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Can you see good performance?

Most architects that I know pay very little attention to their reputation and visibility within their organizations.  They typically consider such activities with contempt.  It is playing politics, it is putting style over substance, it is dishonest. 

Dishonest?  Yes, dishonest! Why?  Because every delivery is a team effort.  Any one person taking credit is disrespecting the other team members.

So what do you do in a culture that recognizes and rewards those who glister rather than those who just get on with their work and do an exceptional job.  Your choice is stark - play the game, move on, or accept it.

As a manager in such an environment though you have responsibilities...

A manager of mine when he understood what was happening said "perhaps I am looking in the wrong place".  You cannot rely on the grapevine to provide an accurate picture of performance.  The news spread by others is biased, it is politicized, it carries the advertisements of the carriers.  You have to get out there and continually and consistently look for yourself.  You must take a deep interest in the capabilities, aspirations, working environment and efforts of your staff.  Only then will you will you start to get an accurate picture of the performance of your staff.  And only then will you be able to help them.  Only then will you be doing your job as a manager.  Only then will you find excellence.  You will find the gold.

You have another responsibility.  Once you really understand performance rather than the reputation created by rumor, gossip and innuendo,  you must pass on good news.  Your staff deserve to have their strengths and triumphs trumpeted.  They deserve a strong positive reputation.

But what is they are not doing well.  This is also your responsibility.  Do you really understand them, if so then you would deploy them to use their strengths and they would do well.  If they are not doing well then you are failing.  Trumpet their strengths, deploy them correctly, give them the means to achieve success.

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Reader Comments (3)

Your thoughts ring a lot of bells!! I have seen so many intiatives stuck in the quagmire just because playing politics and one upmanship seems to be more important to a lot of folks than just rolling up their sleeves and getting down to business.

And I dont see the situation improving until the management decides to climb down from the ivory tower and look at the ground situation. Unfortunately, heeding the grapevine that climbs up to the top of the tower and easier than walking down the flight of stairs.

October 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVikram Rajan

Of course performance can be seen easily, as I sure you can too.
It is style over substance, perception management over results, diplomacy over truth, and failing upwards rather than succeeding. Performance is all about managing appearances than actually delivering unfortunately.

November 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDevils Advocate

great post alan


August 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjobbing IT architect

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