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Thread: Fear of delegating tasks as a leader

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    I don't know the person you have in mind, and I'm not as familiar with corporate internal structures as you are, so there may be other factors in play you've left unstated, but this honestly sounds like it could be decent management. My interpretation is that they know their subordinates, know what they can do, what their areas of expertise are, and use that information to get their tasks done. To me, that's what a good manager does: delegates everything that can be delegated by knowing who on their team can get the work done and done well, and acknowledges if they don't know something but also knows who to go to to find out the answer.

    It seems to me that saying it could be done by their superior's admin assistant overlooks that all the work they are doing frees up that admin assistant to do other things. The very nature of delegation is to pass on work from a person who could do it to someone else--especially in the context of failure to delegate.

    In the case you have in mind, do admin assistants have authority to hire or fire? I'm assuming the manager does.
    If you're a manager and you can't even pull a report, or call a supplier to arrange a service call, and you need to pull someone off the floor to do this, what is the fucking point of you? I'm not talking about having them execute a technical project or fix a broken machine. If you don't know enough about what your people are doing to answer your boss's questions about it, or tell your boss when what they're asking for is unrealistic, how much value could you be adding? A good manager basically runs interference so their subordinates can get their jobs done. A good manager is a filter, a bad one is a pipe. I don' t know if that is a common saying or just common amongst engineers. I'd add that a really bad boss is a pump. They get all worked up about whatever their manager is worked up about and then bug the shit out of you about it. I've been lucky enough to have a few filters over the years.
    I think upper level managers tend to value filters, but they don't realize why. It's because the filter's team can get a lot more done. While the pipe/pump may seem more responsive to the upper level managers, their team is fairly ineffective because they are pulled in too many directions.
    I also think that if your people are all also managers with their own teams, then your scenario is more applicable.
    And to answer your last question, neither of them has the authority to hire or fire. If a manager hires or fires anyone, it is only if corporate allows it. Here they need buy in from finance and at least an executive vice president to hire. Firing for cause needs buy in from legal, firing for poor performance is pretty much impossible.

  2. #12
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    @starla, thanks for clarifying. And I agree, especially with the filter/pipe analogy.
    People think they understand their own mortality, even when that understanding has just changed.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  3. #13
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    I've realized that my biggest problem with my immediate managers at my current job is that they're both pipes. One's a big pipe (bad cop) and one's a small pipe (good cop). But they're both pipes.

    My best manager in healthcare was a very effective filter and occasionally a pipe. But even when he was acting as a pipe we knew when something came down from management and he genuinely thought it was a good idea, or if it was dumb and we couldn't avoid it, but he was doing his best to lessen the blow. Interestingly, he did not come from a healthcare background. He came from a management position in the corporate sector, and he was genuinely interested in and good at managing as a process in itself.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Limes's Avatar
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    When I ran a helpdesk I got sent on an IT training course called management skills for IT professionals which included an entire day on MBTI used as an overlay to complement documentation on different "types" of Managers and team members, with a proctored test at the end.
    I learned that I actually had a fair few sensors on my team who preferred to have repetitive tasks, or at least, tasks with clearly defined procedures and steps to follow.
    I had assumed that more people preferred to do problem solving as part of "fun" and challenging work, but it turned out that, for example, "Obi", [an ISTP Cuban-American, who arrived to Miami on the Mariel boat lift,] was at his happiest when assigned something I thought was torture, folding and collating batch statement printouts.

    I don't know if "Fear" is the right word to use in the OP. Fear|---|Love not being a dichotomy, or scale and all that.

    Sabor original

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