This blog post is some kind of post-scriptum to something I've written quite recently: GHOST_URL/antipattern-attracting-the-work/ Not something completely new, just an additional remark, an important point I think I've missed then, but I find it important enough to shape another, short blog post just about that.

I'm probably stealing it from someone (may happen if you digest tons of books like me), but as I don't remember the exact author, I'll just slap my own paraphrase:

"To be a good manager, it's crucial to focus not on picking new work, but on getting rid of the one you already do."

Some smart dude(ette), not me

And this time my point isn't just about "attracting the work" or not trusting subordinates being able to the work - it's more about having (finding) time FOR direct work with your subordinates - as this is your primary duty after all. Managers who keep forgetting about that:

  • don't contribute to building up a real team
  • don't help their people (& whole organization) to develop
  • miss the opportunity not just to give, but also to receive feedback
  • loose contact with the actual work going on - build up their Ivory Tower
  • are not able to build their position on respect & appreciation

Managers who don't work with their people (for instance, those ones who don't practice Genchi Genbutsu) are just bookkeepers - still useful, but do you need a highly-paid/skilled professional to do that?

We all want to contribute, everyone has tons of great ideas & just can't wait to show them to the world - but we're adult & we have to remain pragmatic: it's far better to do just 1 thing, but in a proper way (& end-to-end), instead of stretching yourself to cover as much as possible, without any visible effect (but making a lot of noise).

Yes, Lean WIP limit principle applies in management as well.

Pic: © eatcute -

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