Make A Difference: Managing is Hard

Talent Plus Talent Plus

September 25, 2017 Blog Leadership

Hire Hard. Manage Easy.SM

That’s a maxim that can take you a long way as a manager and leader.

But no matter how diligent you are in the hiring process, some parts of managing people are just plain hard.

  • With time as your most precious resource, where should you invest it?
  • How do you avoid promoting people into roles where they will ultimately fail?
  • What do you do when that kind of promotion is someone’s career goal – but you know they don’t have the chops for it?
  • When is firing someone the caring thing to do?

These are hard questions with no simple answers.

Managing people is hard.

We don’t have all the answers, but we’ve got some ideas for you. Listen in as Larry Sternberg,  Kyle Bruss and I discuss some of the hardest questions and decisions managers have to tackle and unpack practical (and maybe surprising) advice, like:

  • Spend more time with your best performers, not your worst ones, to get the greatest performance growth
  • Avoid the Peter Principle – even if it comes at a cost
  • Don’t lead people on about a promotion that will never come
  • Sometimes firing someone is the most caring thing you can do – even though it hurts

On all our podcasts and blog posts, you have an opportunity to talk back to us through comments and emails. We hope to hear from you! Until next time, manage to make a difference every day!

+ Kim Turnage, Ph.D. and Larry Sternberg, J.D.


This post highlights Chapters 36, 39, 40 and 41 from Managing to Make a Difference (Wiley), a handbook for hitting the sweet spot of middle management. Next up: Advance from Team to Family. Connect with Kim Turnage and Larry Sternberg on LinkedIn to see their latest updates.

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