Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Missive from the Management

Managing people is hard.

I'm lucky. I hired everyone that now reports to me, and I know, with certainty, that they are awesome and that it is a privilege to work with such great people. And I know, too, from people that have managed me, that this shit is hard. They don't want to do things the way I would do them. They take up more time than I thought. They regularly remind me that I'm just plain wrong about stuff sometimes, and seriously, does that get easy for anyone to deal with?

I like to think that I have the attitude needed to deal with lots of this: I'm not perfect, I can and should be more open to others' opinions and learning from them and trusting them to do the best they can, and to learn from their mistakes if decisions they make don't work out. And to not lose my shit if I TOTALLY KNEW BETTER and TOLD THEM but they DIDN'T LISTEN or DIDN'T UNDERSTAND and TIME WAS FUCKING WASTED because ADRA CALM THE FUCK DOWN IT WAS NOT A WASTE... LIKE, AT LEAST NOT ENTIRELY. PROBABLY. I'M SURE THIS LESSON WILL IMMEDIATELY BE TAKEN TO HEART. IT WILL BE BETTER NEXT TIME. DEEP BREATH.

Ok, so there's THAT part, the "teaching a man to fish" part, which by the way completely overlooks the fact that maybe that shit's hard and it IS easier to fucking give someone a fish now and again, and OK CALM DOWN WE KNOW THIS IS UPSETTING.

...Like I said, this is hard. BUT.

That's still not the hardest part, I don't think. You can train yourself to let go, over time. You can recognize traits that will be successful and trust your intuition to find people that have them. And I'm sure you learn this last part too, but it's the one I have the hardest time with: I think I understand what's needed from me as a manager, but where does the individual contributor part of my role end and that part begin?

The thing is, I love what I do. And I'm really good at what I do. And so delegating to others is hard twice, first because I have to watch them do it how they want to do it, and maybe fail, and have to provide feedback in a nice way (I have not mastered this specific part of my job), and second because I wanted to do it, and learn from it, and be recognized for it.

Thinking about this now, though, maybe that second part is a myth. It happens/would happen sometimes, sure, but to just assume that I'd get that every time, that I'm always sacrificing that, well, that's probably pretty foolish. That's where the trusting my team comes in: I know they're trying as hard as they can, and sometimes that matches as hard as I can, and sometimes it doesn't, but who am I to think that trying my hardest is any kind of guarantee of success? How did I get here but by doing the same as they did and having a manager that encouraged me?

Managing people is hard, you guys.

Whole27: Seven (Eight?) Months Later

Breakfast this morning was cinnamon rolls. In fairness, I'm sick right now with something resembling that monster flu--hopefully it...