Submitted by adamec on
Currently an individual contributor. aspirations to be a team lead in short term (position does not exist yet) and Manager in mid term at a newly opened manufacturing facility for a Fortune 50 company.
My manager is attempting to manage 25 directs and is ineffective to put it mildly. We need direction, defense, priorities, feedback, coaching, clear assignment, communication, delegation. Everything I hear on manager tools and read in effective manager, effective executive, etc.
Taken to another level, most thinks Mark says to not do on the MT podcast and book is exactly what my manager does.
One benefit is my delta file is growing like crazy. I'm learning a lot of what not to do. Good for me I guess.
I want to lead my team and help build morale, trust, effectiveness, productivity. I have been leading by example and making myself available to the team. I have the most experience and was the first employee hired (even before my boss) in my department. Through my efforts I've noticed people come to me before our boss on some occasions. So I am leading as I can.
Trying to prove team leads are needed and will help while trying to make our team effective.
I've taken a few liberties, but have done my best to get buy in from my manager after the fact. I started and run our staff meeting, for example. I assign tasks when my manager doesn't after repeated requests. Sometimes my skips (Director and VP) come to me when my manager "doesn't answer email or phone calls."
Can anyone direct me to some book, reference, or provide advice on how I can implement a lot or all of the MT guidance while not being a manager?
I've even considered doing peer O3s to help. I don't want to shoot myself in the foot or go around my boss, but something needs to happen quickly or we are going to lose some good people.
Looking forward to it.
Perhaps an informal chat with your Director?
Make the observation that 25 directs on your manager is overwhelming him. (It'd overwhelm anyone.) Also that you know a few peers are getting ready to jump ship because the overwhelm is preventing your manager from giving them the attention they want/need.
Suggest the 'team lead' structure idea to address the overwhelm, ask whether it would make sense for your manager to bring that in, and ask how you might mesh with your Director's current efforts in addressing the situation. Have a rough org chart in mind, with some names of potential leads to consider, and a few training resources to help people step up (Manager Tools podcasts, Effective Communication Conference, ...). Make it clear it's all role-changes under your manager, since you're trying to unload him enough to become effective again. Also make it clear since you're already fulfilling the team-lead role, that's where you look to slot in.
Presuming your group can stand the lag, it might be better to have the same conversations with your manager instead. Share the training resources with him as well, in case he wants to use them himself and/or pass them along.
As for the "MT while not a manager", I think taking the "project manager" line would be most appropriate, especially if your work is mainly project-based.