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  1. #21
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Thanks that is a good idea. We have serious personel issues at the moment, since I am working on a project that is partly publically founded (our government is spending some euro for the new topic of electrical mobility; still compared to what the US spends on it, we are but babies in that innovation process ) there are people in the respective institutions that choose the amount and kind of people for our project. But we are working to change that.
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  2. #22
    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    The best little decisions are made by a process of controlled randomness, 9 times out of 10, with wild cards

  3. #23
    Circus Maximus Sarcasticus's Avatar
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    I find saying "I'll leave it to you to work out those details" is both freeing to me and empowering to the person that's reporting to me.

  4. #24
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    nothing about being decisive or assertive makes you an ass hole. decisiveness is an admirable, masculine quality that results in virtually every area of your life being improved.

  5. #25
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    I think that the first moment you make a mark on your calendar, that's INSTANT ASSHOLENESS!
    Did you think something? That's ASSHOLENESS for you.
    Did you say something else than "whatever", "okay", "meh" .. that's ASSHOLENESS.

    /sarcasm
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #26
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Make a sarcastic post...ASSHOLENESS.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    [...] The whole reason to this thread and why I am doing this is that. I've been thinking lately, even a bit philosophical; you have to know I have one of the best school educations you can get around here and my University degree has high reputation with people. That brings people to make me a leader somehow automatically. Yet tho I learnt how to build a combustion engine or nuclear bomb, I still never learnt how to lead, never really thought about that. I think I have a natural tendancy to be a good advisor for people, cause I've been so far in my life, yet I'ld never assume I am a good leader cause I lack the proper training. The funny thing I learn now tho is, there is really no proper training. There is practical work, you can learn a thing from, but nobody really entitles you to be a leade rnow. You just become it by taking on responsibilities.

    Maybe that insight was easy for everybody else, to me it wasnt so much. I am just learning that and tho I am not showing my insecurities towards the outside world, I am stiull learning a lot of things and I will always learn for all my life.
    Sorry I missed out on this thread. Based on the thread title and the OP, I thought the thread would be more about how we make decisions, i.e., the workings of the brain as part of the decision-making process. Or something like that.

    Anyway, now that the thread is out-of-date, let me put in my two cents. I've done a lot of this kind of small-unit and middle-management leadership.

    You're quite right that people get promoted into leadership positions only to learn, belatedly, that they are terrible leaders. This is especially true (as bologna pointed out) in an age where people are promoted based on their technical knowledge rather than their leadership abilities and training.

    The good news is that there are actually lots of leadership training courses available. The military generally makes people take small-unit leadership training when they reach NCO and Staff NCO rank. OCS (Officer boot camp) is effectively one big leadership training school. Large organizations and institutions routinely send their staff to leadership training and seminars when they move into management. Consulting firms offer leadership courses to individuals and small groups on order.

    Good leadership is a skillset worth billions in the corporate world, and it has been researched and written about to death. The Wall Street Journal provides articles on the latest trends in leadership and management.

    There are lots of popular books written on leadership skills and training. Just go to Amazon.com and search on "leadership." It sounds like you'll probably want to focus on small-unit leadership and middle management or the kind of management done by a foreman (where you are interacting directly with 3-10 people). No need to worry about upper management skills for this kind of problem.

    As for your problem in particular, it falls under one of the core skills of leadership: Delegation. Again, lots of material has been written on the subject. No need to re-invent the wheel. Just go to Amazon.com and search on "delegation."

    I'll write up another post in a bit with suggestions on how to handle the specific problem you mentioned. I realize the situation is probably resolved by now. But maybe the advice will come in handy in the future.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I'll write up another post in a bit with suggestions on how to handle the specific problem you mentioned.
    The first rule of leadership in a small office setting (3-10 subordinates) is that you want to be constantly training and cross-training your subordinates so that each person can do the work of two or more positions. You want to cross-train people so that if any one or two are sick or quit, their co-workers can step smoothly and instantly into their slot. (And that includes your own work: You want to make yourself redundant. You want to be able to take a long vacation and be sure that the office will continue to function normally without you.)

    Because of all the training and cross-training that's occurring, frequently a project goes to someone who isn't the best candidate for that particular assignment. But that's fine. It becomes a training (or cross-training) opportunity. Don't always give the sensitive assignments to the same one or two people all the time; mix it up and give someone who is weak at a particular skill an opportunity to strengthen that skill.

