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Echo Echoing

by M.G. Siegler


Management is not about asking people to do stuff

Steven Sinofsky, a long-time exec at Microsoft, now at Andreessen Horowitz:

At the same time, the manager thinks “this is exactly what I need to do and I need to get to the bottom of this”. In particular, managers often think they have some insight or observation that comes from their unique vantage point looking across the team (or multiple managers) or some experience they have that others don’t (“just got back from talking to customers” is a super common one).
From this moment on the manager is creating a culture that treats the team like a staff function there to support the manager. Prior to kicking off this cycle everyone was doing some work. Now they are figuring out what the manager wants and doing a whole new type of work.


Can I answer this myself? Managers, as busy as they are, should always work to find the answers themselves first and foremost. Learn to use the tools and use them. Even then, be prepared to ask the expert if this data analysis is correct and why not. Again, focusing on learning and discovery together.

All seems like great advice. The job of a manager is to manage only in so far that it actually leads to getting stuff done. This seems obvious, and yet often isn't in practice! Hence, managing for managing's sake...


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