July 19, 2005
Via Scott Hanselman:
I've been reading as much as I can on how to be an effective manager lately. For a number of reasons, mostly internal, but also because in a recent lunch Chris Sells said (something like): "If you're not getting slapped by your boss at least twice a year, you're not pushing the envelope enough."
He then links to a set of management rules, specifically highlighting number three:
If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
There's a fine line between pushing and pushy, but you have to push. You may get slapped, but so what? Anything is preferable to indifference or, worse, the same old cliches.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
Yes, pushing the envelope and stirring things up can be a good way of moving things forwards, for yourself and a business.
Yes, cliches can become old and tired and loose their value. But certain things do need to be consistant and predicatable, when dealing with interfaces for example.
Interesting. I didn't have UI in mind when I wrote this; I was thinking more of general assertiveness. For example, stumping for usability in UI rather than accepting typical, generic "good enough" design.
Mario Andretti (the race car driver) has a similar quote, "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
You need to gauge your firm's amenability to being pushed. When I was at UBS, it was distinctly not welcome.
I'm lucky now; my current product management position is explicitly all about pushing. I'm supposed to help "turn the battleship." How much fun is that - in the trying, if not in the actual accomplishment?