What is a manager, how do managers motivate others, and what are a manager’s most important responsibilities

Locate a manager who is willing to be interviewed by you about being a manager. **You may conduct your interview in person, by phone, or via email.

This person could be:

  • A business owner,
  • A manager in a larger firm from any level: production lead, department head, vice-president, etc.
  • A manager in a non-profit
  • The key here is that your subject must be supervising/managing subordinates.

Be sure to say that you are a student completing an assignment for a business class. Any business owner or manager is sensitive to confidentiality and liability issues, so you want to let them know you are trying to learn, not digging for dirt.

You want to get as good an idea as possible about what it is like to manage—in other words, what is it like to try to get others to accomplish the work required instead of just doing it yourself? What are the skills are required, and what are the challenges and rewards?

Below are some questions that may help you get the information you need:

  • Background: how long has this person been a manager, and what work did he do before becoming a manager?
  • How did her job requirements change when she was hired to this management position?
  • What was the biggest change he noticed when he first became a manager?
  • What new skills did she need to learn?
  • What are the most important strengths for someone in his position?
  • Was she suddenly a supervisor to co-workers who had formerly been peers? How did she navigate that change?
  • How does he motivate employees?
  • How would this person describe her leadership style?
  • What is this person’s next career goal?
  • What are this person’s strengths?
  • What does this person wish he could improve? Be tactful here?
  • Does this manager have a next career step in mind that she is willing to share?
  • What’s the best part of the job?
  • What’s the hardest part of the job?

ASSIGNMENT: Based on your interview, prepare a several paragraph description answering the question:

What is a manager, how do managers motivate others, and what are a manager’s most important responsibilities?

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