In Search of …

Being a manager has reminded me of a short story I read in high school, The Downward Path to Wisdom.  It was a story about a young boy whose parents were unbelievably trashy, and he was of the age where his childish naivete was beginning to fade into a numb acceptance of his fate.

I tell myself, At least you have a marvellously understanding husband, a fun dog, great friends, and your health.  Sure, it could be worse.

Another dilemma arose this week.  I had provided a detailed technical requirements document to a team member who is quite an experienced developer.  The document included a link to complete process documentation, a multi-page detailed narrative followed by a workflow diagram.  Apparently this is not sufficient, as the developer in question carries the document into my office asking what he is to do.

Must I do everything myself?

These are the reasons why a manager either works long hours to get the work completed, or gives up and works a scant eight:  trying to do the good work, or trying to hold on to one’s sanity.  Rather pathetic to have to pick only one of the above.

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2 responses

  1. I think that its one of those situations where you have to treat your employees like your husband treats his students. When you treat them like adults and pass the responsibility onto them, and make them take it, they do. Until then, they will act like children. That is the key. Its a really hard line to take, and hard to let go. But once you do, you will see the benefits and the wisdom of this method.

  2. Hm. You obviously haven’t met my staff. There’s a big shortage of programmers, so I’ve had to work with who was available. It’s nice to think optimistically that if I treat them as adults they will behave as adults, but the reality has been that when I give them rope they hang themselves.

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