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Geeks are working in the team all the time with the only difference that some of them can work for an end customer (and Project Manager all in one) or in the office in the Product Developing Team (among other Project Managers, other Developers and Leads). And they will be always under someone’s control; there will always be someone who could be accused of incompetence in administrative functions etc.
So let’s continue discussing the facts why our managers can be ineffective or just bad.
The top manager has always an idea about you and about how wonderful it would be if you were more initiative, more effective etc. Let’s try to compose a broad picture of an ideal subordinate from the top manager’s point of view:
- an ideal team member is always ready for the overtime work and even is glad to help because he wants to be like the supervisor;
- is always full of different ideas that can be switched in use;
- is self-motivated, initiative and hot-eyed, he’s always full of goodwill to work well;
- has a mind to learn something new, he’s getting more professional and more experienced in his work and fringe areas as well;
- if he doesn’t have certain tasks he understands the company and department needs and sets tasks himself, accomplishes them and provides excellent results that can help others;
- doesn’t asks silly questions and tries to find everything independently;
- makes right decisions without help;
- doesn’t require salary hike and bonuses for additional work;
- is always loyal to the top manager;
- it’s a person who can cope with difficult tasks and is reliable.
This list can be enlarged according to the lead’s expectations about the ideal staff. The most important thing is that these features describe a global team member’s characteristics – effectiveness. Though people are getting more effective under the condition of good management only. And effective top manager shouldn’t indulge in illusions about (in)ideality of the staff – he should train the members of the department to let them get more ideal. After all thinking of ideality and facing the reality the top manager can just stop trusting co-workers and do tasks for others.
Most leads are trying hard to be good to the team: the better working relationship with the team is, the better is the boss in the top management’ eyes. It means the consistent work of Department, such team will better cope with difficult tasks. Though oftentimes good attitude, and especially different favors to the team is one-sided friendship. It happens more often if the lead is new in this position. Such boss will be totally unhappy with the work, he will have difficulties guiding his department, subordinates will cramp his style. We won’t controvert the fact that a lead usually is a person who was the best in his field: such employee sorts out complicated issues, understands the work and process structure, everyone can rely on him. Though there is always lack in top management knowledge and experience. We all have an idea of the best and fair management (from previous communication experience, be it former lead, parents, teacher etc.), but it’s not enough for guiding the team. Am I wrong?
It can be so though every lead should improve his management skills and keep professional qualification. Many managers commit multiple mistakes because of misunderstanding this factor that can lead to sorrowful results, for the lead in the first place.
The manager is often mistaken thinking that making something all alone is better and easier than explaining, training and bearing responsibility for someone’s failure. Why is it a mistake? Because the lead should achieve good results by effective team management but not being committee of one.
It often happens that colleague’s performance of a task doesn’t yield any outcome that makes us to alter the work and report to the superiors for all of that. We can find an example in any realm be it programing, project management, support or sales. E.g. the programmer has a task to develop a module for a CMS, new product or any framework. As a result he may have too many bugs in it and the module may not work as intended. The supervisor shouldn’t apply changes to the code and bring it to compliance for sure. Though some leads have some kind of fear to lose the position and some of them would carry out this work. And that is another mistake. The developer should be responsible for completed tasks and mistakes and be encouraged for good job and skills improvements. That’s why there is a supervisor who could evaluate the work. The lead making all the tasks all by himself act against sense that causes his overload and inefficiency of the whole Department. If there are subordinates in your Department they should work as well and get more complicated tasks as far as they improve their professional skills and. Who will do it but you?
If you’re a subordinate you also can influence on the whole process. It’s not worth resting on oars; you should be more persistent and take additional tasks so you could prove your competency. The more you do the more competence and opportunities you get (in salary and position). Even if you quit you will be able to show the new employer what you can. Less gab and more action.
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