I’ll start with some good old British modesty and self-deprecation, then I’ll put it aside, just for today. I feel uncomfortable blowing my own trumpet, particularly as I can’t play the trumpet. I’ve got a feeling this post is going to be tricky to write, but for reasons that I hope will become clear, it is important for me to write it, as a reminder.
I’m an excellent manager.
In my well-paid job, that I gave up to become a stay at home mum, I was a financial controller or financial director. This means I managed the accounts departments of companies. I was usually responsible for all aspects of finance within a business, most often reporting directly to the managing director. I was trusted implicitly by those managing directors and became their right hand woman.
As a fully qualified accountant (before children, my proudest moment was qualifying with first time passes in all my exams) I competently produced full sets of accounts accurately and on time.
I was organised and never missed a deadline. I introduced new operational and accounting software systems. I performed audits, ran meetings and training sessions and was usually the office expert on Excel.
I think the reason I was so successful in my career however, was the way I dealt with people. I was an excellent manager because I treated people with respect. I was kind to them. I cared about them. I made sure everyone in my department was fully trained and knew exactly what they were supposed to be doing.
When I asked one of my team to do something, they did it. This was the skill that set me apart from other less accomplished managers. To them it was like I had a magic wand, they asked how I did it. I told them, but they went back to their teams and either ignored them or shouted at them.
The secret of running a successful department is to remember that being a manager is your top priority. All of your other tasks must wait, your team is more important. This is why people have cried when I’ve announced I was leaving or clapped and cheered when I’ve been promoted.
None of this happened over night. I learned my management style over many years and by managing spectacularly badly to start with. Eventually I discovered that if your team performs well, you look good. It’s simple really.
You may well ask.
The question I'm asking myself is why oh why haven’t I transferred these skills to my new job?
Managing a team of thirty-six adults (some of whom could be big kids) in my last job was a piece of cake compared with looking after two toddlers!
No corporate job can prepare you for that!
This post was written as part of the Sleep is for the Weak Writing Workshop. This week I chose prompt no.5: Tell us about something, or show us something that you do really, really well and are proud of.