Managing People: The only way to climb the ladder…

Posted by on Apr 29, 2022 in Business Management, Culture, Leadership


There’s no doubt, for me anyway, that managing people is complex, emotional, taxing, time-consuming and stressful; on the flip side it is hugely rewarding and inspirational, gratifying, and compelling as you see your wards flourish in their careers and lives.

Because of these forces, mostly the negative ones, it seems that we’ve built ourselves a system where the only way to progress up the ranks of an organisation is to arm ourselves with the responsibility of managing people. We’ll kid ourselves that we’re leading them, but that’s a topic for another time. I’ve decided the collective noun must be an ‘empathy of employees’ as that’s what it takes most of the time.
I’ve seen managers highly skilled at this to the point that they are truly gifted leaders of people, happy to take on that responsibility, and genuinely good people to boot.

But what of those who have technical capability rather than people skills and are faced with the prospect of foregoing that to progress up the ladder? This is a challenge of convenience where we build and structure to established norms; where we need clear and uncluttered reporting linkages to know where we sit and who we talk with; where our lines of accountability, and therefore blame, are quite straightforward.

In disruptor establishments it doesn’t have to be like that; those who are gifted technocrats can hold on to that realm and those who deliver the best out of people are able to focus on that. Both strands have equal ability to climb the corporate ladder – well, maybe not quite to the top, cause that’s where total people focus is needed, but really close, anyway.

Let’s keep looking for those opportunities to reward our skilled ones in the areas they are really good at.