Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Should one be in management for its own sake? Continued!


I was revisiting the “advancement into management” issue again today, at least with respect to some situations that might occur soon.

As I indicated in an April 9 posting, I do not like the idea of being in management or supervising others just for its own sake. (A chess playing friend of mine in Texas as far back as 1983 said, “I thought you manage people.” Wrong. I was still a “proletarian programmer”.)

Nor do I like the idea of being expect to serve as a “male role model” just for its own sake.

And, not do I like the idea of going out an selling other people’s messages when I had nothing to do with creating the message or need. This is not a disinterest in helping people. It is a desire to help people in a manner commensurate with my own skills and accomplishments.

I suppose that, in terms of the movie “The Blind Side” (and the 20/20 special last night), I don’t have “the protective instinct.”

I said back in April that as a manager I would want to have all the skills of the people who reported to me. That’s not realistic all the time. If I was a manager responsible for an “online reputation management” system (or perhaps an identity due diligence system based on National Change of Address databases owned by the USPS, as described on another of my blogs), I would need to know the business and legal issue inside out, but I could not necessarily master all the java coding techniques of the system I was responsible for. (In the mainframe days I could have said that about COBOL, which is rather circumscribed. But pretty soon the skillset even in the mainframe world became overly specialized everywhere, so no one could keep up with it all and advance; it had not been like this twenty years before.)

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