The Five Reasons You Became A Manager [New Post]

There are five reasons you became a manager.

The first reason is that you’d rather be a boss than have a boss. More power!

Exactly seven minutes after your promotion, you get a call from the person who hired you for the new job. The one who wooed you. This person, you realize, is your new boss. Part of your job is to keep this person happy. That will take real effort.

There is an exception: when your new boss is the same as your old boss. Whatever you did before to keep her happy, you can keep doing. Easy peasy.

Alas, either way, you don’t get what you wanted: freedom from a boss.

The second reason you became a manager was to get a bigger office. Bigger offices are nice because they create more distance between you and your boss—either your new boss or your old boss with the new title. Space is freedom, so it feels great.

Exactly seven minutes after you move into your new office, you realize that the room is full of people who want things from you. It’s a bigger office, so there are more people.

So you bring in bookcases (even though you don’t have time to read) and file cabinets (even though all your files are electronic). These protect you from people who want things from you.

Unfortunately, when people who want things from you can’t find you—or need to lift heavy bookcases and file cabinets to see you—they become unhappy. Your engagement scores plummet. This makes your boss—either your new boss or the old boss with the new title—very anxious.

The third reason you became a manager was to increase your influence. Instead of looking up at other managers, you get to call many of them your peers. And by persuading them, you indirectly impact all of the people who report to them. The other good news: directors and vice presidents now want to talk with you.

Exactly seven minutes after feeling excited about this, you realize that your calendar is now filled with back-to-back meetings. These may be great opportunities to influence people, but you won’t have time to prepare for them. So it dawns on you that the purpose of these meetings is actually for other people to influence you.

The fourth reason you became a manager was to impress your friends, family, and the three high school classmates you bump into over the holidays.

Exactly seven minutes after telling them about your promotion, they ask you what you do as a manager, and you realize that you don’t know how to answer. You’ve spent all of your time so far figuring out how to make your new boss happy, filling your bigger office with furniture, and going to meetings that you haven’t had time to manage.

So you tell them that your new job positions you really well for the promotion to director.

The fifth and least conscious reason you became a manager was to get things done through others rather than yourself. You hear about this strange explanation 18 months after your promotion during your second performance review with your boss—either the new boss, the old boss with the new title, or the brand new boss who replaced the first new boss because the first new boss was trying to get everything done herself.

By the end of the performance review, you finally get it. Getting things done through others rather than yourself is what managing is all about. Of course!

You are so excited to figure this out that you give your boss a big warm hug and announce that you are now ready to give yourself fully to the organization, just as soon as you switch back to being an individual contributor.

***********************************************************************************

If you know anyone who is a manager, was a manager, or would like to become a manager, think hard for 10 seconds before forwarding this to them.

Episode 67: Lies, Authority, And Assessments With Chris Chittenden [The Amiel Show]

How is a lie different from an ungrounded assessment, and why does this matter in leadership? Where does a leader’s authority come from? What happens when you provide a well-grounded assessment that doesn’t matter to anyone listening?

I have a hunch that your answers to these questions will help you understand the peculiar and disturbing state of politics in the United States today.

This week on the podcast, Chris Chittenden joins me to make sense of these questions. Chris and I previously spoke about real accountability. This time, he helps me use his powerful ontological lens to understand the age of Trump and simultaneously provide clarity about leadership in organizations.

Highlights

  • 12:00 It’s easy to mix up assertions and assessments. Don’t do it!
  • 17:00 Assessments help us see what’s good or bad for us
  • 20:00 Five steps to grounding an assessment
  • 30:00 Obamacare, shifting standards, and the meaning of words
  • 43:00 Certainty, autonomy and the fall of empires
  • 50:00 The President’s conditional promises
  • 1:00:00 Who actually gives the President authority?
  • 1:05:00 The role of “fake news” in shaping assertions and assessments
  • 1:25:00 When a country’s executive function has a damaged prefrontal cortex

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President’s DJT’s Enneagram Type, my free new eBook

I’m pleased to announce the release of my new eBook, DJT’s Enneagram Type: The Case for Three. It’s shorter than most eBooks yet one of the most comprehensive explorations ever of a President’s personality type.

  • For fans of the Enneagram, you’ll find it fascinating. If this sounds like you, please forward this to Enneagram friends.
  • For people interested in adult development, join me as I take a stab at integrating vertical developmental stages with the horizontal typology of the Enneagram.
  • For people following U.S. politics, the book offers a break from the “He’s great”/”He’s terrible” debate. I use the Enneagram to understand the President–in particular, what makes him tick.

My own view of DJT’s Enneagram type has changed dramatically. I walk you through this evolution of my thinking and offer a point-by-point response to the argument of a highly respected Enneagram teacher and friend, Bea Chestnut.

The book is free for subscribers. Click here, provide your email address, and you’ll get the download. When you see the words “Thank you for Signing Up”, rest assured: you’re already on the list.

Know anyone who would be interested in this? Please forward this email to them now. They’ll thank you for it!

Again, click here to get your free copy.

Episode 66: Men’s Sexual Shadow At Work With Keith Witt [The Amiel Show]

Dr Keith Witt

Men who are conscious of their sexual shadows at work are better leaders. They are less likely to do stupid things like sexually harass women or have illicit affairs. By spending less energy fighting their shadows, they can use their human superpowers to do good things like build great teams and guide them toward a better future.

People don’t talk a lot about this. Not in day to day work. And not even in classes about diversity and inclusion—or women in leadership.

That’s why I was so excited to talk with this week’s guest, Keith Witt, about his new book Shadow Light: Illuminations At the Edge Of Darkness.

His book and our conversation are about everyone (not just men) and all types of shadow (not just the sexual one). Still, the part I found most valuable was about straight guys who still haven’t gotten over their teenage crush on Suzie next door. Yes, we actually riff on this for 15 minutes!

