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RE: common time-management mistake: rack & stack
From: "Tony Patti" <tony () swalter com>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2012 13:15:09 -0500



From: Gary Buhrmaster [mailto:gary.buhrmaster () gmail com] 
Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 12:54 PM
To: Jeff Wheeler
Cc: NANOG
Subject: Re: common time-management mistake: rack & stack
On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 23:29, Jeff Wheeler <jsw () inconcepts biz> wrote:
...
Imagine if the CFO of a bank spent a big chunk of his time filling up
ATMs.
Flying a sharp router jockey around to far-flung POPs to install gear 
is just as foolish.

There is a theory of management that says a good manager needs to know
nothing about the staff or the jobs he is managing, because his job is about
returning profit to the shareholder, 
and not about what the company does.  AFAIK, these theories are made in
the academic halls of the business schools, 
which churn out MBAs, and, self-selected group that they are, believe in
(more) managers, and (more) powerpoint business plans, and (more) theory.

I happen to come from a different background, and believe that it has
value to understand what the people who are working for you actually do.  
That does not mean the CEO should spend all day delivering the mail (or
flipping burgers), but she had better have done it a few times, 
and it is a good idea to do it from time to time to see what has changed.
It keeps the manager grounded with the reality.
 (I have been told that the reason that the commanders in the Army are
reluctant to send their people to battle is that they have experienced it,
and know it is hell.
And the reason the people will go to hell for their commander is that the
commander has the moral authority of having done it, experienced it, 
know that they are asking a lot, but it is for the common good.  People
will follow a leader who has been there, done that, 
and not so much when it is just an academic business plan on a powerpoint
slide.)

+1 for Gary's comment.

That is the large difference between LEADING and MANAGING.

In the context of the military scenario above, Grace Hopper comes to mind
because of her nanoseconds etc
"In her retirement speech, instead of dwelling on the past, she talked about
moving toward the future, stressing the importance of leadership."
http://inventors.about.com/od/hstartinventors/a/Grace_Hopper_2.htm
I was lucky enough to have heard her speak once at an ACM event.

Tony Patti
CIO
S. Walter Packaging Corp.




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