Let’s Face it: You're A Professional, Not A Manager

Don Harkey explains that professional experience doesn't necessarily translate to management expertise.

By: Don Harkey

Dec 22 2016 at 5:10 a.m.


Whether you run an engineering firm, an architecture firm, an optometrist practice, a law firm or an accounting firm, you are likely highly trained in your profession.  You have years of rigorous schooling teaching you all the things you need to know to be the best possible professional.   What you don’t learn professionally, you gain from the experienced professional you work with when you start your career.

When I started my first career as a chemical engineer, I was hired by Archer Daniels Midland to work in a corn processing plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  I came in with a good education and quickly was exposed to the application of my craft and trained by everyone I worked with.  I took the theories I learned on paper and quickly saw how they applied in the field.  However, as I was turned loose in a department to apply my professional knowledge, I soon discovered that I was being put in a position in which I had very little training.  I was managing people. 

Looking at my career, my ability to lead, motivate, supervise, and manage people was the most critical skill to my success.  Yet I was managing people with no training.  I knew the theory behind how pumps could transport liquids through pipes, but I didn’t know how to motivate the person who ran those pumps. 

This is an incredibly common problem.  You go to school to learn how to do what you do, but your education probably lacks significantly in managing people or even managing a business or practice.

That is where my team at People Centric Consulting Group comes into play.  We are the experts at managing people and running businesses.  Our clients include engineering firms, architectural firms, optometrist practices, law firms, and accounting firms who are all amazing at their given profession. When we partner our expertise with our expert clients, the results are amazing.

To read more blogs by our experts at People Centric Consulting Group, click here.