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If your present position at work is not already as such, would you want a management position?


Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
posted 9-Feb-2005 6:38am  
I don't currently work. When I do, I eventually hope to get into international health development - the kinds of roles I would be looking at would combine hands-on science with managerial responsibility.
posted 9-Feb-2005 8:24am  
It's hard to answer since I work for myself. I'm going to say "no", since that seems the closest to the truth for me. I think in 10 years, I might be more willing to do it, though. Right now, I like being in the trenches. But, I also something think it would be great to have team of programmers that I could guide to work on various projects. It would be great to be able to get a lot more done. Though, on the other hand, having to tell some of them that their performance is not acceptable would suck.
posted 9-Feb-2005 10:21am  
My present position is management.
posted 9-Feb-2005 10:24am  
Yes, although I have managed a bar and a store in the past I think I am far more capable of performing on the job at present. I tried to hard to keep employee's as friends, and that limited my effectiveness. Nowadays I am more inclined to do a better job.
posted 9-Feb-2005 10:52am  
No. I'm far too absent minded, forgetful, unmotivated and disorganised,

Actually, in my present company that would make me overqualified.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
posted 9-Feb-2005 11:48am  
I'm going to substitute "administrative" for management--meaning department chair, dean, etc. The answer is yes.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to bill) posted 9-Feb-2005 11:50am  
I'm picturing you in some sort of leather get-up walking back and forth behind a row of slaving programmers, cracking a whip and telling them to "Code, code!"
posted 9-Feb-2005 12:28pm  
Been there - managed an engineering department of 35 people. Hated it. Nothing but a babysitting job and the stress of reporting status and problems.
(reply to Enheduanna) posted 9-Feb-2005 12:59pm  
Really? hmm.. is this because of the Slave Girl comment I made before? smile
posted 9-Feb-2005 1:57pm  
I can't imagine very many people not wanting a managerial position, provided the compensation package is at least commsurate with the position.
(reply to Matty) posted 9-Feb-2005 2:10pm  
It's not all about the money though is it? It's about whether you have the requisite skills and experience and whether you'd actually enjoy it. I don't and wouldn't.

Obviously if you were to stick me in a hypothetical situation in which I'm offered a managerial role with a salary of $500k a year I'm going to say yes. But hypothetical or not, I'd be sacked after a few weeks.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to bill) posted 9-Feb-2005 2:21pm  
No, it's just the image that popped into my head! I think you're also cackling maniacally!
(reply to icurok) posted 9-Feb-2005 2:54pm  
let's not stray from the crux of the survey. It does not pose the question "would you want a managerial position, though you are homogeneously underqualified?"

Second, 500k is a silly exaggeration. My response said "compensation package commensurate with the position." Please let's read and answer precisely so that we may have a thoughtful discussion
(reply to Enheduanna) posted 9-Feb-2005 3:08pm  
posted 9-Feb-2005 4:10pm  
No, I don't like being in charge of people.
posted 9-Feb-2005 6:10pm  
For the most part I am better leader than follower.
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
(reply to Matty) posted 9-Feb-2005 6:18pm  
I would turn down a management role where that was all I would be doing, regardless of the compensations. I'm a scientist, not a manager. Management bores a lot of people, who simply want to get on with the more hands-on work. Provided I was earning enough to live on, job satisfaction would be my next consideration.
jettles Survey Central Subscriber
posted 9-Feb-2005 6:45pm  
no, i wouldn't. i wouldn't mind having to teach more in my position but not management. i would miss my clinical hours.
and to be honest, i was a manager in a previous career and pretty much sucked at it.
jettles Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to Matty) posted 9-Feb-2005 6:52pm  
it also doesn't say do you want a management position if the compensation package is adequate. it just asks if you want to be a manager........ whatever that means to you.
and i can imagine many people not wanting to be a manager. it's what makes the world go 'round!
posted 9-Feb-2005 7:33pm  
I have gone after them before...but I don't necessarily want too much responsibility. I want to work just enough to get by and be happy without working too hard. I want to make just enough money without having to work too hard - so that I'm not stressed all the time. I really don't want a job that gives me literal headaches. A few employees wouldn't be too bad...but any more than that - and I'd be a wreck.
(reply to Biggles) posted 9-Feb-2005 7:46pm  
What if you were a disease program manager within the British Department of Health, for example, a bovine spongiform encephalopathy eradication program? Your human resource management would be minimal compared allocating other resources to combat the disease. Would that drive you mad (LOL)?
(reply to jettles) posted 9-Feb-2005 7:48pm  
fair enough, it just seems to me that a natural progression in duties is a very common desire
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
(reply to Matty) posted 9-Feb-2005 7:51pm  
>Your human resource management would be minimal compared
> allocating other resources to combat the disease.

