Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Peanut Butter and Jelly Management

I stole that title from a book.  I bought the book because its subtitle, "Tales from Parenthood, Lessons for Managers," was so intriguing.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the book when I finally read it.

But Jason Crawford's recent post on a management principle he calls "Query for Judgment" reminded me of those fascinating parallels between parenting and management.  His rule is, "by default, always ask your reports for their judgment before giving your own."  The reasons he gives for his policy line up nicely with Faber and Mazlish's ideas of giving children respect, allowing them to own their emotions, and giving choices.  Sometimes I wonder why businesses don't see the value of hiring former full-time parents.  Those few years of "time off" from the workforce are really like management boot camp.

I've added Jason's blog about his adventures starting up his own company in San Francisco to my blogroll.  Check it out!

1 comment:

  1. There's two reasons that I can think of: 1) being a stay-at-home parent doesn't mean that you were good at it--there's no objective way to determine that he or she would be a good manager and such a hiring decision, if it needed defending, would be indefensible, and 2) seeing the potential for transfer between the two is often beyond the capacity of most people who do hiring at larger firms--I have a degree in history and I think the skills I acquired in the course of achieving that have made me a better, more thoughtful programmer than I would otherwise be but *no one* ever bought that line. They just could not see it.