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Becoming the Man

October 19th, 2010 by Ben Wagaman.
Categorized as management, philosophy, programming.

A month ago, I was promoted to the Manager of my group. When I agreed to take the position, I knew it wouldn’t be all lollipops and ice-sculptures. There are a lot people that have needs. There are a lot of things to think about, and there are a lot of things to do. Ergo, it is important to know what things to do at any given moment. There is little leeway for incompetence when you have demands coming from all directions.

My Strategy

1. Maintain and Rebalance Priorities.
Keep a short list (no more than 3 or 4 items) of my big priorities. These are the things that must be focused on. I keep them ordered so that I know what takes precedence. I rebalance this weekly so that I am adjusting to the current needs.

2. Make Progress.
Identify the most important gaps to fill and start there. I realize that I can’t finish everything I want to right now, but I can make progress as long as I break down each item into small enough tasks so that they will get done.

3. Communicate clearly.
One of the first things I did was to write up a position focus document for everyone on my team. It is important that everyone knows what is expected of them. How else can you know if you are successful?

4. Write things down.
I was doing this before, but I am trying to focus on recording my thoughts, discussions, and actions, so that they are available to review.

I have yet to come up with a plan to maintain the backlog of my position, but as long as I know what to do to make progress, it’s just a matter of time before I have things under control.

1 Comment »

  1. Comment by Karen
    October 19, 2010 @ 10:56 pm

    My tips for success………

    Always surround yourself with people smarter then you. Subject matter experts that you can learn from and gather intel from in different areas will always make you look smarter.

    Always listen to those under you and seek out the opinions of those that are not often asked, it creates loyalty and often your best ideas come from these folks.

    Never be afraid to ask questions of things you don’t grasp – if you have a question often others will as well, but are afraid to seem ill informed.

    Take a moment to process don’t be hasty in giving your opinion and don’t be afraid to change your position when better info comes along.

    Give positive feedback for things worth knowing and realign the group when things that aren’t going the direction you intend them to…….

    Best wishes Ben. this is certainly a time of growth for you personally as well as professionally.

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