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User Journal

Journal: Management by example? 2

Journal by Josh Lindenmuth
An old adage states that "the best way to lead is to lead by example". In technology related fields though, this is a tricky act ... as one could readily tell after reading comments in November 25's Can a Manager Be a Techie and Survive? story.

From my perspective, the reason it's so challenging to manage a technology team is that everyone on the team expects something different from a manager. This plethora of expectations seems far more diverse than for non-technical teams (or at least compared to Management Consulting, my prior career).

For example, I've found that:
  • 1/3 of tech employees want a manager who is an expert in their field so they can utilize them for assistance
  • 1/3 of tech employees want a manager who is completely non-technical so that they can focus on solving the problem however they choose
  • The other 1/3 of tech employees don't want a manager at all. To them, a manager is always part of the problem and thus should be marginalized if at all possible

Do you agree with this, and what tactics do you (or your manager(s)) utilize to effectively handle these expectations?

User Journal

Journal: The curse of negativity? 3

Journal by Josh Lindenmuth
Have you ever wondered why the impact of negative actions is so much greater than those of positive actions? For instance, I've seen seemingly loyal and happy employees quit in rage after a single negative comment by a briefly inconsiderate manager or coworker was directed towards them. On the other hand, it seems to take hundreds of compliments and positive statements to create a similar level of fanatacism towards an organization.

How does the saying go ... trust takes a lifetime to build and a moment to break? How different the world would be if we could instantly build trust that would take years to destroy ...
Hardware Hacking

Journal: What's the most interesting thing you've ever built?

Journal by Josh Lindenmuth
What is the most interesting gadget, product, or device that you've ever built on your own? Cool computers, cars, hovercraft, handheld devices ... I'd love to hear what /. readers have built!

My own:
In high school I was involved in an engineering competition where we needed to create a machine that could move 100 lbs of groceries from a disabled person's car up and down a set of stairs, and then into their kitchen. It was probably the coolest thing I ever built (there were only 3 of us on the team), even though the wooden treads started splintering halfway up the stairs (we didn't have a metal shop, so it was made entirely out of wood, spare boat parts, and conveyor belts) and then it completely destroyed the stairs on its way down (it weighed over 300 lbs).

Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.

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