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How to Castrate a Bull: Unexpected Lessons on Risk, Growth, and Success in Business by Pat Walsh, Dave Hitz

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Chapter 6. MANAGING ENGINEERS: On Development, Consensus, Doctor Death, and Magic

I thought Dan was crazy when he asked me to run the engineering department. It was 250 people, and my only previous management experience was when a couple of engineers reported to me for three months, after which we mutually agreed that it would be best for all involved to end the experiment. If I couldn't manage 2, what made Dan think I could manage 250? His argument was this: "Managing a big group is nothing like managing a handful of people. As a low-level manager, you work closely with the group and what they are doing. When you're managing 250 people, you have 5 people reporting directly to you, and they each have 50 people under them. You can't just tell the ...

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