Sorry, I've been reading and re-reading that sentence and I honestly cannot work out what you're trying to say. I've been finding your writing style extremely hard to follow in general wry smile
posted 9-Feb-2005 7:54pm  
No thanks! I work at an elementary school and I have no desire to be a principal. Certainly, not my cup of tea!!!
(reply to Biggles) posted 9-Feb-2005 7:58pm  
you would not have to manage people so much as you would have to manage other resources
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
(reply to Matty) posted 9-Feb-2005 8:04pm  
A lot would depend on how much of the resource allocation was me saying here is what the science says we need, now let's allocate it. I imagine management positions to be much more about desperately trying to obtain the funding/resources in the first place...and that would be getting away from what I currently want to do.
(reply to Biggles) posted 9-Feb-2005 8:08pm  
Politicians fight for funding during "power lunches." A program manager would be the lead scientist who determines (in this case) which herds to depopulate, etc. Then, that manager would allocate appropriate resources to specific tasks. A staff (worker bee) physician would surpervise carcass disposal, etc.
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
(reply to Matty) posted 9-Feb-2005 8:15pm  
See, that wouldn't be my definition of a "manager" and I don't think they would have that as part of their title in the UK.
(reply to Biggles) posted 9-Feb-2005 8:18pm  
fair enough. Anyway, that scenario was an educated guess based on my experience in US government, not direct knowledge.

ciao, I must sign off
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
(reply to Matty) posted 9-Feb-2005 8:21pm  
I'm not surprised - unless you've been moonlighting for Defra! smile
posted 9-Feb-2005 8:51pm  
I dont know cause I havent yet worked in a dilbertian environement. I am still in college.
(reply to cerealkiller) posted 9-Feb-2005 8:54pm  
did you have trouble getting them to turn in their TPS reports on time?
jettles Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to Matty) posted 9-Feb-2005 10:19pm  
and it can be or is expected in many positions but then some jobs or careers have different paths to take. i work in medicine and would prefer to do clinical work. instead of doing managerial type work, i have the option of possibly doing research or moving to an office instead of a hospital work which is more demanding.
i just don't have the personality to manage people.
posted 9-Feb-2005 10:26pm  
no way
posted 9-Feb-2005 10:49pm  
No. I go to school, all I need is a part time job.
posted 9-Feb-2005 11:09pm  
No, that would be impossible. To be in management in my current place of work (ENT Clinic), I'd have to be an RN or doctor.
Well, not impossible, but it would take years to get there.

I wouldn't mind being the manager of the billing department though, once I get some experience.
posted 10-Feb-2005 7:40am  
No way! There's no way I'd want to put up with dealing with complaining people! Adults can be quite immature and I'd rather just do my own thing rather than supervise them.
posted 10-Feb-2005 7:56am  
I am management...and, what Ferris said applies, big time.
(reply to jettles) posted 10-Feb-2005 8:04am  
Let me say to everyone, that the question in the survey does not specifically say, "manage people." Rather, it says "management position." Not to sound Clintonesque, but a generic description like that could mean more responsibility without ever having to manage employees. And that's not far-fetched at all. My current position for example, is a considerable leap in responsibility from my last position, and not one person works for me. However, what I do has real implications for the whole nation. And yes, "manager" is in my official title. I manage non-human resources.
(reply to Matty) posted 10-Feb-2005 8:28am  
> let's not stray from the crux of the survey. It does not pose the
> question "would you want a managerial position, though you are homogeneously
> underqualified?"
> Second, 500k is a silly exaggeration. My response said "compensation
> package commensurate with the position." Please let's read and answer
> precisely so that we may have a thoughtful discussion

