Frankly, I find it tedious in the
extreme to administer the lives of my
colleagues - reviews, holidays,
monitoring them and disciplining them
if necessary, handling budgets,
dealing with upper management and
I agree, that sounds very tedious. But I think that's part of the difference between being a manager and a leader. Just because your title says "Manager," doesn't mean you can't be a leader instead.
What this means to me is that instead of focusing on internal and HR issues, you drive the focus toward an external goal or goals.
For example, instead of "managing" the status quo, spend some time to understand the larger business issues facing your company. What type of market are you in? Who are your customers and what do they want? What goals has the executive team laid out? What is the bigger plan? If you are in a very large organization, think about your customers as internal customers such as other divisions.
Once you've identified the issues and larger organizational goals, think about what opportunities you and your team has to make a real impact. What can you do that could directly affect the organization?
Before you go further, you need to do some people cleanup. You will be infinitely frustrated if these people are not smarter than you (in one way or another) or if there are real duds. You also won't be able to do anything useful if the people are just interested in the "day-to-day" (other higher priorities).
You probably already know who the duds are, but for the rest, talk to them individually and float the idea of doing something interesting by them and see if they bite or if they couldn't care less, and just want to clock out at 5. It's not that these "uninterested" people are bad people, they just have other higher priorities and belong on teams that aren't doing anything, with managers that like tedium.
When you bring on replacements, hire people that are smarter than you (again, it could be a different kind of smarts), and don't settle (just pass altogether on a round of applicants instead of hiring a 80% candidate).
Once you have your solid team, bring everyone together to talk about the issues you identified earlier.
Come up with a few goals for your team that will help affect the impact you guys want to have, and let team members self-assign themselves pieces of the responsibility toward achieving those goals.
Then, manage your team based on achieving those goals rather than worrying about "administering their lives". When people don't have anything external and interesting to focus on, they become self absorbed and difficult to manage.
When you actually achieve the goals, you'll find that not only are you happy, the people you manage are happy, and you've actually contributed something that adds value.