Education

10 signs that you aren't cut out to be an IT manager


What was I thinking? How did I even get here?

At some stage, many people will find themselves asking this question. Why did they leave that great little job to take a turn in the management ranks? Let's take a few minutes to consider how you can avoid becoming a member of this group.

Note: This information is also available as a PDF download.

At one time or another, most of us will come to a point in our lives when it's time to determine our next step. As a business and success coach, I often hear from people who are wondering if it's time to make a change in their lives. Things may be going well, or not-so-well, but for whatever reason, they're thinking that it's time for change. They come to me for help figuring out what's next in their career.

Most people are not in jobs that they planned and studied for. As a matter of fact, it's pretty clear that many people are in careers that just "happened." They started working at a job thinking it was going to be something they'd do until they decided what they really wanted to get involved in, and then they just stayed around until it became a kind of career.

In other cases, individuals are in jobs or professions based on the guidance or encouragement of other people in their lives. Perhaps their parents always wanted a doctor in the family. Maybe their boyfriend or wife kept telling them they were capable of "better" things and needed to get moving on their career. My point is this: Regardless of how they got to where they are now, it wasn't, for most of the population, a well thought-out plan that was skillfully executed.

In my coaching practice, I've learned that this situation often translates into people doing work that really isn't right for them personally. They may be doing okay, but they sure don't bound out of bed looking forward to getting to work each day.

We are all more successful when we are doing things we enjoy. To help clients decide what that may be, I ask them a few questions designed to get them to take an honest look at who they are at their core.

For those of you who've been thinking, "Maybe I should make the move into management," I've put together this list of 10 warning signals. If any of these hit you as your personal reality, the chances are that you are not cut out to be a manager.

#1: You have a real desire to be liked

Many people feel better when most of the people they are in daily contact with like them. Usually, those same folks won't feel satisfied when they know that others don't like or respect them. Management is not about popularity contests. The best managers take the right action to get the job done in the most effective manner, and they know that may mean asking or telling others to do things, some of which may not make them popular. It comes with the territory. If you think you can always please everyone on your team and be effective, you are going to be disappointed.

#2: You prefer to avoid the spotlight and just be a part of the gang

Management is all about taking the lead. This means making decisions and standing up to tell others what you've decided. Management-by-consensus can work for some issues and opportunities, but it is rarely effective over the long term. At some stage, all groups will want their manager to stand up and act like one.

#3: Every time you are called on to comment about the topic being discussed, you experience short-term memory loss

Strong managers have good verbal communication skills. Even if you're in a company with offices spread across the world, knowing how to take your point of view forward to others is a key quality of effectiveness. If you think that making conversation or having meetings with people you don't know well is painful; you are going to flounder in management.

#4: Having a tough conversation with an employee causes you a great deal of duress

At some point, every manager will have to deal with an "issue" created by an employee or by the company itself. Things like personal appearance ("Stan, we don't show three inches of underwear above our pants at ABC Corporation") or annual performance assessments ("Susie, I'm sorry but we can't give you the same size raise as the average for the department because your contributions were not as good as required") are never easy for anyone. But they need to be done.

#5: You don't like to make tough decisions

Managers are required to make decisions of all sizes everyday. I realize this sounds obvious, but I am continually surprised by how difficult it can be for a large percentage of the population. The fact is, some folks prefer to be told what to do and they will thrive doing the best job once given that kind of direction. If you prefer being given the answer or the direction to proceed over being the one who assigns and directs the tasks at hand, you're probably not going to enjoy being a manager. Face the facts now and you can get on with enjoying your life as a team member.

#6: Being stuck in the middle between the leaders and the team makes your stomach churn

The real, day-to-day life of most managers is that they have people above them and people below them. In many cases, the ones above them will expect the manager to perform well, create thoughtful reports, give them answers to their questions, and develop action plans and proposals. In a similar fashion, those below them will want someone they can come to for direction, advice, counseling, and feedback. Both of these "constituents" will be cranky on many occasions, forgetting all the good stuff you've done in the past. If you don't relish having to feed two sets of snapping alligators everyday, it may be time to decide this is the wrong zoo.

#7: You prefer to keep a low profile, just doing your job; when people look at you, it reminds you how many flaws you have

To be most effective, a good boss has to be visible. We all like to see our supervisor out there on the line alongside us. It makes us feel like we're doing valuable things all day long. And we appreciate it when the leader can stand up and get things straightened out when they're in chaos. If you don't want to be scrutinized over your appearance, the way you talk, your hair, your management style, and your ability to keep things running smoothly in the heat of the day, perhaps you should consider staying in the comfortable cube you currently call yours.

