Carpe Factum: Hit and Run Project Managers

Timothy Johnson, author of the Carpe Factum blog (great blog…check it out), had an interesting St. Patrick’s Day post titled “The Luck of the Irate” where he talks about the wonderful “hit and run” managers. You know, this managers that step into a situation that they know very little about, offer their opinions and/or bark orders and then leave with the thought that they’ve “solved the problem”.

We all know managers and project managers like this…they don’t wait to find out the details…they barge in and ‘get things done’ but most times they end up confusing the issue and causing more work than needed. I’m a big believer in being hands-off as much as possible and expect my folks to bring up any issues that they need my help with…and it appears that Timothy believes this as well…he writes:

There’s a lot to be said for the finer art of facilitation as opposed to going into a conflict like a bulldozer on a steroid overdose

The “Tao of Project Management Blog” is quoted by Timothy to help make his point about using less of a bulldozer and more of a facilitator:

The wise project manager does not interfere with the work of the team unless all else has failed. Delicate facilitation is the way not sudden intervention. By using a sudden intervention the work of one or more members of the team is cast aside and they will feel violated. The team will be weakened and what may, at the time feel like a victory, is actually a failure.

Managing a team of people requires a lot of skills…being a bulldozer isn’t one of them. 🙂

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Eric BrownCarpe Factum: Hit and Run Project Managers | Gearfire.comJim StroupTimothy Johnson Recent comment authors
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Timothy Johnson
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Hi Eric – Thanks for the link nod. Great point on being more of a facilitator than a bulldozer… the bulldozer PMs may get things done in the short-term, but over the long-term, they’re just damaging. You have an awesome blog here!

Eric Brown
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Thanks Timothy!

You are correct…PM’s that act as bulldozers might get short term results but normally they create a lot of resentment and get very little out of a team over the long term.

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[…] Spin wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptTimothy Johnson, author of the Carpe Factum blog (great blog…check it out), had an interesting St. Patrick’s Day post titled “The Luck of the Irate” where he talks about the wonderful “hit and run” managers. You know, this managers that … […]

Jim Stroup
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Hello Eric,

This is possibly a more widespread and pernicious problem than one might think. There are a lot of people who need little encouragement to think themselves smarter than everyone else, and a lot more develop accretions of sycophants as they rise up the management ranks, becoming persuaded that they also are smarter than the rest.

So, they storm around on their chargers, trample the ground, and just make a general mess wherever they go. The only comfort is that they don’t stay long – but then again, they always seem to come back!

Eric Brown
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So true Jim.

It is very easy to fall into the trap of “I have the answers”…a little self-reflection, empathy and a little less ego helps stay away from that trap.

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