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Mark/Mike,
in the last podcast (Executive admin) you said that the 3 activities that should take THE time of a manager are: thinking, deciding, communicating.

I'd like, as a manager, to spend time on helping my team taking decision more then taking decision myself.

I don't like very much 'decision machine' managers. What they usually do is going (late :D ) into a meeting, wait 30 second, taking a decision, and then rush somewhere else. For them deciding is a sort of phisical need (it's probably tipical of hidg-D ?).

As I said, I'd prefer to be like the referee in soccer: if you don't 'see' hime, he did his job in the right way!

Feedback?

PierG
P.S. I DO love the 'communicate' side :)

Mark's picture

PierG-

I completely agree with everything you said... and what you're going to be doing when you spend your time helping your team decide is communicate with them, followed by thinking about something else (getting out of their way).

I didn't mean to imply that I could endorse the situation you laid out... I have seen those managers, and also find them repugnant.

The more we push decisions down, the better things generally are.

Mark

jpb's picture

is it important to assign one person to a task and let them make decisions? Should I let that person run a project and make it clear to the rest of the team that the final word is his or hers?

Mark's picture

JPB-

Well, generally yes.. but while the final decision is theirs, the ULTIMATE Decision is always yours. That means if you let them do something and it goes wrong, you may get in trouble, and will have to hold them accountable. This, of course, IS the RIGHT WAY to develop people...

Mark

jpb's picture

generally I am not afraid to give a team member the power to make decisions. I think it is the best way for someone to learn. The difficulty I am having is the direct's peers seem to have trouble following anyone else except me and my boss. they tend to argue and not get anything done on time.

Most of my team are recent graduates and this is their first job. The directs I am tasking have two years experience in our office. Should I wait longer before giving them projects to run?

Mark's picture

JPB-

NO. There's no need to wait. They're going to have to learn sometime, and sooner is better. This is what development IS... making mistakes and doing better next time.

Sounds like lots of opportunities for coaching and feedback, for BOTH sides of the problem. If I knew someone was arguing, I'd give them some feedback...and one of the "what happens" comments would be, "you create the possibility that either I won't trust you with projects, or that the guy you're 'dissing' is going to do the same to you."

Now, it's likely that your directs that are leading these projects are stfuggling and making some things worse... time to spend time with them in their meetings and see how things go, and get weekly updates, and ask lots of questions...

So; NO NO NO. it's not too soon.

Mark

jpb's picture

frankly, I was hoping you would say to wait a little while!
seriously, I don't want to be the 'decision machine' manager Pier mentioned at the beginning of this string so I was going to continue to delegate these projects out even though it scares me.

Assigning projects has been a daunting experience. I think the problem is with me and the way I have been communicating with my team. I tend to be a little short with my direction and the entire team is not always present when I assign decision making powers. I'll work on this.

your point on the feedback opportunities are great, I'll bring those points up right away.

PierG's picture

AND it's not just a metter of letting someone grow, it's also a metter of skill and responsability.

I don't have ALL the skills at the level of detail I'd need to do the job of all my collaborators AND they have responsability for some activities.

I love what Mark said: you have the ULTIMATE decision ... and just that (in my opinion).

PierG