I wasn't being silly. I stated quite distinctly that it was a hypothetical situation (that will of course in all likelihood never happen). The figure of $500k is there only to provide you with an idea of how much money it would take for me to completely set aside my misgivings about taking on a managerial role.

Have you ever heard of "The Peter Principle"? It's a book written by a guy called Laurence J. Peter. In it he tries to explain why the public sector is generally so inefficient and in doing so, came up with the following:

"In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence"

I'll apply this to my own situation - I.T. Let's say there's a UNIX team, filled with UNIX systems administrators. One of them is clearly technically better and more productive than the others, so he is rewarded with a promotion. He is now the team manager. He has no natural flair for this role, but doesn't make a total hash of it, so in a couple of years they reward him again. He is now the department manager. Unfortunately, he struggles with this role and is therefore not promoted again.

Management should not automatically be a part of the natural progression of one's career path.
(reply to icurok) posted 10-Feb-2005 9:36am  
First, the assertion that the public sector is naturally less efficient, though common, is not completely accurate. The direction our agency is taking is to hire more employees and award less contracts because private contractors are doing less work and costing us more money. Another example is the military. No organization can move equipment and personnel as fast or efficient and at the same scale as the U.S. military. No one.

What people must realize is that in a democracy, government work processes must move slower to ensure political legitimacy. If my agency enacts policy, for example, we must encourage and respond to open and public discourse about what we are doing before we proceed. Imagine if we didn't; a portion of the government would in effect, be accountable to no one.

What business must announce its decisions to the public and then wait for a response before it proceeds?

In that sense, democratic government should and always will be, slower to act. However, the people who work in government are generally hard-working, well motivated, committed to their mission, and yes, efficient.

Regarding your situation, it sounds like your agency/company has more of a professional development problem than a promotion plan problem. For example, that better Unix administrator should have taken company-sponsored courses on how to be an effective manager.

However, to categorically state that managers are homogeneously ineffective and incompetent is a generalization that simply doesn't hold true, regardless of your individual situation.

Also regarding your situation, what would happen if a "natural leader" was not as good as his/her fellow Unix administrators, but was promoted to management for his/her leadership abilities? Would people complain that that person should not be management because s/he is not technically proficient?

I submit that people will always complain about their boss, regardless of competence.

If you are saying that you would never want to be a manager because you don't want to join the ranks of the incompetents, that sounds like a combination of "sour grapes" and self-righteousness.

However, if you are saying that you like your present position and don't want to change, I respect that and wish you luck. I think everyone's goal is to be content with their job.

As for Laurence J. Peter, I would not be surprised to learn that his either a university professor and detached from reality, couldn't get a government job, or was not awarded a government contract that he wanted.
(reply to southernyankee) posted 10-Feb-2005 11:32am  
Not sure what you mean by TPS report.
jettles Survey Central Subscriber
(reply to Matty) posted 10-Feb-2005 7:29pm  
well, that is true. i guess i was viewing it from the perspective of my current position, which would mean managing people.
posted 11-Feb-2005 6:28pm  
No I'm more than happy in a non-managerial role.

