Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Managerial scope

One of my reports came by for a one on one today and asked about a promotion. I pointed out asking was definitely the right thing to do because with so many people in the department, it was difficult for any one person to know everyone and their skill level, particularly with a bit of employee churn.  Now that I was sure in no uncertain terms there was interest,  we could make sure that if there were other managers in the department who didn't know the individual or didn't have team members who had worked with them, we could look for an opportunity, and so that the individual's lead and I could watch for opportunities to provide mentoring, leadership of small teams (technically in this case), interteam interactions within and outside our 200-or-so person department, visibility to upper management such as directors and the VP, and good documentation that specifically speaks to next-level responsibilities in mid- and end-of-year reviews. All of it contingent on a solid bedrock of being a good programmer, of course. I also pointed out that it was a good time to think about what it meant to be at the next level and if it meant a change in responsibility that might impact lifestyle (believe me, a valid concern - both for your ability to get out of the office on your own terms, and your ability to be heads down in the code instead of advising and leading others).

The response, "I only thought it was up to you."

It's nice to know it looks like I have some sort of authority.

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