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Would You Rather Work for a Strong or Weak Manager?


Would You Rather Work for a Strong or Weak Manager?

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Andy Warren
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Would You Rather Work for a Strong or Weak Manager?

Andy
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Thomas Abraham
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Strong - definitely. At least you know where you're going, and you tend to get used to better purpose.

I've said there are four kinds of managers:

1 - Technically strong, weak personal skills
2 - Technically weak, strong personal skills
3 - Technically strong, strong personal skills
4 - Technically weak, weak personal skills

I can work for any of the first three - there's always some redeeming quality that you can respect. Unfortunately, the Peter Principle tends to make many bosses fall into #4 above - getting them promoted to their level of incompetence.

Fortunately, I've had a string of good luck lately, and my past 3 bosses have not been in category #4.

<Edited for spelling>

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I want a manager who is brave. Brave enough to protect the team and our work from outside pressures, and brave enough to address issues within the team. Also, I like a manager who is brave enough to understand his/her technical weaknesses and make up for it by utilizing the team or obtainig the knowledge. I have a manager who is strong technically and is a really nice fellow, however he has difficulty confronting issues or bad ideas with the people causing them. This causes a lot of frustration and wasted time/money.

IT Managers need to understand that it is their responsibility to make upper management and other departments aware of the pitfalls and realities of a decision. They are doing their organization a disservice if they are not.

Managers also need to confront issues within the team directly, not beat around the bush. For example if someone's work effort is in doubt, address that person and monitor them closely and helpfully, do not make the entire team suffer the burden of stricter controls.

Holly
Ed.Watson aka SQLGator
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We are leaving out the bully and the micro-manager, both of which can make life very difficult especially when they are technically strong.

Ed Watson aka SQLGator
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hlewis (8/26/2011)
I want a manager who is brave. Brave enough to protect the team and our work from outside pressures, and brave enough to address issues within the team. Also, I like a manager who is brave enough to understand his/her technical weaknesses and make up for it by utilizing the team or obtainig the knowledge. I have a manager who is strong technically and is a really nice fellow, however he has difficulty confronting issues or bad ideas with the people causing them. This causes a lot of frustration and wasted time/money.

IT Managers need to understand that it is their responsibility to make upper management and other departments aware of the pitfalls and realities of a decision. They are doing their organization a disservice if they are not.

Managers also need to confront issues within the team directly, not beat around the bush. For example if someone's work effort is in doubt, address that person and monitor them closely and helpfully, do not make the entire team suffer the burden of stricter controls.

Holly


Very well said and I strongly agree.

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WolforthJ
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I'd like a strong manager, and I'd like to commute to work with a jet pack. I've given up on hoping a strong manager will come along some day. I'm not giving up on the jet pack though.
Jeff Moden
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hlewis (8/26/2011)
I want a manager who is brave. Brave enough to protect the team and our work from outside pressures, and brave enough to address issues within the team. Also, I like a manager who is brave enough to understand his/her technical weaknesses and make up for it by utilizing the team or obtainig the knowledge. I have a manager who is strong technically and is a really nice fellow, however he has difficulty confronting issues or bad ideas with the people causing them. This causes a lot of frustration and wasted time/money.

IT Managers need to understand that it is their responsibility to make upper management and other departments aware of the pitfalls and realities of a decision. They are doing their organization a disservice if they are not.

Managers also need to confront issues within the team directly, not beat around the bush. For example if someone's work effort is in doubt, address that person and monitor them closely and helpfully, do not make the entire team suffer the burden of stricter controls.

Holly


Absolutely spot on, IMHO. To summarize, I believe a manager should be an "enabler" rather than an "obstacle", a "mentor" rather than a "mouse", and a "guiding light" rather than than "blinding beacon" of a train getting ready to run someone over.

--Jeff Moden

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Definitely working for a strong manager any day.

My biggest grumble is when my own manager seems less competent in defending the interests of the team against outside influences. There is nothing worse than watching a pending mini-disaster approach due to the inadequacies of the manager and being powerless to stop it due to organisational structures / politics.

While a good manager does not need to be techinally aware of everything they do need to have a enough knowledge to spot when other managers are speaking technical bullshit (ie exagerating the brilliant benefits of XY approach with fanastic cost savings, etc).
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I'd rather work for Andy Warren.

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As with everything else - It Depends.

Sometimes with weak managers, I find myself becoming the defacto manager of myself. I make the priorities, defend myself and teammates, and, if necessary, go around the manager to get those priorities needed to make the project successful. Would I prefer a strong manager? Absolutely. But, I would guess for most of us, the job/project at hand is most important and career comes next. We adapt to make the project successful, which helps our careers, of course. And as much as that may mean learning new technology and stepping out in areas we are not 100% comfortable with, it may also mean learning to navigate an odd political landscape.

Thoughts?
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