    Maybe your number 2 guy isn't necessarily the best self-starter or independent worker? (Perhaps he was promoted because of his technical skills rather than his ability to work independently.) So do you bypass your number 2 guy and give the desirable independent assignment to your number 3 guy or number 4 guy? Hell no. The number 2 guy will rebel, and rightfully so--he has earned that assignment. So you assign the desirable independent job to the number 2 guy and you treat it as a training (or cross-training) opportunity. If your number 2 guy is weak on self-starter skills, then you work with him and make him stronger on those skills.

    Okay, so let's get back to the situation in the thread. You have assigned an independent assignment to someone who turns out to be unable to make the simplest decision by themselves. Which decisions should you make for them? How much access do you want to give them to you and your time? How closely should you watch their work? Obviously much depends on the sensitivity of the assignment.

    The general rule is that you meet with them periodically to discuss progress and compare notes as to what they've done and where they're going next. You may decide to meet when they progress from one stage of the project to the next. Or you may decide to meet once a day in the morning or late in the day. Or you may want to meet specifically when certain thorny issues come up. Whatever works best depending on the nature of the project.

    However, at the same time you want to encourage maximum independence on the part of the subordinate, if only so that you're not spending all day meeting with subordinates and making all their decisions for them. So a good rule is to tell them: "Don't bring me problems; bring me solutions." In other words, if subordinates come to you with a problem, they should also have researched and be prepared to recommend what they believe to be the best solution for that problem (and perhaps be prepared to offer a plan B in case you don't like plan A).

    That way you can either approve their recommendation or you can tell them that you have some concerns with their plan and send them back to come up with a new recommendation that takes care of your concerns.

    The point is that they are supposed to do the footwork and research on their own and come up with solutions. You double-check their work and either approve their recommendation or you send them back to try again. In the process, they get exposed to your way of approaching problems (and vice versa), and over time they get better at anticipating how you want problems handled. And in turn, you gain more confidence in how they handle decisions, and you give them more independence to handle assignments without supervision.

    But always remember that a supervisor's job is to supervise and train. Don't just throw an assignment at them and walk away and leave them clueless as to what they're supposed to do. Give them as much support and access to you as they need; dig up some paperwork for similar projects in the past that they can use as a guide; be available for questions. But at the same time, push them to come up with solutions on their own and then double-check their decision-making process to ensure that it encompassed all the necessary variables: Tell them: "Don't bring me problems; bring me solutions."

    As a final note: Don't wait for special assignments or special circumstances before training people. Training should be an ongoing, daily occurrence. For example: On a daily level, try not to do any work yourself. Assign projects to people below you and have them do the work on their own; then look at the work, correct it, and give it back to them to be redone. Repeat until they get it right. Give them as much support and access to you as they need; but insist that *they* do the work (and that they keep re-doing it) until they get it right.

    Summing up: A supervisor's primary job is to monitor and train. If you're doing the office gruntwork because you don't trust your subordinates to do it right, then you're not doing your job. Give it to your subordinates, and then monitor and train them until you're comfortable that they can function independently. Then cross-train them to do each other's jobs as well.

  9. #29
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Thank you that's valueable advice. I havent yet concerned myself the slightest bit with leadership training since I wasnt looking for a job like that, bvut now they put me into one and I think you're right about one should read up on that topic.

    I have the issue that I am working for a governmentally paied company atm and we cant afford to employ new people. That has left us pretty much grounded, cause there is no redundancy more with the tasks at hand. If only one person would get ill or go on vacation, we are in trouble. I have been already working on getting at least a student employee for a halftime job or someone other cheap. Your comments on lower management strategies does only encourage me more to make that my next primary goal.

    Thanks for your advice, I'll work on the part to not do things myself but give the task back to the employee if it wasnt done like I imagined it to be done. I was always pissed at superiors who give you a task back and back again because of the slightest errors, still I begin to understand more now where this is coming from and I see the reason behind it from efficiency perspective.

    If you by chance know one or two good books, please share. Thank you again so far
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  10. #30
    figsfiggyfigs
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    Embrace the asshole god gave you.

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