#8: Having a verbal duel in a meeting isn't your idea of fun and you feel uncomfortable standing up to communicate in a meeting

Ever notice how some people always have just the right response when someone says something to them? And how about those people who have no apparent fear of public speaking? You know who I mean; they always have just the right words and ideas on the spur of the moment. If you get anxious, choked up, turn red, or freeze when called on to participate in a debate or idea-generating forum; you may not want to get into a role that requires good communication ability in group settings.

#9: You dislike having to work hours beyond the "regular" schedule

Many people want a job they like, that pays fairly, and that has fixed and regular hours. In many companies, they are unlikely to find the last part if they choose to enter the management ranks. It's a sad fact of life that for a lot of people, their hourly wage actually declines when they get promoted'to the job of manager. The nice raise they were given becomes less than expected when they start looking at the longer days on the job or even homework or weekend work.

#10: You could never fire someone because after all, everyone needs a job

I was once told by a manager at a software development firm that he found doing annual appraisals to be about as appealing as going in for dental surgery. He believed that his boss and the HR department always expected him to push his team to improve or else make changes. Like many organizations, his company was under the gun for productivity, and they wanted him to take some action to show that it wouldn't allow poor performers to hang around. They told him that it was a bad signal to the real high performers if they saw people being allowed to stay employed while they didn't deliver the goods. If this sounds like the kind of situation that could cause you to reach for that little bottle of purple pills, I suggest you don't make the move into management just yet.


John McKee is the author of Career Wisdom and 21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot and is one of America's leading executive coaches. His Web site, BusinessSuccessCoach.net, is an online destination for professionals, from small and large business owners to entry-level managers to senior-level executives -- and everyone in between. He writes a weekly blog called Success Coach in the TechRepublic IT Leadership section.

About

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

62 comments
Prhkgh
Prhkgh

How I wish I had read this before moving up to an IT Server Mgr job in '98. All these reasons (except regular hours, I never worked regular hours) applied to me. I was a top notch UNIX administrator & tech support on multiple platforms, which I loved. Then I took the mgr job, and had 5 years of hell hating my job as my organization continued to constantly downsize. By '03 when my dept was eliminated, my technical skills had atrophied and not kept up with changes, and I had not been a good IT mgr so those openings were closed too. Worst was laying off men I had worked with for as long as 30 years. I should have refused the promotion and kept my tech skills up.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

If you're trying to use big words to impress, be sure you know what they mean before you use them. Duress refers to a situation whereby a person performs an act as a result of violence, threat or other pressure against the person. Duress is pressure exerted upon a person to coerce that person to perform an act that he or she ordinarily would not perform. Yes "duress" is a synonym of "stress", but "duress" is much closer to "coercion" than "stress". The Godfather line "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse" is duress. Your boss may use duress on you if you procrastinate dealing with the issues mentioned: "Do it now, or I'll get someone else who will." That's duress. The stress you may feel when "having a tough conversation with an employee" is not duress, unless the employee suddenly makes threats against you. Causes "stress", yes. Causes "duress", no. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duress

cmiller
cmiller

I don't understand how this document proposes that IT managers work more dynamic hours than IT staff. At our place, Managers are the only ones that actually work normal, fixed hours. The rest of us have to work during maintenance windows and what not.

chaseman23
chaseman23

Quit focusing on the negative. Aw...you're afraid to make important decisions and be a leader amongst your peers? You people need to step up and become the leaders of America. No wonder we're falling behind the rest of the world. Read the book "Where have all the leaders gone?" by Lee Iacocca.

chris
chris

The 11th sign you're not cut out to be IT manager: You consider Gaviscon a food staple.

Jcritch
Jcritch

My List- Do not try to be your direct report best friend. Set clear and precise boundaries. Keep your relationship professional, with a understanding and compassion for the report's personal life. Do not belabor a point. Never ever say "I Told You So" when a strategic direction that was destined to fail, follows that course. Be there to pick up the pieces and move forward with your secret contingency plan. This will prove you are a team member, and flexible individual. Set realistic budget, performance and strategic goals. Lead by example. Mentor the weak, empower the strong. Use employee shortcomings and failures as a tool for learning and advancement. NEVER use as a tool to prove you were right.

