My boss doesn’t know what I”m doing! My boss is lack of technical skills! I lazy to talk to my boss because he is weak in technical. A good boss supposes to know better than me, why he still ask me? Does this sound familiar to you? Well before you complain, let’s look at what are the management skills needed from a single contributor to first-line, middle and top managers in a company.
- Technical skill is a skill to perform each single detailed tasks. Human skill a skill to deal with human and resources to accomplish the company’s goals. Conceptual skill is a skill to understand the business need and set directions for the company.
- The area of the shape tells you how much the role should spend their time in technical, human and conceptual. The total area for each role or shape should be the same. We have only 24 hours a day. :)
Is My boss Really Weak in Technical or….
Well I agree your boss is weak in technical. So you expect your boss should be better than you since he/she has worked so many years in the industry? If this is the case, you’re really in deep trouble because when your boss is better than you technically, you’re actually underperformed. Let’s look at the diagram above, a first-line manager supposes to spend less time in technical than a single contributor. How could you expect your manager is better than you since he spend less time than you? Yes, you’re underperformed!
If you look at the other way, let’s assume you’re not underperformed and you boss is really damn good in technical. You should start asking if your immediate boss focus on the right things? He should spend more on the human side for the skills. Does he do that? That is the reason why not all managers are suitable to be managers. In this case he is probably better to stay in the technical path (e.g. group lead, team lead) rather than in management path.
So think about it again. Is your boss really week in technical? It is expected your boss has less technical knowledge than you, and your role to explain to him and make sure he has the right amount of detail information.
That is the general understanding of management skills. The higher you go, the less technical you’re as you’re now moving towards more human and conceptual management skills. Please set at least the right expectation to your manager. Having said so, one may still challenges this statement. The first argument of this is does this also apply to a technology company? Basically in a technology company, even managers are expected to be strong in technical? Is that true?
I myself work in a technology company and I have seen middle managers are damn good in technical and also both human and conceptual skills? Those are usually the outstanding manager. Is the expectation now set to the manager in a technology company somehow different? If that is the case, looks like being a manager in a technology company is a lot more harder. What do you think?