Managing from the Middle
CAD Management is considered “middle management”. This term applies to
anyone that does not report directly to the company CEO and that has people
reporting to them. You are in the middle. Middle management is where the
vast majority of people actually work. It is the environment that we all
If you are like most CAD Managers, you spend the majority of your time
putting out fires and managing processes and people above you and below you.
You interact with everyone in the firm. You touch just about every process
that creates the design. Sometimes you feel empowered and other times it
feels like you cannot get anything done. It ranges from a feeling of total
control to out of control. Feelings of success and failure. All in the same
Add to that the fact that you have to work and get things done with
employees that do not work for you. The users of the products you oversee
have no direct line of reporting that includes you. You cannot hire them or
fire them. You have to constantly negotiate your way through the day. Trying
to get others to do things the way they should with little real leverage
over their efforts.
CAD Management is unique in that your area of responsibility does not
match you circle of authority.
Promises are a pledge to satisfy the concerns or needs of others. We make
them every day. We make them when we don’t realize that we are making them.
We sometimes break them without thinking of the consequences or the impact
on the other party.
The conversations that we have contain offers, counteroffers,
commitments, refusals, refinements, reflections, clarifications and
agreements. All of these are steps toward a promise. Promises are the
executables that energize our work.
If you have read my writings or heard me speak, you may have heard me
state one of the maxims that I try to live by… “Under Promise and Over
Deliver”. This reflects my perspective of how to really have people believe
what you say. By guarding just how much you “promise” to do and then
delivering more or sooner than you stated, it ensures that people will be
impressed with your promises.
What makes a good promise? Here are few concepts…
May - Poll Results
When asking a technology based crowd about what they want, you would
expect software and hardware to be on the list near the top. But that
is not so, based on the results of last months survey. Software and
hardware are low on the list - actually they are at the bottom.
That could be because you already have all you need - right?
What is at the top of the list? Money? Respect? Time
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