I have been lingering quietly around MT for a couple months now. I am still new in the manager role and am a bit embarrassed even by the title "manager".

So how many of you consider yourself a "professional" manager? Reading through the forum posts, I see lots of people that keep showing up. I am wondering what percentage of time these people are managing vs doing "real" project work, assuming that is part of their job.


HMac's picture

c- Welcome to posting! Glad you "delurked" yourself.

If you're a professional manager, then managing your people is your "real work." Not to say that a professional manager might not [i]also [/i]have some responsibilities as an individual contributor to the organization (that's always the case for me).

Some weeks I might find myself doing as much as 75% of my time as an individual contributor (as a marketing strategist for my clients, or in the early stages of business development). Other weeks, it's 25% - because I'm spending my time developing and leading my team, delegating, doing evaluations, interview and hiring, etc.

So fo me, it varies. And it always has.

Hope that helps.

Again, welcome.


bflynn's picture

At upper levels, managers spent a lot of their time with people. If you listen to high level managers, Its All About People (wait, I've heard that somewhere before...)

How to split that into "non-real" and "real" management isn't the point, nor is it espcially relevant. Most managers wouldn't distinguish between the two, even things that aren't about work are about work.


madamos's picture
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I consider myself a professional manager. I am fortunate that I was able to come from the outside to manage the current staff that I have. Why do I say that I am fortunate? I manage a support team and the truth is that I cannot do their jobs for them! I would even know where to start!

So what do I do? I spend my time focued on accomplishing two goals:
- Enable my staff to do thier jobs in the most efficient and effective way possible.
- Increase the value that my staff provides to the company.

How do I accomplish this? I spend my time with people.
- Spending time with my staff to make sure they are able to perform the jobs.
- Spending time with other departments to make sure there are no roadblocks that prevent my team from doing their jobs.
- Spending time with my staff to help the grow and learn new skills.
- Spending time with other departments to see what other work my staff can do that will provide more value to the company.


rwwh's picture
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I did not think about the definition of the term "professional manager" before. But it is clear that "a professional that manages other people" is not sufficient here.

I think for me a "professional manager" is someone that looks at his/her management tasks as something that needs skills and getting experience as much as any other profession.

Nobody would ask anyone in a company to be the lawyer, so unprofessional lawyers do not occur in practice. But unfortunately the world is full of people that think that anyone can manage a group without any specific training.

@MadAmos: you don't have to be hired externally to manage a group of people that have expertise different from your own. I became the manager of a very diverse R&D group from within.

jhack's picture

You're a professional manager if you get paid to manage. There are many things we do as managers, not all of which falls under some technical definition of "Management." And there are many types of managers, most with deliverables of their own.

Like other professions, one may or may not be good at it.

I'm a professional.