Home > Leadership, planning > Can you be a professional manager?

Can you be a professional manager?

Yesterday, I replied on Lasse’s weblog concerning Ken Schwaber, perhaps not on purpose, differentiate between managers and professionals by stating:

"I expect 20% turnover in professionals and 40% turnover in management as Scrum gets implemented"

I guess that even if Schwaber didn’t mean to say that managers are not professionals it’s somewhat related to the, for me anyway, rather common input from developers when it comes to meetings:

"Are we finished, I really have to get back to work."

What that means is that meetings are not working. And what are managers doing: spend their days in meetings.

So, how do you become a professional manager? I’m not native to the English language so my taste of the word probably differs from a person for which English or American is a native language, but for me manager is someone who manage something or someone. And for me to manage is to handle, perhaps even take care of. And now I don’t mean the mafia style "take care of" but more the thoughtful taking care of. There’s a lot of feeling but also not only emotional feelings. There is a logic to how one takes care of the person or the situation. To be able to take care of a situation and a person I need to know what I’m doing and why. And if my methods don’t work, I have to think of another way of doing it.

So, for me a professional manager is a person who knowingly handles situations and people. I guess it’s mostly a mindset. A good manager like a good leader does not care about the title, he cares about his work and people. So, why do we suck at this in the eyes of the developers? Well, how can you handle what you cannot see? How can you care about people who’s work you  never take part in?

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