Why Did You Become a Manager?

Many employees become managers out of necessity. They were great individual contributors so their organizations’ promote them into a position that requires them to manage others. For the employee, one day you’re responsible for your individual results, the next you’re responsible for the results of others.

Through our coaching interactions we often ask, “why did you become a manager?” or “why should your direct reports follow you?” Seemingly easy questions, but difficult to answer the more you reflect on them.

To assist managers in answering these questions, we’ll propose they create a leadership credo. The purpose of the document is to first collect an individual’s insights and observations about their role as a manager and align these with their personal values and the values of their organization. By reflecting on one’s personal values and seeing the connection or disconnection in your management behaviors, you are better able to define what being a successful manager or leader means for you and for your organization.

Some sample questions to begin to develop your leadership credo include:

• What are my personal values and principles? What do I hold true?
• How are my values reflected in my work behaviors? How are they reflected in the decisions I make?
• Do my decisions counter my true values?
• What are my personal viewpoints about leadership?
• What behaviors are valued or encouraged by my organization?

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