Tag Archives: management myth

Change is Learning: No Silver Bullets or Quick Fixes

Way back when I was a developer, my professors taught me structured design and design by contract. Those were supposed to be the silver bullets for programming.  You see, if you specified things enough, and structured things enough, everything would … Continue reading

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People Are Not Resources

My manager reviewed the org chart along with the budget. “I need to cut the budget. Which resources can we cut?” “Well, I don’t think we can cut software licenses,” I was reviewing my copy of the budget. “I don’t … Continue reading

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Do You Encourage People to Bring You Problems?

One of the familiar tensions in management is how you encourage or discourage people from bringing you problems. One of my clients had a favorite saying, “Don’t bring me problems. Bring me solutions.” I could see the problems that saying … Continue reading

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How Serving Is Your Leadership?

I once worked for a manager who thought everyone should bow down and kiss his feet. Okay, I’m not sure if he actually thought that, but that’s how it felt to me. He regularly canceled his one-on-ones with me. He … Continue reading

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Are You Running from Problems or Solving Them?

Back when I was a manager inside organizations, I had many days that looked like this: Meetings at 9am, 10am, 11am. Working meeting through lunch (noon-1pm) Meetings at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm. I finally got a chance to check my email … Continue reading

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Who Solves Which Problems?

Many years ago, I was part of a task force to “standardize” project management at an organization. I suggested we gather some data to see what kinds of projects the client had. They had short projects, where it was clear … Continue reading

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Understanding State vs. the Micromanagement Trap

Back when I was a Director of many things at one company, we had an urgent patch to go to a customer. My VP wanted it “yesterday.” Well, time only goes in one direction. I gathered my continuing engineering team, … Continue reading

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Performance Reviews Are Not Useful; Feedback Is

I have received some wonderful feedback from some of my managers. Back when I was a young engineer, one of my managers gave me the feedback at an annual review that I didn’t quite finish my projects. “Oh, you mean … Continue reading

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Do You Value Management?

I’ve met many managers who were in the wrong position. Sometimes, it was the Peter Principle. Sometimes, it’s managers who have been founders or who have been technically great and got promoted into management positions. Because they are so intelligent, … Continue reading

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Give Credit Generously

I had a boss who was great at saying, “Terri did this. Jen did that. JR did this other thing.” We all knew who had learned about different areas of the system, who had succeeded at which parts of testing … Continue reading

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