The Manager’s Dip

Seth Godin‘s new book is called The Dip. The Dip is the hard spot – it is the place that most people give up. Having started off with high hopes the dip is when ‘reality strikes’ results are not what were hoped for and you are faced with two choices; ‘give up’ or ‘push on’.

Every new management job starts out being exciting and fun.  Then it gets harder and less fun and then it hits The Dip.  It is incredibly hard and not much fun at all.  A scarily high number of managers are bang in The Dip. And they are trapped. Too scared to quit. And no belief in their ability to change.

Even the best managers fall into The Dip.  But they recognise it quickly and make some decisions (take some actions) that get them out of it quickly.  Sometimes they move on – and fall into The Dip in a different organisation.  Other times they stay – and they change.  They commit to beat The Dip because it’s worth it.

How do they beat The Dip?

  1. By building trusting and respectful relationships with other people who can help them to beat The Dip – managers, peers, reports, customers and other stakeholders.
  2. By building up the reward once The Dip has been beaten. (‘Do you know what it will mean if we can just get through this?’)
  3. By coaching, giving  feedback, delegating and developing the potential of every one who can help to get through The Dip.

Good managers know:

  • when they can beat The Dip and it is worth beating
  • when the Dip will beat them or it is just not worth the effort.

Some managers know neither of these things.  They just hang in there, working long hours, making little progress like a hamster trapped in wheel and The Dip just gets bigger and deeper.

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