a manager. I still don’t know why. They didn’t read the books. My positivity was jarring. The meetings were a nuisance. The lofty goals didn’t resonate. I let them down. I let myself down. A standout moment where my ambition and best intentions didn’t yield pleasant surprises. The surprises were unpleasant. Severely so.
I’m sitting in a greener pasture now. Looking back, I can observe the circumstances more rationally, but I still don’t have the answers. But I know I want another shot.