PRODUCTIVITY: Manage things, lead people


Flying Off the Handle
by Theodore Dalrymple 
October 10, 2015

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I am no great admirer of management as a science or of managers as people. The latter tend to speak a strange language, a jargon neither elegant nor poetic; they buy very dull books at airports, they are often shifty and ruthless, and they seem to me to live in a constant condition of bad faith. They are bureaucrats pretending to be entrepreneurs even when they work for the state, an organization that secures its solvency by the simple expediency of printing more money—in fact, not even by printing it anymore, simply by adding a few naughts on computer screens. We live in a regime of paper money without the paper.

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As a fat old white guy injineer, who has been “managing” for a long time, I learned from my first boss at AT&T that “You manage things, but lead people.” Hence, I think there is “science” in managing things (i.e., projects; processes; technology; etc. etc.). But the minute, one attempts the “Human Resources” approach of “managing” people, you are doomed to failure. Argh!

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