Stepping into a management role at work can be exhilarating and exhausting. Most of us spend much of our careers just figuring out how we personally work best: identifying and utilizing our unique God-given strengths, skills, communication styles, and personality.
As a manager, though, it’s not enough to be good at getting your own work done. You have to take a lot of other people into account as well. And guess what? They’re all perfectly unique too, and that means they may need very different things from you. It can be exciting to try to figure people out, and invigorating to try to help them reach their goals. Nevertheless, it can also be draining to try to motivate a disengaged employee, or downright frustrating to see someone’s mistakes or bad attitude dragging your whole team down.
One way or another, I’ve been learning how to manage people for most of my life. My siblings will probably tell you I started organizing and directing them right out of the cradle. By the time I was 16 I was managing summer harvesting crews on the family orchard. In my 20s, I spent years studying management in business school, and since then I’ve worked with countless and varied teams of people. At CBRE (Commercial Real Estate Services) a decade ago, I led a team of thousands in directing one of the company’s major multi-million dollar lines of business. At 4word, I work intensely with a few full-time employees and a small army of freelancers and volunteers.1