Management Training

Nic Gibson nicg at
Sun May 6 12:12:23 BST 2007

On May 5, 2007, at 23:46, Merijn Broeren wrote:

> Quoting Nic Gibson (nicg at
>> I was sent on an Learning Tree[1] course called Management Skills for
>> Technical Professionals. The course was pretty good but the teacher
>> was superb. So, I would investigate the course but see if you can
>> find out if someone called Bob Black is teaching it.[2]
> Ofcourse, the facilitator has an enormous impact. Trouble with all
> of these courses is that they last only a few days. Hence the 'coach'
> that people employ on an ongoing basis.

Aye. I'm lucky - I get a fair deal of access to that particular  
as he's in charge of LTs professional development for trainers.

>> I think this is something that happens a lot in 'technical'
>> environments.
> Not just there.

No, but I was actually thinking of my wife's industry as well - academic
publishing. Not really technical but good editors get promoted to  
editors and it goes around. I guess 'professional' would have been a  
word to use than 'technical' - I mean the sort of job where one needs a
specific set of skills of qualifications to do it.

>> People get promoted into a management position because of their
>> professional/technical expertise. Sadly, brilliant programmer X is  
>> not
>> going to be brilliant manager X. In fact (s)he might be utterly
>> pissed off manager X because they're now in the position of not
>> using those skills (to some extent).
> I'm sure half this list has just muttered 'Peter Principle' under  
> their
> breath. Wikipedia link for the other half: 
> wiki/Peter_principle

I deliberately avoided mentioning the Peter Principle because I don't
believe that's the situation here. I think that many of these  
can make good managers. However, they need help to make the  
transition. There
is an assumption that I see quite often, though, that a good sysadmin  
(for example)
will become a good manager of sysadmins *because* they are a good  
Clearly, this isn't the case.

I've worked with a fair few people who have been through the big N  
N is these days) consultancies where the career path is pretty  
explicitly something
like techie, project manager, big manager, partner and the training  
is there to
help that happen.

I've also worked in companies where the situation is "oh bugger, X is  
pissed off
and is going to resign. We can't just give them a big pay rise so  
we'll promote
them to justify it." This, of course, means that X is still pissed  
off but for a different
set of reasons.

> Even more interesing is that the people that make it to the top in a
> cut-throat environment tend to be A types and make enemies along the
> way, getting ousted before their time. So I know a lot of people who
> would be skilled to rise another level but who are keeping their head
> below the parapet for that reason. The ambitous lot just think it will
> never happen to them. Or so I imagine. ;-)



> Cheers,
> -- 
> Merijn Broeren | Sometimes, no matter how good the rider is, he or  
> she will
>                | be invited to join someone else's crash and will  
> be unable
>                | to decline the invitation.

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