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Good Management vs Bad Management Summarized

Updated on January 17, 2020 at the 08th hour
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DISCLAIMER: Expressed views on this blog are my own.

Good management is open minded and knows how to make sure to keep a situation defused. Adequate explanations do not require justification.

Bad management is closed minded and shows it by making assumptions before knowing what is going on blowing up the situation. Justifying bullshit is terrible management and sows distrust in its own ranks and community.

Root cause: Experience

It is a night and day difference between experienced and inexperienced people. Training helps people get up to speed, policies help to stem mis-steps through guidance and plain old apprenticeship, with experienced people, helps to develop a style that contributes to more experience.

Software engineering managers, for instance, don't have this opportunity. It is a luxury for overall good managers to be able to show inexperienced managers how to manage a team, so inexperienced managers have to go through the hoops over and over. Implement this and scrap that can be done just not haphazardly. Trying things out and eliminating them after the goal is reached is good management. You ever wonder why meetings can be so dry? You ever wonder why you hate agile or waterfall now? Sticking to the script religiously is not a good sign.

What metrics indicate good vs bad management? Community feeling of no interference is #1. This is not the same as good management never interferes. It is invisible and trusted by the community and that's all a management needs in the end. Good management does not need praise.

The past two articles about bad management of Stack Overflow and US Government have the same patterns. It is the feeling of making one's presence known.

Stack Overflow's management could have easily defused their situation by not even getting into the situation at all. Bad steps were taken which made their presence known through controversy and ultimately sued/forced to apologize. I laugh to this day and will forever about it. Sued by an unpaid moderator. Wow. I never had any opinions about Stack Overflow's management which is actually a good thing, but now I have negative opinions.

US Government, under Trump, continually makes its presence known in the Middle East. Recurring theme of history has been that too much interference will have the population kick you out. If you are going to help "rebuild" a country then don't make your presence known. This does not mean the US should not perform airstrikes. It performs airstrikes all the time, so it knows what it means when particular airstrikes make your presence known and it is always in a bad way. Never seen an airstrike that an American or Iraqi has praised. Petty praise for such execution such as "very good hit" is not part of the big picture of authoritative presence. An Iraqi should not have to feel like there is a foreign power in their country.

The best managers, repeatedly, have been the ones who make themselves invisible. Processes are implemented in the way to make things run efficiently. If there is trouble then makes sure to make unassuming deductions as they go to make sure the trouble doesn't blow up. If it does blow up then takes measures to step back and evaluate and not get caught up in the excitement.

In the end, the best measurement a manager can get is 0 out of 5 and -5 where 5 is the best and -5 is the worst. Things just work and no longer have opinions about management. Any other score is a frame driven choice due to one's previous experience.

Drive it to zero. Keep an equilibrium.

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