mmoran
mmoran

It would have saved me from the first of two brief and catastrophic forays into management (the second was five years ago... some people never learn). Reading through the article, I mentally checked off all but #3 and #8. In persuading me to undertake the second attempt, my own boss assured me that my then-coworkers looked to me as a leader. I should have had the sense to reply that you don't have to be a manager to be a leader. And of course, we've all experienced the reverse from time to time ;>)

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

1) You spend all day on TR and have never helped anyone, but you've offered some great Friday Yuks 2) You think delegating work is simply not doing any yourself 3) You posted all your certification test questions on TR to get the answers. (We've never seen that here, noooooo) 4) You drive a muddy Toyota 4 runner to work with an ATV in the back. 5)You post discussions on TR about how you don't think hobbies and interests are relevant for IT staff. 6)You think casual Friday and naked Tuesday are the most productive week days. 7)You rely on HR for staffing advice. 8)You're the only one who undesratnds what you are talking about. 9)You think "IT" is a little alien dude who can make a bicycle fly. [i](Hey, he DID have a Speak and Spell!!!)[/i] 10) You post discussions stating 10 signs you know you're not cut out to be an IT manager. :D LOL

n.nikourazm
n.nikourazm

though you're aware ,sometimes, you need to be reminded of what the correct direction was!!! just thanks to remind me!

jdclyde
jdclyde

While it is true that having your lazy slugs advance as quickly as the good workers is bad for moral, so is seeing someone fired unless it is for a very clear reason. The problem with most firings is they don't TELL anyone WHY the person was let go. That is never good for moral and only serves to make everyone else fear for their jobs. Your good employees are the ones that will update their resume and look for a better job that is seen as more stable and your only left with the lazy people.

C-3PO
C-3PO

Well, that's an interesting article! I'm in an odd position of being a "sort of" manager and "sort of" technician. I definitely fail on 90%+ of the things in this article, and frankly am to old and tired to want to have to deal with them or change. I'm happy doing the technical stuff, have a lot of flexibility and am paid at a descent level (though not as high as I could be if I wanted all this extra stress)... so why would I even consider being a manager!

djt_mal
djt_mal

This is an interesting article however very scary fact of reality in our enviroment today. I took the lead indicators and ran it against the managers within the department, gosh 90% of them failed!!

jonchaney
jonchaney

Kind of 'understood' isn't it???

IT-b
IT-b

At least 7 of those items are the reasons why I just want to stay working as a Sr. Developer, and not a manager. They can have all of that, plus days packed full of meetings. I just like producing stuff that helps other people do their jobs better. It's not that I don't have goals...but I think it's fine to want to be liked at work. It's also nice to get a "Thank you" once in awhile for helping someone...managers don't get that very often. Just to be clear - I don't have anything against mgmt - I've worked for many great managers. I just think it's fine to be happy at a senior level.

sekeraspam
sekeraspam

Even the best managers lose people for reasons having nothing to do with their management (e.g., much better positions, death, winning the lottery, etc.). A good manager will recognize that they must treat their staff as if each and every person has another offer on the table so they could walk out the door at any moment. Not only does this mean treat people with respect and make the work environment one that the people happily choose to stay at (while, of course, they substantially contribute to the success of the effort and company), but also plan for the unanticipated departure of any person on the staff. A good manager also recognizes that when a person leaves on good terms it may translate into future opportunities for the manager when the manager is looking for his/her next job.

erh7771
erh7771

"...#4: Having a tough conversation with an employee causes you a great deal of duress..." I find this to be the toughest trait to get correct with any manager of any tenure due to the fact that a lot of managers (but especially new ones) do NOT like to coach employees ALONG THE WAY and be progressive in discipline to get behaviors changed. A ton of managers take the "I'll fire them later" approach to behavior management or not deal with a person at all. People who don't like to be PROFESSIONALLY confrontational or aren't adept at should defiantly stay away from management.

schmidtd
schmidtd

I had a management training class series lead by a professor who supposedly built his curriculum on basic research of what make an effective workforce. He stated that the motivation and skills of your workforce would affect how you managed them. To make a long story short, the advise given above only applied to workforces that were both unwilling and unable to work. (unskilled and unmotivated). So these were traits you *might* have to take on, but when you did it was because your workforce had serious problems or you were managing a Mc D's. For motivated but unskilled, you basically were more of a teacher than a manager. Oddly for unmotivated but skilled, you needed to be part cheerleader (yeah, I know, this is exactly who you would think you needed to hardest on, but apparently research said no!) However, if you could get your group working at the highest level, motivated and skilled, you would do many of the things the above advice discouraged. Be collaborative, group decisions, not be the center of attention. All in all I found it to be good advice. You *might* need the skills listed by the OP to be a good manager, but you might need a whle different set of skills. Know your environment.

