Re: manager credibility

Subject: Re: manager credibility
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2004 12:45:53 -0800 (PST)

"Edwin Dahlquist" wrote ...

> Specifically, a manager should be able to encourage and facilitate a high
> of task accomplishment WITHOUT resorting to either conventional rewards or
> punishments. If he or she cannot, then he or she is simply a hack feeding
> off "legitimate authority." In short, "you have to do it because I say you
> to and I'm the mommy."

If the world was full of self-motivated, responsible, unselfish people then yes
- managers could encourage and facilitate tasks without resorting to
authoritarian tendencies.

Unfortunately, for every self-motivated, responsible, unselfish person there
are thousands of lazy, ineffectual, nitwits. Exacerbating that problem is that
most of the nitwits are convinced that their way of doing things is the only
way to do things. Managers have to deal with that kind of nitwitism.
Unfortunately, some people only respond to clear and resolute forms of
authority. Most people if you give them an inch, they will take a mile and then
whine about how not only did they *deserve* that mile, but there is some
ridiculous theory out there that supports mile taking.

When you manage people, you have to be clear with expectations and goals.
Unfortunately, some people refuse to accept the goals. They refuse to get their
work done, or will dream up problems to avoid their work. Its a lot easier to
complain about the work then sit down an do it.

So, while its noble to want all managers to be great facilitators who never
have to lower the authoritarian boot, that kind of environment is rare.

However, I will say, that those kind of environment do exist. But, they tend to
be very high-end consulting firms. And there is a very, very high expectations
for excellence and results. Failure to deliver or angering a customer gets you
demoted and fired - quickly. And you have to have exceptional skills - well
above that the average tech writer.

Andrew Plato

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