Managing Humans

I’ve recently become a fan of Michael Lopp’s blogsite Rands in Repose. If you’ve not visited his site before, I’d recommend that you do.

Michael writes anecdotes  concerning management, specifically technical management. If you’re an engineering manager or technology manager, I think that you’ll find his site entertaining and informative. Much of his experience is in software engineering, but what he shares is applicable to any situation where you have to interface with people.

Much of what Michael writes about boils down to communication, which in my book is what separates effective leaders from the rest of the management pack. From personal experience, managers tend to do what is right – optimizing the operations of their specific organization such that the jobs get tone and the company makes money. Again, from personal experience, leaders tend to think a little differently by doing the right thing, which often means focusing on people as much as the product.

I agree with Lopp completely when he writes that true leadership emerges in times of crisis. When times are good and things are running smoothly, the job of a manager tends to be pretty fundamental.

But a person’s true nature comes out (in spades) when the shit hits the fan – when the course is not so clear and tough decisions need to be made. That’s when the true leaders emerge, and not always from the expected places… The individual that keeps a level head, maintains a focus on the success of the project, and (here’s the difference) takes care to understand how those around him/her are dealing with the situation is the person, regardless of their position, that others will come to rely on in the future.

We’ll talk about how a leader builds a successful culture later, but for now I would recommend Michael’s book Managing Humans. It’s a quick, funny, and informative read that any aspiring leader would fine enjoyable and educational.


About Jeff

A long time resident of Southeastern Michigan, I am husband to the beautiful Trisha and father to three incredibly bright, compassionate, amazing young adults. I have been called husband, father, brother, friend, demon, scoundrel, team-mate, leader, misfit. I constantly seek personal and professional environments that encourage creativity, empower individuals, and foster excellence. is an opportunity to share thought and opinion based on my personal and professional experience. My passion for learning remains the driver to become a better friend, husband, and father. The focus of my professional efforts (and satisfaction in what I do) is developing effective teams and equipping others to become exceptional leaders. My personal mission statement: to inspire, to love, to promise, to share, to believe that nothing is impossible
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