Managers Make Difficult Choices
Managers make the difficult choices in the organization because they have the financial responsibility to do so. If they decide to share that responsibility, then the teams might make those choices. But saying, “Don’t bring me a problem, bring me a solution” isn’t helpful.
In this case, Peter thought about what Bob would want to know: What was the relative cost of the Technology group versus its value? What was the Technology group already working on and delivering? How long would it take to find and integrate new people and start them on the new project? What were Peter’s alternatives for his projects? What was Peter’s group doing now and what could they be doing? Was there an alternative way to organize the people without creating bureaucracy?
In small companies, these problems seem magnified, because you never have enough people to work on the work. In larger organizations, you have problems, because you have layers and bureaucracy.
If you have to bring a difficult problem to your manager, consider what your manager needs to know about this problem, so your manager can make the best possible decision.
No matter what kind of a company you work for, if you have management, management exists to create a system where people can contribute to the best of their ability. That includes making the difficult choices.
Read more of Johanna's management myth columns here:
- The Myth of 100% Utilization
- Only the 'Expert' Can Perform This Work
- We Must Treat Everyone the Same Way
- I Don't Need One-on-ones
- We Must Have an Objective Ranking System
- I Can Save Everyone
- I Am Too Valuable to Take a Vacation
- I Can Still Do Significant Technical Work
- We Have No Time for Training
- I Can Measure the Work by the Time People Spend at Work
- The Team Needs a Cheerleader!
- I Must Promote the Best Technical Person to Be a Manager
- I Must Never Admit My Mistakes
- I Must Always Have a Solution to the Problem
- I Know How Long the Work Should Take
- I Must Solve the Team’s Problem for Them
- I Can Move People Like Chess Pieces
- Management Doesn’t Look Difficult From the Outside, So It Must Be Easy
- I Can Compare Teams (and It’s Valuable to Do So)
- It’s Always Cheaper to Hire People Where the Wages Are Less Expensive
- If You’re Not Typing, You’re Not Working
- You Can Manage Any Number of People as a Manager
- People Don’t Need External Credit
- Performance Reviews Are Usefult
- It's Fine to Micromanage
- We Can Take Hiring Shortcuts
- I Can Standardize How Other People Work
- I Can Concentrate on the Run
- I Am More Valuable than Other People
- I Don’t Have to Make the Difficult Choices
- I Can Treat People as Interchangeable Resources
- We Need a Quick Fix or a Silver Bullet
- You're Empowered Because I Say You Are
- Friendly Competition Is Constructive
- You Have an Indispensable Employee