patclem
patclem

These things are SO true. I'm a relatively new manager (2+ years.) That "new manager" enthusiasm will get you through a few years, but to persist requires very thick skin. I've had 16 people working for me, our part of the organization went through cuts, mostly contractors. But full time employees get scared, and some of your super-stars leave since they can most easily find a job. I've led that remaining team through the Valley of Despair during that reduction. I'm down to a very small number, and I may need to be smaller because of some personnel issues I'm having. It will put me in a precarious position being a manager with such a small team, but it's probably the right thing to do as the behavior is poisonous to the rest of my team. Did I mention thick skin? In a different way, management is a challenging job. You have to learn to look for rewards in a different way. For example: as an IT engineer or project manager, you have that reward of all that work, then a successful golive with that new code, or turning on that firewall. Managers get no reward except hopefully a pat on the back from the director for the work on that budget, or that team meeting or whatever. Staffers looking for the next step, think it out carefully. Do your due diligence and talk to other managers. Ask for honest opinions from them. What do they like about their job? What is the most rewarding thing about their work (besides the paycheck)? Be absolutely sure of what you're getting into. And while you're at it, give your boss a break. He/she has a tough job.

PowerIT
PowerIT

Nice article. I am a 37 year old IT Manager and would like to move up a gear, career wise into senior management. In your opinion would doing a MBA in my situation realistically be a good idea?

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

:p ;) Oh wait, is that French for a cheese soufflee ? :^0

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

And remember that you work for your employees. Without them you do not have a job. Without you they can still function, just not as efficiently. Les.

alaniane
alaniane

reason for a firing does not necessarily make people fear for their jobs. When a company fires or lays off a significant portion of their workforce on a regular basis, then your workers have a reason to fear. However, if you have to consistently fire people then it may indicate that either your hiring process is flawed or your management is bad.

JamesRL
JamesRL

You can't tell your staff, or people asking for references the "cause", but you can say, fired for cause, Laid off or left on their own accord. Its a privacy issue. Companies can be sued. Most employees with direct contact can guess. I've taken the occasion to remind employees about a number of company policies after someone has been let go, that sends a signal without exposing the company to a lawsuit. James James

highlander718
highlander718

"am paid at a descent level " just noted it as a funny misspelling :-). Bottom line is that it depends on your character as I think the article very well points out. From a personal experience and perspective, age and family might also plan a role. While 10 years ago I was willing to do overtime, to spend my personal time learning and advancing in the IT field, to be available 24/7, I would not do that anymore. Yes I did get into management positions, did have a team to take care of and did enjoy it. Lately though, not sure if I'm just tired of it or it is just other things in life that I like to enjoy more (family first of course, getting home early, reading other things, real vacations, excursions, less stress ..etc

snideley59
snideley59

I am extremely happy being technical lead on my projects. My beef is when some self important little dweeb gets promoted to "management" and starts making all important project decisions to make him/herself look better to their management while making it difficult for me to deliver. Then, because of poor "management", the onus comes upon me to deal with the wreckage. They are like professional politicians, long on presentation but ill equipped for delivery. Those that do, do. Those that can't do, teach. Those that can't teach, manage. Those that can't manage, become politicians. Wonder if this is how Rome bit the dust.

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

.. that do not have to deal with people issues. As an IT project manager, I am responsible for ensuring that the project is delivered on time, within budget and satisfies it's requirements. I do not have to deal with personal issues, like performance appraisals, for example. An IT supervisor or department manager handles all that for me. Les.

dpeplinski
dpeplinski

I have some real problems with a few of those tasks - #6: Being stuck in the middle between the leaders and the team makes your stomach churn - and "stomach churn" is exactly right and #8: Having a verbal duel in a meeting isn?t your idea of fun and you feel uncomfortable standing up to communicate in a meeting...I still have nightmares of some meetings where I've had verbal duels. I'm in the right spot I think.

inet
inet

Except when they blame YOU for their quitting on the way out -- then it IS personal. However, you can get over that feeling by tempering it with the fact that the person who quit and blamed it on you is actually really just a job hopper who needed to justify this hop to him/herself... Then you can sit back in your chair (you're not a real manager if you don't have a chair you can sit back in) for a minute and think..."what a jerk". And, you'd be right. Then, you can move on. "Next!"

