SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Dana Gardner

Blog Feed Post

Managers Typology: The Professional



Steve Jobs
Source: Wikipedia

In previous posts I classified Customers e.g Customers Typology: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Part 3: The Ugly and Customers Typology: The Social . In other posts I classified Consultants e.g Consultants Typology: The Consultant who knows everything. The post  Mangers Typology: The Captive was the first post classifying Managers. 

The Professional manager is an expert. His expertise, knowledge and understanding in the subject matter could be better than the knowledge and understanding of the employees he is managing. 
They would ask for his professional opinion and guidance and will not disagree with his technical decisions.

Is the Professional a good manager?
There is no definitive answer to the question above. The answer depends upon the manager's skills and characteristics and the circumstances. 

a personal example
I was a successful manager in the first time I was promoted to a management position.
Of course Management Experience was a skill I lacked. It was not the only Management skill I lacked.   

I was an IBM Mainframe Systems Programming Group Manager. I had more than a decade of technical experience as a Mainframe Systems Programmer. I had a profound understanding of IBM Mainframe Operating Systems, including Internals. 

I was lecturing on Mainframe Operating Systems and I published articles in local and international professional journals.

My profile was a very good fit for the organization requirements. 
Most of the employees, working in an excellent Systems Programming Group, left for another job in another place. The former Manager left after the majority of the people working in the department left. 

The Organization had to find a Manager who could maintain the Operating System and related Hardware and Software. The Organization required a Manager who could select new inexperienced Systems Programmer and could train them and be perceived by them as a Professional authority. 

The Results
The systems operated better than expected. The inexperienced Systems Programmers studied in a course specially designed for them and did a good job. 
A major Operating System migration Project was completed according to schedule. 
Completing a large IT project is important, but the quality of the project is even more important. This migration project was executed without any significant bug or any significant problem.  

After two years: an unsuccessful Manager
The crisis was over and after few years the Operating Systems Department was mature and functioning well. 
The new circumstances required a Systems Programming Department Manager with different skill set. The new skill set included skills such as internal organization Political skills, Internal and external  Sales and Marketing skills etc.

My skills set was not adequate for the new role so I was no longer a good manager. 

I am not the only one
It happened to other Professional Managers as well: when the skills set is no longer adequate, they are replaced by a Manager who is more suitable to the new management focus.
Steve Jobs was one of them. Jobs was forced out of Apple on 1985. Jobs was a co-founder and a CEO of the company. 

He was replaced by John Sculley. Sculley was the President of Pepsi-Cola. 
No doubt that, as far as professional Computers skills are concerned, Jobs skill set was superior. Sculley was a marketing expert, Sales expert and better Politician than Jobs.

Apple of 1985 required a CEO with Sculley's skills set.

Another Example
One of my customers had two main Business Lines. Two IT managers manage the systems of the two Business Lines. They left the company few months before I was hired by the new CIO. 

I do not know if one of these two managers was a good IT Professional, however he cooperated with a deputy. His deputy replaced him when he resigned. 
The former deputy new a lot about the systems and the people responsible for each of them. The systems were documented properly.
I received updated and correct information about the systems.

No doubt that the other Manager was a good Professional, however nobody could tell me about the Systems, the Interfaces between them and who is responsible for each system. 

There was not real deputy (I did not know if someone was formally a deputy. If there was a deputy, he did not know much about the systems). 
The Manager was replaced by someone whose knowledge about the Systems and the responsibilities of the systems was very limited.
I received an incomplete, an inaccurate and sometimes incorrect information about the systems.

I discovered that the manager was performing technical tasks instead of the people who should do it. There was no "natural Deputy", workers' roles and responsibilities were not properly defined and no documentation was available.

It was one man's show. When the man left no show remained.
   
The bottom line: The second manager was a Professional Manager but lacked management skills. The consequences were awful.

Summary
 A Professional Manager could be a successful manager when the focus is on Professional and/or Technical issues.
His fitness to Management positions when other issues are more important than Professional issues is subject to his skills in other domains. Excellent Professional Manager could be a bad manager when the focus is on non-professional issues.        

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Avi Rosenthal

Ari has over 30 years of experience in IT across a wide variety of technology platforms, including application development, technology selection, application and infrastructure strategies, system design, middleware and transaction management technologies and security.

Positions held include CTO for one of the largest software houses in Israel as well as the CTO position for one of the largest ministries of the Israeli government.

Latest Stories
Inzata is a powerful, revolutionary data analytics platform for integrating, exploring, and analyzing data of any kind, from any source, at massive scale. Powerful AI-assisted Modeling and a patented analytics engine help users quickly load, blend and model raw and unstructured data into powerful enterprise data models, actionable real-time analytics and engaging visualizations. Go beyond spreadsheets and slides and compose a powerful narrative about how your business is performing, and how y...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
All in Mobile is a mobile app agency that helps enterprise companies and next generation startups build the future of digital. We offer mobile development and design for smartphones, tablets and wearables. Our projects cover the latest and most innovative technologies - voice assistants, AI, AR/VR and more. We excel at solutions for sports, fintech and retail industries.
Wasabi is the hot cloud storage company delivering low-cost, fast, and reliable cloud storage. Wasabi is 80% cheaper and 6x faster than Amazon S3, with 100% data immutability protection and no data egress fees. Created by Carbonite co-founders and cloud storage pioneers David Friend and Jeff Flowers, Wasabi is on a mission to commoditize the storage industry. Wasabi is a privately held company based in Boston, MA. Follow and connect with Wasabi on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the Wasabi blog...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO Silicon Valley 2019 will cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 250 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor will bring together the leading global 200 companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, IoT, Smart Cities, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail. As ...
Big Switch's mission is to disrupt the status quo of networking with order of magnitude improvements in network e ciency, intelligence and agility by delivering Next-Generation Data Center Networking. We enable data center transformation and accelerate business velocity by delivering a responsive, automated, and programmable software-dened networking (SDN) fabric-based networking solution. Traditionally, the network has been viewed as the barrier to data center transformation as legacy networkin...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes. We are offering early bird savings...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous importa...
Updating DevOps to the latest production data slows down your development cycle. Probably it is due to slow, inefficient conventional data management practices to copy data between different developer and test environment. This problem doesn't scale as teams are adopting faster software release cycles. In this session, Dhiraj Sehgal in Product and Solution at Delphix, will talk about DevOps and cloud-focused strategies to update hundreds of developer and test copies with updates from a master...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereum.
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history. Unfortunately, there is no single deployment model that solves all of your business goals. You need to maintain the fl...
"Calligo is a cloud service provider with data privacy at the heart of what we do. We are a typical Infrastructure as a Service cloud provider but it's been designed around data privacy," explained Julian Box, CEO and co-founder of Calligo, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching o...