The more I work in tech, the more I see the most successful management being at the core about these three separate and often conflicting areas:
- Company: Contributing to your companies bottom line by understanding the business value and long-term strategy
- Customers: Taking care of your costumer by delivering product they want and love
- Culture: Growing your engineers as well as positively impacting engineering culture in the company as a whole
At the intersection of these areas, there are two often conflicting axis which create a healthy push and pull if used with a right balance:
- Short-term vs long-term, e.g., delivering projects on time vs. doing what will scale better in the future
- Us vs. them, e.g., caring about your team vs. company or the entire engineering population
A good manager in the information-based working environment will find a way to combine the aforementioned areas and axis to form a win-win situation. It’s not always possible, but I find that it’s possible more often than not when I just push a little bit more and don’t give up early, when I try to come up with just one more creative solution.
PS: To continue musings, there are two books on the topic worth mentioning. I wrote a short summary on one of them which is called Managing Humans. I really liked that book, but recently I read another book called The First-Time Manager which seems to be the source of inspiration for Managing Humans, to put it mildly. I’m not accusing the author of Managing Humans in plagiarism, but I had a strong feeling of deja vu. It felt like Managing Humans borrowed the outline and a lot of ideas and concepts from The First-Time Manager. Interesting…. So go for “original” (The First-Time Manager). It’s not as specific and tailored to software engineers but a useful perspective. Then follow up with The 48 Laws of Power for a completely different view. :)
Microsoft MVP | Book and Course Author | Software Engineering Leader
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