Boston
Boston

Precise and to the point. You hit the nail on the head.

herbert.reines
herbert.reines

What you describe (flexibility) is the most important trait of a manager (good, mediocre, poor or bad). The degree that a manager is flexible must depend on the specific situation. It is understanding the situation in terms of the company's business goals, and the goals of both the manager and "managed" that determine if one is cut out to be a manager, and can manage. The second most important trait of a manager is the manager's ability to be part of their children's life (children defined as human and animal -- the dog or cat, etc.) Failing to manage time with your "children" is a significant failing as a manager and a person. This is not a religious or cultural edict; it is a reality of the human species. The third most important trait of a manager is the manager's ability to manage his/her personal relationships, especially the relationship with their significant other or spouse. It is the effect of extra hours not "at home" and the stress brought home that creates the underlying personality of the manager and hence their ability to "manage." As advice, the 10 things (augmented by the reader's comments) tell you if you should consider yourself to be a member of the profession called "manager." But who listens to advice?

mross011
mross011

About 10 years ago I had a manager ask me where I wanted to go in my career. I replied, "I would like to get into more of a management role". He simply replied, "Be careful what you ask for". I left there smirking, thinking to myself I know what I want. As the years past by, I realized how wise that statement was. His reply is now one of my staple replies when someone tells me they want to go into management. These 10 things are very true, but honestly there are many more measures that should be taken into account. HR duties are the worst part of management along with taking the blame for all that goes wrong in your department. Hints: Don't try to blame it on someone below you, that's bad kharma all around. You look bad in two ways at that point. Why did you not do something about it and you really are not good at your job. Just stay, I'll check into it and get it fixed. Buffer your team from blame, it's your fault and always will be your fault and it should be. Give credit to your team and individuals on your team. Don't ever take credit for someone else's work. It will haunt you, I promise. These are two rules that I abide by whole heartedly and have since I went into management. Your team will appreciate it and respect you more. I did disagree with one statement in the article. You better expect, earn and demand respect. Without that you can never be a good manager.

luz.c.cummings
luz.c.cummings

If you are not ready for the long hours, meetings where it seems other folk's minds are not in the same room and poisonous personalities within your team....then also think of the fact that other managers may see you as a "raising star" and feel threatened. Misinformation can become another way of manipulation.

angry_white_male
angry_white_male

Being "the boss" requires an innate set of skills to deal with the different personalities above and below you. Being "the boss" requires a thick skin, open to criticism, open to new ideas that you'll have to give someone else credit for, and the ability to handle personal/personnel problems on your staff. If you can't hack it - then you're not cut out to be the boss. It's a tough job, yes - that's what a boss signs on for, that's why they're paid more.

don.easton
don.easton

Education is the greatest investment you will ever make, for yourself and your family (assuming you have one). A Master's degree can open a lot of doors for you. You may find something else in life you would like to do more, such as teach college or community education courses.

v.spencer
v.spencer

I have done mine @ 35, which was the average age of the students in my class (evening, part-time MBA, all working people, many of them managers). Many students were over 30, some over 40, one was 54!! The experience that you get from your fellow students in a class like this is just as (or more) valuable as the formal education itself!!

kevin.fast
kevin.fast

I'm a 50 year old IT guy & I have one more term to complete my MBA.

The family Jules
The family Jules

It depends on what you're gunning for. I talked to a COO once (and only once), and though he did not have a Masters, he said quite a few senior management positions do request it. I don't think it's so much the degree, but the contacts that it opens up. it's all about networking. i'm 32, and i'm going for an MBA (mainly because i pay a reduced rate.) but i am also aiming for more senior level positions later in my career. I have friends that decided against this route, as they would rather spend time with their families than work 60+ hours a week.

Former Big Iron Guy
Former Big Iron Guy

If your company has experience with MBA's and their training and how to take advantage of that fact, go for it, especially if there are others around that do the MBA thing. Also, if the company has a tuition reimbursement plan (and some companies do not, even in these days), buy the MBA on their nickel. Few or no other higher education folks around is not a good sign. However, in either case, if you want to move up, and there is no clear path (e.g. no succession planning documentation or staff development docs) or if there is a clear path, you may have to move to another company. If there is not the progression to senior management model, and the new top managers always seem to come from outside the local shop, then you probably can't move up, with or without an MBA. I found myself in the preceding situation when I completed my MBA in the early 90's, over 20 years after my Baccalaureate. It was then almost 5 years before I moved up. After a "down/right sizing" and several new management positions being filled from outside, I saw the handwriting on the wall and took early retirement. I'm now looking for another situation. The MBA *has* helped me get to a couple of interviews, but I may have to hang out the consulting sign if needs be. Don't be afraid to take that approach, just don't jump without a parachute. - The Retired Former Big Iron Guy

