Management anecdote

This is an anecdote that I used to explain to someone who is a developer and wanted to become a manager, what is the most important thing in being a manager.

The project is in trouble, you need to meet an insane deadline and you see that your people are falling behind. You want to lend a hand, and as a more experienced developer then they are, you sit down in front of the computer and have a crack at that bug. You feel that the bug tracking you’re doing at the time is the most important thing and disregard outside interrupts. Meanwhile, your manager and the marketing team decide to move up the release date of the next version of your product without consulting you, because you’re too busy. Ann, who has some critical knowledge of a niche component in the project is thinking about leaving the company and you don’t see the change in her attitude. Bob, an angry client is trying to talk to you about a recent failure in your system at his site and you’re unavailable to take his call. A week later, you’ve fixed the bug and the new version has shipped without additional problems. But, you have Ann’s resignation note on your desktop and a scheduled meeting with your manager about Bob, who’s now doing business with your company’s main competitor. And in two months you’re going to have another version crisis, because the deadline the marketing team had agreed on with your manager is quite simply impossible to make.

Always keep your thought and concentration a mile above ground.

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