Management: Exit Stage Left

I read an article yesterday which detailed an old decision by Larry Page (Google) that he decided to get rid of managers within Google. Now, from an Engineers or Designers point of view this would come as a welcome. However for some people it would be a groundbreaking or an insane move. This made me curious.

I see Leadership and Management very differently.

Leadership: Leaders set a course and enable the people they work with to shape the company of the future. Leaders should value their feedback and give praise when initiative, decision making and quick thinking are used.

Management: Managers spend an incalculable amount of time on making sure the people who are under them are doing what they should, instead of using their initiative and decision making skills to accomplish their goals from day to day.

Good Leadership

A good leader should lead in a direction that best suits the company and the people within it. A natural direction if you like instead of fighting uphill battles over time. Within that direction the people who work with you should believe in why you have set that course and be as emphatic as you to get going. If they’re not and you are responsible then get some feedback and if it’s warranted, adjust your course. Adjustments CAN be made. You can then watch as the future is created before your eyes.

Dump the Project Manager

You inherently see Project Managers within companies around the world that generally know little about the jobs that they are managing. I’ll challenge anyone who tells me that this is correct or the right way of working. Project Managers that do not have in-depth knowledge of the roles that they are managing are a hindrance. They under estimate time scales and over-manage increasing stress on the people below them. The right staff don’t need managed, they need a leader. If that last line resonates, then you either have the wrong team or an extremely strong team that you don’t want to lose.

Hail the Project Leader!

A complete opposite to the person I’ve described above, a Project Leader is a sub-division lower than the Global Leader or strong CEO if you’d like to think of it that way. The Project Leader, knows what their team are capable of, letting them achieve it to the best of their ability instead of bullying them to do it faster. They don’t act like a typical boss in any sense, they simply look to achieve the goals of the company.

So there, I’ve said it. Ditch the managers and bring in more leaders for teams that work. This goes back to my article about ‘being indispensable’, no one person is indispensable but the team made up of potential IS so guide them with a leader and hold back from managing them.

Thoughts or Views?

Please leave them in the comments below…


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Head of Interaction and Service Design at DigitalDWP.

2 thoughts on “Management: Exit Stage Left”

  1. Bang on, I guess the only problem comes when companies have staff they simply can’t trust to do their job.

    *Probably* less likely in companies like google but I’ve certainly seen enough places where having a person who is mainly responsible for cracking the whip is needed because staff would just take the piss otherwise.

    Sad state of affairs but certainly happens and the right environment and hiring/firing policy are critical!

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