Your Job is NOT Telling People What To Do你的工作不是命令人们去做什么

I’ve had many people tell me they would like to be a manager. The first question I ask is ‘why’? The absolute worst answer is any variant of ‘Because I want to tell people what to do’. They might answer ‘So I can have direct influence over the team.’, or ‘So I can provide direct leadership’.


Any thing remotely like ‘because I want to tell people what to do’ is the wrong answer. These people are not ready to be managers – they are far from ready. Organizations that make people like this managers are making a huge mistake.

任何跟”我喜欢命令人们“或远或近的回答都是错误的。这些人都还没有准备好去做一名管理者 —— 他们还差的很远。公司里让这样的人做经理/管理者是一个巨大的错误。

Your job as a manager is to enable your team. You are paying them to think, solve problems and get stuff done on time. Let them do it. Your job is not telling people what to do.


Enabling your team means setting them up for success, making sure they do their best work with good continuity over time, not just at crunch time, or ‘when it counts’. If you are thinking, “Yes! A managers job is to make people do their best work.” Then you are not understanding this advice.


Merriam Webster defines enable like this:Merriam Webster对能动(enable)的定义是:

  • to render able as in enable a person to
  • give power, strength, or competency to
  • to make possible, practical, or easy
  • to give the opportunity to

The term make is defined like this:这些短语的后半句可以定义如下:

  • to cause to act in a certain way. To compel

Making people do things is telling them what to do. Enabling them is an entirely different thing. There are lots of ways to do this. I cover some of them in this series of posts. Here are a few in no particular order


  • Don’t forget what its like to be an individual contributor
  • All developers shall have good equipment
  • Don’t treat people fungibly
  • Know when to shut up and just listen.
  • Depending on Heroics is “Epic Fail”
  • Praise in public, criticize in private
  • Make sure people know what to accomplish, by when and what ‘done’ looks like
  • Be your team’s champion, not their defender

This may not sound too hard. But let me make it harder – you can’t do this sometimes, like just at crunch time, or just when the bug count is high, or when the requirements change. Your job is to help your people deliver their best work all the time. It sounds impossible, but the closer you come, the better it is for everyone.

这听起来好像不难。那让我来说一个难一点的 —— 你不能偶尔的这样做一下,比如在危机时刻,或bug比较多时,或需求变更时。你的工作是帮助人们保持一贯的提交优秀的工作。这听起来不大可能,但你越接近这样,对每个人来说都越好。

Now, this doesn’t mean you can avoid making decisions or you cannot correct mistakes. These are both part of a manager’s job and sometimes people will not like some of your decisions, or being corrected. That’s ok. There is a big difference between reluctantly doing this when necessary (and with good reason and explanation) – and being a dictator.


Here is what I’d like you to remember. If you feel your role is to help your team, you are on the right track. If you feel a visceral need to order people about, then you will suck as a manager – not matter how good you are at everything else.

这就是我想提醒你们的。如果你认为你的角色是来为你的团队服务的,你走在了正确的方向上。如果你感觉你有一种命令人的欲望,那你不适合做管理者 —— 不管你在其它方面表现的如何优秀。




Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: 徽标

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  更改 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  更改 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  更改 )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  更改 )


Connecting to %s

%d 博主赞过: