Advancement is Management Minus the Power Struggle

Best piece of advice I have been given as a manager:  Always be teaching others how to be you.  Inspire them to be gunning for your desk and to become you.  Humbly step aside when they replace you.  Without them to replace you, the opportunities of your advancement decline. 


Right after that tidbit of wisdom was imparted on me, I was asked to spear head a rather large project.  Enjoying a challenge and wanting to prove myself, I drove in head first and with full gusto.  Right before the project was to complete and after 99% of the heavy lifting had been done, I was asked to hand the project over to one of my subordinates.  It was a gut wrenching overwhelming experience to transfer all that hard work and effort to someone else and watch them get the accolades.  I was having a difficult time swallowing the advice I had been given and could not see the path that was being laid before me.  With much power struggle, I finally gave into the advice with a “wait and see because I will just prove them wrong” attitude.  A few days later and much to my surprise, I was promoted to not only manage our inside sales team but our outside sales force as well.  This was a newly created position as the two teams in the past had separate management.  By the way, crow is a little easier to swallow with some spicy mustard, a raise and a new office.  


It is the human condition to engage in tactics of self-preservation.  It is not our nature to build other human beings up to take our place in life, unless they are our offspring.  It goes against our mammalian brain function that drives our survival motives.  You might find this a challenge sales representatives to CEOs, but always be teaching others to be you.  Inspire them to want your position and humbly give away this post when they assume your role.  It might be an emotional stretch but you will always be creating the space for your own advancement to occur or maybe even your retirement. 


Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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Comment by Stephanie Young on August 12, 2011 at 8:35am
Thanks, BC.
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 11, 2011 at 1:43pm
Thank you, Julie.  Well at least I have acquired some grace in on aspect, because when it comes to my feet...I am all toes!!!  LOL
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 11, 2011 at 1:42pm
Marsh, I never thought of it from that view point.  Thanks for the insight!!!!  Not knowing what you portray to know is a huge skeleton to have in any closet.
Comment by Marsh Buice on August 11, 2011 at 1:22pm

Hire people smarter and more capable than you; mentor and enhance those under you....and you will look like the smarterst person in the room. The reason why many are intimidated by the fact is bc they really dont know what they portray to know...they're afraid of their skeletons :)

Give you some butter, you are on a roll....

Comment by Julie Heilman on August 11, 2011 at 1:18pm
I like this, Stephanie.  It really is a hard lesson to apply in life but I have seen you and others handle it with such grace.  Thanks for the share.

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