I'd be a crap manager and its way too much hassle.
posted 11-Feb-2005 10:20pm  
I am a retail store manager. I love running the business end of things, but I do not like having to manage people. They're too unpredictable, and I really don't enjoy telling people what to do.
posted 15-Feb-2005 1:54am  
Not at my place of employment... somewhere else, yes.
ElvisFan67 Bronze Star Survey Creator
posted 20-Feb-2005 7:03pm  
No way, Jack! I have enough stress with my current job as it is. I could never hold down any kind of position of authority. If so, I would definitely have to change my answer on the recent "lost your mind" survey. laughing out loud wry smile
posted 24-Feb-2005 4:33am  
For the salary yes but for anything else no. I HATE meetings and all those guys seem to do all day is running from meeting to meeting.
posted 31-Mar-2005 6:58am  
No - I don't like bossing people around.
posted 11-Apr-2005 6:25pm  
Where I worked and what I did, I was my department lead, just never had the title or pay. Besides, what I managed was incoming orders. I organized and prioritized, then input orders into our photofinishing computer system. When orders get written up and input correctly, they "flow" through the rest of the system. My orders flowed the best.

In the professional photo lab where I worked for 20 years we had counter sales, order write up, input, (upstairs to production) then final check, invoice, and shipping. I did everything but counter sales... counter staff brought their orders to ME for write up/input.(I put in my years of production from 1965-1980, I chose to be "support" since automation was already taking over "production") We were a small family run lab, with maybe 40 employees total. I reported to the lab manager and he reported to the president. We didn't have "leads" as such, but everyone knew where to go for the answers. I was in a power position and loved it.

We were a great lab, did fine quality work. Now there is PhotoShop that gives total control to the photographer in the studio, photo labs are being phased out. End of an era.

It was an honor to be the first "employee of the month" and return from lunch to a vase of flowers, engraved plaque, and a $50 check!
(reply to Matty) posted 11-Apr-2005 6:54pm  
Matty, I loved your reply explaining our government's role... my mother worked Civil Service and loved it. She worked for the Navy when she retired.

I remember The Peter Principle from the late 60's (I think). It was so long ago, that most of the ideas he suggested have probably been dealt with (I know they offer young exec's courses in management skills, etc). All this psychological stuff was in it's infancy back then, but growing fast. It got people to thinking, and that was good. "Subliminal Seduction" was another great book from back then, one of the first to expose advertising company techniques. Loved the "sex" in ice cubes!

I personally didn't go for the self-help books. I don't believe in the "I'm Ok, You're Ok", because, frankly, at 59.906 years, I've met my share of people who were NOT ok, even at first glance!

I'm more a follower of "I'm ok, you might be ok, and you've got 3 chances to prove me wrong"
(reply to patarnone) posted 11-Apr-2005 7:20pm  
wow, that was a long time ago, when I wrote that.

As far as the Peter principle, I have a Master's in Public Administration and I never heard of him. My guess is that his work had little merit.

Contrarily, Woodrow Wilson's "administration-politics dichotomy" of 1897 is still studied as a PA masterpiece and adresses the exact same topic...competency in the public administration apparatus. Wilson is decidedly on the "merit" side of "merit versus patronage" personnel policy, just like Peter apparently is. Yet, the older work prevails.

My conclusion...Peter is full of crap.
(reply to Matty) posted 11-Apr-2005 8:57pm  
Yes, and people sure don't need elevation beyond what they can handle at the time... all that can be studied and learned. I hated it in 2000 when I had to teach the new "support" manager write up skills, starting with basic film types! He finally turned out ok, but not his first year. We carried his butt, big time. It was obvious he was not hired for his photographic background.

Back in my photofinishing production years, our lab managers (amateur lab vs professional) got sent to the Kodak schools.

I'm glad to see corporations including educational opportunities, too. Makes us rank and file seem more important and wanted!

And sometimes I play catch up on old surveys. I really need to get out more!
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
posted 11-Jan-2018 6:03pm  
Taking on more and more management responsibilities is inevitable if I want to progress in my job. It's a little hard to define where I fit into the management structure right now though. I have some management responsibility for the more junior doctors on my ward as I supervise them and I am their first port of call for most problems that arise. As a doctor, I also have non-managerial leadership responsibilities when it comes to the wider multidisciplinary team.
LindaH Bronze Star Survey Creator
posted 11-Jan-2018 7:40pm  
I want to be the big boss so I can shout through a megaphone naked.

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