Thursday, May 7, 2009


I've been interviewing recently for an internal job here. This would be a step up, career-wise, and thus would entail some additional responsibility. Because of this, the interviews have been with folks a bit higher up on the food chain, so to speak. I'm taking these opportunities to ask my interviewers the following question:

"What one piece of advice or thing to remember would you give regarding managing managers?"

- My first interviewer said something like: Trust your managers. Everyone has a different style. Realize that more than one way will work. Let the results speak and try not to force your way/method/solution on them.

- The second: Remember, these are people. People are messy/complicated and while you may have everything perfectly lined up on your paper/project/plan, once you insert human beings, things go random, quickly.


- The third: You don't get to do any individual contributing any more. You have to give it up and concentrate on the rest of your job. It will be hard to give it up and you might try to hold on, but you're just micromanaging and getting in the way.

- The fourth: You're giving up the keys to the kingdom, you have to trust them to do their jobs and you can't go and meddle directly with the ICs. Trust is key, that and being willing to give up a layer of control.


  1. A good question for you to ask, though the second answer is, IMO,pretty worthless. Really seems like a cop out (pre-excuse for failure.)

    The first answer is very good advice. The key, though, is having a clear upfront understanding of how performance of your managed managers is defined and measured.

  2. Good point. In #2's defense, he did pre-qualify his answer, saying that he just had a conversation about that very thing earlier in the day so it was probably artificially moved up in his mental queue.