Keith and I previously spoke about creating a marital love affair. You might say that this time we talk about loving your shadow.

For integral folks, we also talk about your personal moral system. How does this system change as we grow? What happens to our bodies when we violate it?

As if that weren’t enough, we also look at how healthy and unhealthy nationalism differ. Hint: it has to do with the collective shadow!

Highlights

  • The shame of violating your moral system
  • Constructive versus destructive shadow
  • Human superpowers
  • The roots of sexual harassment
  • Evaluating potential employees for their willingness to be influenced
  • Healthy and unhealthy nationalism

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Episode 63: Using Worldviews To Explain The Election With Cindy Wigglesworth [The Amiel Show]

cindy-w-2

Still trying to make sense of the U.S. presidential election? Me, too.

This week, leadership consultant and author Cindy Wigglesworth helps us understand what happened through the lens of worldviews. With an approach called Spiral Dynamics as our guide, Cindy describes how worldviews emerge progressively as we grow, what happens when they rub against each other, and how to reintegrate worldviews that we have kicked under the rug.

It’s a rich topic, one with interlocking questions about our political moment. For example:

What happens when the Blue “rules and roles” worldview gets attacked on one side by the Red “powerful self” and on the other side by Green “pluralism?”

Might liberals’ pluralism have underestimated the visceral appeal of the fierce Red within Donald Trump and many of his supporters?

What happens when Orange “achiever” values take the form of crony capitalism–and what would a healthier capitalism look like?

What new and more advanced worldview might be called forth in our culture if the survival of our species is at stake (if it isn’t already)?

This conversation with Cindy is part three of my post-election series. Although I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about parts one and two, I realize that politics—even at this dramatic moment in history–isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If so, stay tuned for future interviews with Deb Helsing about Immunity to Change, Steve Waddell about large systems change, and Sean Casey Leclaire about men and leadership.

But, first, Cindy Wigglesworth. Cindy is a recognized expert in spiritual intelligence and its application to leaders and organizations. She describes her approach as faith-neutral, faith-friendly, and science-friendly. She created the SQ21 assessment of spiritual intelligence and is author of SQ21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence.

This conversation about the election, although informed by Cindy’s wisdom and compassion, doesn’t focus explicitly on spiritual intelligence. On the other hand, I think it will recharge your spiritual batteries as it did mine.

Highlights

  • 7:30 Spiral Dynamics stages: red, blue, orange, and green
  • 15:00 Different reasons people voted for Trump
  • 18:30 How Bernie pulled Hillary more into Green
  • 22:00 Green pluralism often attacks Blue rules
  • 25:40 Strategic approach to societal survival issues
  • 31:30 How to reintegrate the virtues of your Red (Powerful Self) and Blue (Rules and Roles) world views
  • 40:30 How we can disown world views as we grow
  • 45:00 Variety of forms capitalism takes
  • 48:30 Critiques of capitalism—and their limits

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Liberalism often underestimates the value of enforcing society’s rules and roles

–Cindy Wigglesworth   Tweet this quote

Spiral Dynamics worldviews discussed in interview

  • Red: Powerful Self
  • Blue: Rules and Roles
  • Orange: Achiever
  • Green: Pluralistic
  • Yellow: Strategic

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Episode 62: Crisis, Healing, Civic Engagement With Terry Patten [The Amiel Show]

Terry nPatten

It’s been two weeks since Trump’s victory shocked the world. An avid reader, I’ve been exploring 101 different interpretations of why he won, what his presidency means for the future, and what actions responsible citizens can take. I know many people who are still in shock even after undertaking practices to heal the body and soul. Yet, at some point, the future calls us to make sense of this complexity.

What are the implications for my family and friends? How might the next 6-12 months play out in terms of public policy, health of our constitutional democracy, and the quality of community life? Some of us are drawn to what previously were known as worst case scenarios. Now they are plausible futures. Other prefer to hope for the best. After all, we’ve survived far worse situations, haven’t we?

Our times call for a quality of thinking and awareness that can embrace all of these perspectives. To explore this, I reached out to Terry Patten, a leading voice in integral evolutionary leadership and spirituality. Terry believes that this moment in history calls for lighthearted sobriety. According to Terry, “Denial (deciding to be optimistic without reckoning seriously with the challenges) is morally indefensible.” Yet because “despair is a self-fulfilling prophesy, optimism is an even more essential moral imperative.”

Terry and I discuss this and more in a wide ranging interview.

Terry describes three ways we can view this moment in history: the beginning of collapse, a healing crisis through which something greater will emerge, and a call to greater civic engagement.

Can we grow our minds, hearts, and bodies sufficiently to embrace all of this—and still smile in amazement at the miracle of our lives?

A bit more about Terry. He coauthored with Ken Wilber the groundbreaking book Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening. He hosts a free webcast called Beyond Awakening and will soon offer a free course called “Befriending Your Overstimulated Brain.” In fall 2017, North Atlantic Books will publish Terry’s new book about the practice of responsible, conscious citizenship of a civilization in crisis.

While talking with Terry I felt my mind physically stretch, my heart soften, and my feet extend deeply into the earth.

Enjoy and share widely to people you care about.

Highlights

  • 6:30 Facing up to our own subtle superiority
  • 14:30 Exchange with Ken Wilber about the excesses of postmodernism
  • 21:30 Scenarios of ecological and social collapse
  • 30:00 Why immunizing ourselves from crisis won’t work
  • 35:30 The restoration of amazement even amidst collapse
  • 44:00 The redemption in making a “no matter what” commitment
  • 50:00 Citizenship as an American and fellowship with the world

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To be delivered a higher purpose is an existential gift.

–Terry Patten  Tweet this quote

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