Modern Middle Manager
Primarily my musings on the practical application of technology and management principles at a financial services company.
The Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Saturday, January 04, 2003  

I write mostly about technology issues because I find technology pretty easy to understand and apply in my company. I started out in technology so it's my element. I switched into management later in my career. I've learned a great deal about motivation, leadership, communication, strategy and organizational imperatives. Although I'll most likely expand on these themes in later posts, here's a list of what I love and hate about being in management.

What I love
Coaching my staff and seeing them apply what they learn.
Accomplishing projects that have a positive impact on the organization.
Getting people together to create a solution.
Crafting a vision for the department.
The cars, the money, the women...well, it's middle management so all I get is mileage, a salary and the occasional Internet date.

What I hate
Organizational imperatives that put me in conflict with my staff or with other departments.
A lack of strategy from senior management.
The on-again, off-again micromanagement from above.
Interminable, pointless meetings.

What motivated me to get into management? Two main factors, I think: control and opportunity. By opportunity I mean greater chances for promotion, raises, recognition and the like. Yes, I guess I'm just a money-grubbing glory hound. Control is just as easy to understand; I want to influence my destiny, and that of my department, to the greatest extent possible. What started as a desire to put my imprint on the data center and desktop standards has become a quest to simultaneously innovate for the sake of the company's objectives while keeping senior management from making really bad technology decisions. Surprise, surprise, the only way to do that is to continue to climb the ladder and play the political game. The ideal eventual destination would be a CIO or CTO position; I have no desire to angle for the CEO position and probably wouldn't get it here unless I was the last man standing.

posted by Henry Jenkins | 1/04/2003 08:32:00 PM

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