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Are you in the right place - are you suited to be a manager?

Are you in the right place? Here are ten questions to ask yourself why you're the boss:

Once you become the boss, it's easy to start to see adversity as a sign that you are a less successful person. You will find it harder to realize that you don't have a good time at work and you might even fail to get off before your health puts an end to it all. Get some help by asking some fundamental questions about why you do what you do. Be honest and don't be afraid to draw the right conclusions.

1. How did you become the manager?
Did you become a manager because you wanted to be a manager or because you suddenly discovered that you already were the boss? Being a manager and leader is a huge and stressful task – especially if the position wasn't sought for or self chosen. Maybe you were that talented specialist who got flattered and couldn't say no, but who would now prefer to return to the old ”quiet” life. It's probably best to sort things out as soon as possible.

2. Do you really like being the boss?
When I ask leaders if they enjoy the position, they almost always answer that it's tough, but also provides a great deal of satisfaction when things go well. I guess they're right, but it's also a question of how often it goes well. If it's ”going well” once a year you should probably  re-evaluate your situation a bit. You should feel moments of joy every day, except of course for some rare tougher periods.

3. Do you sleep well at night?
Do you often think of your co-workers before going to sleep? Is it hard to let go of those thoughts, even though you've already decided that you've made the correct decisions? Whatever you do: never ignore your sleep problems. Long periods of sleepless nights are a decomposition process that you can easily lose control of. Sleep is fundamental and you never know where it ends. Do something about this quickly.

4. Do you like your staff?
You don’t have to love your staff, but it helps enormously if you can see something positive in each and every one of them. If you find that you are constantly thinking about their negative sides and eventually begin to emphasize man's egoism in general, it's time to slow down. Being realistic is an essential part to being a leader and when everyone in your surroundings appears to be self centered, that ability is not functioning anymore.

5. Do you often get stuck in the crossfire between bosses?
As a middle manager, it's often likely that you end up in the crossfire between your managers and your employees. How do you cope with it? Do you get pressured and stressed out, or do you see it as a normal component of your everyday work? It is normal to react to conflicting expectations, but if you are bothered by the daily double pressure, perhaps it's more than you can handle.

6. Do you talk about work outside of the office?
Have you ever had the experience that you simply can't stop talking about your job? Not because you think it's so exciting, but because you can't stop the thoughts. You might even use dinners with friends to talk about life at the office or you turn silent with them because you know there is no point to talk to them about things that don't concern your work. Keep in mind that work is a part of life, not the other way around. Letting work take over everything, makes for a very unbalanced life. Get to the bottom of why you can't let go of your work and do something about it.

7. Are you addicted to your salary?
Did you get better pay when you became a manager? Has the salary become indispensable now? Money is a driving force that sometimes continues to put us under its own power, when we ourselves have forgotten why. You may have chosen the job because you wanted a challenge. Now maybe the challenge is no longer quite as appealing, but the salary has become a necessity. Don't forget that sometimes it can be worth the money to opt out of a higher salary.

8. What do your friends and relatives think?
What do those who are close to you say? This is where you will find the simplest answers to how you're doing as a manager. Your relatives may not know in detail what is happening at your job, but if they see you shining with joy or if you are gloomy as a rain cloud, they will immediately spot the difference. Listen to them and ask for advice.

9. What do you say?
If you meet a newly appointed manager, what do you tell them? What good advice do you give to others in a similar position? What you say reflects what you feel is most important. Think a little more about why you highlight particular aspects of the leadership. Is that where you are experiencing problems? Or is it where you know what to do and therefore would need to focus on other aspects for yourself? Listen to your inner voice.

10. What are you doing 10 years from now?
Can you see yourself in the role of manager ten years from today? What's life like then? This is a revealing question. What you see when you open your eyes to the future contains clues to a better life today. You may see a better manager existence. Don't wait for it to just come by itself. Find it right away. Or maybe you don't see anything at all. You may no longer be a manager in the future. Don't hold off on a decision that you know you'll have to make, sooner or later.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.