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Episode Info: Welcome to episode 59 of the Nerd Journey Podcast [@NerdJourney]! We’re John White (@vJourneyman) and Nick Korte (@NetworkNerd_), two Pre-Sales Technical Engineers who are hoping to bring you the IT career advice that we wish we’d been given earlier in our careers. In today’s episode we have part 2 of an interview with Kelly Schroeder about the technical management career and advice for the would-be manager. Original Recording Date: 10-15-2019 Topics – Kelly Schroeder Interview 02:19 – Kelly’s Current Role as a Manager – Observations and Lessons How is this role different than his previous positions? The organization is a different scale with over 2000 employees. The IT Department is 80 people, and Kelly has 15 people under him (2 supervisors and 4 direct reports). This is wildly different than what he has done in the past. With a team this large, he cannot do anything technical (no room to fit into his day). Kelly was hired into this job to replace someone on the way out. He replaced a quality person who had built a great team and considers himself of a maintainer than a builder. Kelly realized the person he was replacing had truly cared about the wellbeing of her team. She understood them, knew them on a personal level, and helped shape them to be better people. John mentioned some of the great managers he’s had exhibited the same qualities. At Kelly’s level, he can know all the people on his team and interact with everyone. Even though he manages managers today, the fundamental principle of caring for his people does not change. If he was a level or two higher and over a larger team the connection with each person would not be feasible. We’re not sure how more senior level leaders handle this, but maybe we need to have one on the show. When managing managers, Kelly can set an expectation / vision and ask managers to communicate to their teams, but it’s extremely difficult to step back and avoid micromanagement. John shares a fun anecdote about how to properly raise a flag in the military. 12:44 – John White School of Mentoring Plug Pulling back from micromanagement comes down to respect. It feels disrespectful for him to do someone else’s job. When he gets the urge, he thinks about the way he would want to be treated and changes course. Is managing like parenting? Listen to Kelly give some great advice here. 16:02 – Advice for the Would Be Manager Know what your leadership looks like. Some feel leadership looks like a charismatic leader of a large organization (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc.). Because of this misconception, Kelly originally doubted his ability to be a leader. Kelly took a StrengthsFinder training and realized he could leverage his relational strengths to lead instead of trying to be like someone who he thinks is a leader. The StrengthsFinder assessment is just another personality assessment that focuses specifically on your strengths rather than on what you lack. The episodes on managem...
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