chuck1612
chuck1612

Never too late and 37 is still young! However, ask yourself this reality check question: setting credentials aside (MBA), would I or could I have the political stuff to land one of these jobs? Do you currently have an "in?" Do you already have a mentor or current/former boss who will take you up the ladder with him/her? If no, then if you're pursuing an MBA as a means to career progression to senior leadership, get one in a place where you will build political connections with those you need to notice you. Another point - I thought like you - "senior management" - and learned the hard way that it's not "management" but "senior leadership" - management skills are a must but so are leadership skills. Not all MBAs are created equally - find one that emphasizes leadership and entrepreneurship.

dave.perkins
dave.perkins

Perhaps the fact that you have to ask the question is answer enough. The biggest failing of IT Managers, and all too often, IT Directors, is their inability to take a holistic view of the business and how IT/IS fits in and contributes to business goals.

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

as it is a CYA issue. If there's the least chance the former employee could call the reason into question, he might find a sympathetic jury, so it has become corporate policy not to state a cause.

mross011
mross011

You are getting older. Just the nature of humans to migrate to this state. The fire will probably come back, but dwindles quicker. Don't worry about it. Enjoy like, that's the important part. And if work doesn't do it for you, find what does. Just don't hurt anyone else in the process :).

mross011
mross011

One of the primary sad things a manager has to deal with is attitudes like this one. Although, the statement may be true, this is a common attitude amoung the younger workforce today. Often, employees don't understand why decisions are made and only view the decision made to be something about the manager themselves. In most cases managers make decision that are pushed down from them above. Of course there are those who don't listen to reason and make uninformed decision, there are fewer of those than you think. I have had to make many decisions that I did not agree with because I was forced to by higher management. To counter act this type of attitude I try to communicate why I had to make an unpopular decisions. This is difficult sometimes when you should never try to make your boss look bad. Your job no matter where you are is: To Make Your Boss Look Good. It's the only way to succeed, till you do, you will always be bitter and on the outside looking in. Don't delude yourself into thing otherwise, it's just the way it is. And, for the most part the way it should be. Although, I have had a few that needed to be brought down. No excuses though on this, just do it and you will succeed, if not the likelihood of succeeding is low.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I've had good managers and bad. I've good employees on my team and bad. Its easy to generalize but its often very wrong. We all have our tasks and roles to fill. James

eeuoa77
eeuoa77

Not everyone can do the same thing and not everyone has the same skills aren't we all interdependent? So what does doing mean for each individual in order to deliver a product of value? Isn't valuing each of the different types of doing the most important thing? Doesn't Valuing yourself and others get the job done faster, with higher quality, and with less money?

dpeplinski
dpeplinski

I've worked as a project manager. Have you never had to schedule projects around vacation? Thought about, or asked someone to cancel vacation time?

alaniane
alaniane

have to be concerned with your staff. Unless your project is done completely by machines, you have to deal and manage people to accomplish the task. One drawback with some IT managers is that they assume that technical ability alone makes them a good IT manager. It's the soft skills that make a capable manager. Another item I would add to the list is that if you do not like to delegate then you will burn yourself out as a manager. Part of being a manager is knowing what tasks can or cannot be delegated and when to delegate those that can be delegated.

cploner
cploner

Whether you have functional managers performing personnel management or not is irrelevant. I don't agree that you can be a project manager if the human resources process is ignored. Even if you aren't writing your project team's review, you still have to deal with conflict, communication, skillset, coaching and schedule problems in the team, which constitutes the bulk of "people management". Even if you argue that your functional managers are handling this for you, who's interfacing between two disparate functional managers who disagree? That would be the PM... What you describe is also not the same for every PM everywhere. It depends on your culture and model. The majority of project managers find themselves in Matrix enviornments where they will need to get more involved in the management of their resources if they expect their project to succeed.

don.easton
don.easton

There are those that are less than competent that leave before the axe falls, also. They have to blame somebody else for leaving...might as well be you.

don.easton
don.easton

Far as most jobs go, this country practices "At-will employment", so there is no need to CYA, unless something is amiss, which can be discovered (as long as no paper shredders are around).

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

"What you describe is also not the same for every PM everywhere. It depends on your culture and model." That is what I was saying. You CAN work as a PM where you do not need to be involved with performance appraisals and personal conflict. I know, because I have been there. That's all I was saying, did not intend to imply that every PM has the same role. Les.