I interviewed recently for a job in Montreal (although I’m also looking in Saint John). Toward the end of the interview, they asked me, "What makes a good manager?"
Without missing a beat, I answered, "Someone who hires talented people and then gets out of their way."
I lifted that directly from Tina Fey’s memoir, "Bossypants." I’m not ashamed.
I continued, quoting Jason Fried, "If you ask a lot of professionals, they’ll tell you the biggest impediments to their productivity are managers and meetings. I can’t tell you how much I miss getting stuff done because I’m in a two hour meeting or I’m twisting my work in knots to accommodate someone’s ‘input’. The best manager I ever had was the one I hardly saw and I did tons of good work then."
I’ve been thinking a lot about office culture and productivity and every time I do, those two quotes spring to mind. Maybe that’s not what they wanted to hear but it’s something I’ve always wanted to say.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll have a new job soon.