I use Macs more and more, but still don't know much about managing them and troubleshooting issues. So, for any other IT Pros out there looking for how to do things you're used to doing in Windows, I'll share tips like these as I encounter them.
In Windows, you often run Task Manager to see what is going on and maybe end a task to kill a program. On the Mac, you can quit or "Force Quit" (by holding the "option" key down while viewing a programs context menu with a right-click). But if you don't know what application is thrashing your CPU or what you want to stop isn't a visibly running application, you need task manager. So where is it?
There is probably a free GUI tool out there, but the built-in solution is to run Terminal and run the following command:
top -o cpu
That will show running processes sorted by CPU activity
If you need to kill one you can do so with a kill command identifying the process to be killed by its process ID