common time-management mistake: rack & stack

Gary Buhrmaster gary.buhrmaster at
Fri Feb 17 17:54:13 UTC 2012

On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 23:29, Jeff Wheeler <jsw at> 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.)

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