I hate managing people. I’ve been saying this for at least 6 years now. When I first had to somewhat when I ran a web development company called Dutchpot Interactive between 2003-2007 with my business partner Susan. I left many of the people things to her, even though I suffered through the hiring and some of the training with her. We had a company with 7 people- most full time and a couple of contractors. I hated it.

It got in my way of thinking, researching, listening, observing, innovating. I didn’t like personality clashes, having to deal with morale issues, payroll issues, people being dishonest,lazy. I hated it. So honestly when I left that business, that business model I was relieved. Being a solopreneur right after was a breath of fresh air. I hired contractors to do the work, who I didn’t have to see regularly. And that lasted for a while, till well, I got screwed by a web developer who ran off with money, delivered no work and left me paying monies back to 2 clients, facing legal action from one and angry reputation threatening words from another.

On to another team
Then I some how got back into another project to hire,train and manage a team. I hired a project manager to act as part trainer and to act as buffer so I don’t have to deal with people issues because I hated managing people. Then I had to fire the project manager take back the reigns of the team, retrain, regroup, refocus. It was bitter sweet.

Bitter because I thought I’d found the perfect project manager who knowledgeable in the field and seemingly had team handling experience.

Sweet because it forced me out of my comfort zone. I decided not to run as I usually do from “people issues” and go head on with it. I met with each team member individually to gauge attitude, how much they had learnt so far, level of undertstanding of their role and responsibility, happiness levels and a little about their ambitions. Then instead of 3 meetings a week I decided to have one big one to get everyone on the same page, all 8 people in a single meeting, setting the tone for the tasks of the week, get brainstormed problem solving, idea generation going and hopefully motivating them towards achieving excellence in what we’re doing for the clients, the company.

The best thing for me was to really see and feel the energy of the ones who are hungry, have ambition, who get their shit done, respond to suggestions and kudos and just have made my experience in managing the team that much more enjoyable. They are the smart, self driven, no excuses, I don’t need you to flip out a tit and rub their tummies to get them going. They are the kind of people who you can sleep know that they are getting their stuff done and well.

Watching this video made me realise why

The goal is not to do hire just anybody who wants to work with you for money. The goal is to do hire people who believe what you believe.

Say that over and over in your head. Having had a eureka moment from hearing those words has made the world of difference. As I move to hire a couple more people, my recruiting process will be very, very different and I will be patient in finding the right people. So I don’t hate managing people anymore, I realised I was hiring the wrong people, people who didn’t share my beliefs, my vision.

So now that I realise that I don’t hate managing people anymore, the next hurdle is that I simply prefer not to do it. I don’t want to spend my days, week, months, years ahead in some office, in copious meetings- managing. Why ? I’ve realise that that’s not my best role in an organisation, I’m a Steve Jobs type…visionary, pathfinder, idea generator, trend spotter, blueprint maker…let someone who genuinely loves to manage people do just that.