In 2008 after I turned off the lights at Clearwired I always used to say that the hardest part of the job was managing people. Brutally hard. I don’t talk much about what running a company was like. Most people with the entrepreneurial dream have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. Someone wrote recently that all those people who talk about failing fast and starting again – have never really failed. If they had, they wouldn’t be so quick to do it again. Tru dat.
There is the force multiplier aspect of management, if you can get a team properly tuned (to each other, to the work), but there is also the emotional work that goes into finding out how people are really doing.
“How are YOU doing?” “How is your life?”
Highs and lows, hopes and dreams, expectations for the future. What motivates and demotivates. People spend more time with colleagues at the office than with their spouses and families in some cases. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, but in some cases it happens. People are unpredictable. The problems faced as a working designer pale in comparison. It’s one of the reasons that I returned to an IC role.
I’ve had people tell me management is easy (those people were shitty managers but didn’t know it).
I didn’t run today because I was doing manager work. And I was exhausted.