Career and Money Advice At The Intersection Of Business And Technology

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Too many managers, too few leaders

May 1st, 2009 · 2 Comments

Rose is the VP of Account Management at an Internet start-up. She has a team of ten people reporting to her.

When she runs into product managers, developers, and operational folks in the company, she always asks: "what have you done today for help my team?".

When someone asked why one of her accounts is generating $50,000 while costs the company $200,000 to support, her response is "Stop it. Nobody can suggest shutting down the account except me. Don’t even go there."

On a given day, Account Manager A complained to her that it takes him 2 hours to manually produce a monthly report. He needs a developer to automate the task. Account Manager B complained to her that his account asked for a new feature, but it was prioritized low in the product queue. Account Manager C complained that he needed developer to fix a small problem.

Rose didn’t think critically — she basically went to the product managers and VP of development– yelled at them and said that all of them must be done. She then went to the President of the company and escalate.

The Product Manager, VP of Development, and software developers are stressed, frustrated, and angry — there are a million things that needs to be done. But, there are also more strategically important stuff that needs to be done. Some of Rose’s requests are so trivial that it simply doesn’t justify to allocate any resource.

But, Rose doesn’t listen, and she doesn’t think critically. In fact, she has virtually zero understanding of the system her team is supporting. She thinks her job is to manage and remove every complaints/barriers her team members have raised.

This is just one example. I’ve seen this happen too often in almost every company.

We need more leaders. We need fewer micro-managing, incompetent, bullying managers.

A leader inspires ordinary people and achieves extraordinary results.

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Tags: Leadership · Management · Product Management · Start-up Success

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Daffodil Kelly // May 11, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Good manager leads the team by naturally developing skills of organising, planning, setting goals, solving problems,negotiating, mentoring, coaching and supervising. Unfortunatelly it is very difficult to train people to become leaders. This skill is developed through natural talent and not everyone has it.
    Your posts are great! Thanks for sharing.

  • 2 rjeka hotels // Jul 31, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Thank you friend for the information

    The article is very professionally written. I enjoy reading every day

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