Archive for the 'Professional Skills' Category

What Does Management Do?

I have a friend who rants about every manager she has ever worked for. None of them seem to know anything useful, do anything productive during the day, understand her needs or help her get her job done. More often than not, these managers slow her down, make stupid decisions (in her mind), ignore all her suggestions, and worst of all, they cling to their power with some special control over their immediate supervisor. She is stuck with a manager she loathes, and she detests being near them. How fruitful will that relationship be over the long term? Why does upper management keep managers who are openly revolted against? What keeps these managers in control?

In this series of articles, I will delve into the obscured life of a manager and review some of the widely held viewpoints of employees that I have talked to over the past few years.

Here is a list of complaints I hear about managers:
– my manager is useless
– my manager knows nothing about what I do
– I loathe my manager
– I have a recent college graduate trying to tell me what to do
– I do not trust my manager to watch my back
– My manager is at a retreat learning something – what about me?
– They never listen to anything I say! So now I say nothing
– I don’t want to be like them when I grow up
-He/She is a slave driver who does not pull his or her own weight

What does your manager do? Are they helping you get ahead? Do they listen?
Are they concerned for your well-being? Do they have your back in times of trouble?

What does your manager do all day? What are all the meetings they attend?
Why is their door closed most of the time? What secrets are they trying to keep from me?

If you are doing everything to make money for the company, what do we need the manager for? How does your manager contribute to your production? Who gets all the credit for your production, you or them?

Why are managers not liked or trusted by some employees/contractors?
What are these managers/executives doing or not doing for their underlings?

Does your manager have your back? Do they go to bat for you and support your decisions with upper management and clients? Do they believe you are competent enough to be given work on your own?

Being a manager is not all fun and games; it is not a free ride – far from it. Management is usually more work (not less), more issues to deal with (not fewer), more time spent keeping the ship going in the right direction…while looking out for icebergs or other surprises.

From David Egan

Image from user hisks at


Would You Like a Shared Work Station?

From the Editor

Our local newspaper today reports that a large, well-known company that has its US headquarters here will consolidate all employees (+ or – 4,000) to one of its campuses, which is undergoing renovations. In a plan to cut costs, the company will vacate other buildings it currently leases or owns, and have everyone in a single location.

Doesn’t sound like a bad idea, right?

What struck me about this plan is that the renovated building will consist of “work stations.” According to the company spokesperson, there won’t be assigned desks or offices. Instead, “Basically, employees will just come in and choose where they work based on what they need to do,” says the spokesperson.

So, where you sit one day may be different from where you sit the next. Assuming I’m interpreting this plan correctly, I can see where it would create many challenges for a manager. If you have a group that needs to sit close to one another for easier communication and sharing of information, how would you ensure their seats would be in proximity to each other every day? Where would you store your projects’ documents and other artifacts when there’s no permanent file cabinet for you?

There’s also the problem of employee morale. I can’t imagine not being able to have a picture of my kids sitting next to my computer monitor, or the snacks I keep in my drawer for when I get hungry after lunch, or the important documents I have pinned to the walls of my cubicle where I can easily glance at them for certain information.

I may not love working in a cubicle, but at least it’s my own and I can carve out a little space for myself and my identity. I’m not sure I would feel very valued by my employer if every day had a temporary feel to it and I couldn’t establish myself in the physical sense.

What do you think of this idea? As a project manager, how would this arrangement make things better or worse for you and your team?

Concept source


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