Deadline, Chapters 6 and 7

When chapter 6 starts, Tompkins has to decide how he will organize the teams and managers for the 6 projects he has to do. To prepare for that, he reads a book on structural cybernetic management. When you hear those words, you may think that it has to do with some type of futuristic management since it has the word cybernetic. However, cybernetic comes from the Greek word “kybernetes”, which means “helmsman”. This word was used to describe the captain of a ship, so that’s how it’s connected with management.

Mr. T realized he needed a consultant to help him with his work. His assistant suggests asking the person that was supposed to have the job that Mr. T has now. Webster asks Lahksa about this person and it turns out she’s a woman. Webster assumed it was a guy. This goes to show some of the stereotypes that exist. Thankfully, this isn’t the case nowadays. The percentage of women in management positions is growing.

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When he finds this woman, named Belinda Binda, it turns out she’s a bag lady. However, as the conversation between the two progresses, it’s evident that Belinda hasn’t forgotten what makes a good manager. She says that management is about three main things: your gut which is used to make decisions, your heart which people respond to, and your soul which allows team members to have close, warm interconnections. Webster originally thought that management had to do with your brain, but Belinda showed that there’s much more to it than that. And finally, she agrees to work with Mr. T, but he has to give her a shopping car somehow and there are no supermarkets in Morovia.

Chapter 7 starts off strong. Belinda just throws all the resumes into the trash. Since everyone was close by, doing interviews was a better alternative. Seeing the possible managers in person will allow you to make better decisions.

The first interview was with a guy that said that management was similar to the movie Patton. I haven’t actually seen the movie, but after researching him I found some quotes that I liked, such as “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”. The way the first candidate thought was that a manager gives out orders and the team members are like foot soldiers.

As for the next interview, they decided to hire the guy as soon as he said “Um…”. Mr. T thought it was a rushed decision, but Belinda talked to some of that candidate’s people and their eyes seemed to light up when Belinda talked about him.

Next, they interviewed a woman that allowed her team members to make “anonymous” confessions. They both knew it wasn’t anonymous, but it helped. I can see why this works. Sometimes, telling your boss that you aren’t going to be able to finish a feature by the deadline can be hard, but it’s necessary to tell your manager so he can adapt the plan accordingly.

When deciding what projects to give each manager, Belinda said that it’s better to give them a project similar in size to their last project and, after that, start giving them more challenging projects. At the end of the day, Webster felt like Belinda had done most of the work. However, Webster has sorted the resumes, which actually helped the whole interview process.

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