15 Things a Manager Won’t Say On Their Deathbed

Businessman gesturing stopWe go through life sometimes with our heads spinning, and often feel like a hamster on one of the wheels in a cage. We climb the ladder of success, rung by rung, step by step, only to find when we reach the top that it’s been leaning against the wrong wall.

When you look back over your managerial career, what will you say? What will you see? I often discuss this question with managers I meet and am surprised by the similarities in thought.

Most say they never think how their career is going until they are in a crisis, or something dramatic happens to change their perspective.

Just for fun, I’ve listed here 15 things a manager won’t say when they come to the end of their career. See if any resonate with you, and see if you can add to the list.

I wish I’d spent more time at the office

I’m glad I spend $97 on that e-book so I could get the $497 worth of freebies


Setting for average performance made me feel better and less stressed

Surfing the net was much more productive than reading about leadership

• Those poor hiring decisions were all the fault of HR

• I’m glad I left my personal development choices down to others

• Motivating my team was a waste of time. They should have been able to motivate themselves. After all, I paid them enough

• Exit interviews? What’s the use?

• Emotional intelligence is just a fad for people who aren’t intelligent in other ways

• There was no way I could have delegated to THAT team! It was much better for me to do it my way. Then, it was done the RIGHT way!

• Hertzberg was wrong. People ARE only motivated by money, and there’s no amount that will please them

• I’m glad I spent time on the urgent stuff. Then my boss could see I was indispensible. The really important stuff could wait until the urgent stuff was done

• My team had nothing to say, so why should I have listened to them?

• Helping people to think my way, was much better than helping them think for themselves

• Personal goals are for people who need guidance and support. Strong leaders go their own way one step at a time

I’m sure you can add to the list, so send me your ideas and I’ll collate them for a future post.

Remember, you’re the only one in charge of your career. Don’t allow your boss or the company to dictate where you take your career. Create your own future, then you won’t look back with regret or disappointment.

Thanks again


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Originally published: 16 June, 2011

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