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Leading Geeks: How to Manage and Lead People Who Deliver Technology

Book Description

Leading Geeks challenges the conventional wisdom that leadership methods are universal and gives executives and managers the understanding they need to manage and lead the technologists on whom they have become so dependent. This much-needed book—written in nontechnical language by Paul Glen, a highly acclaimed management consultant—gives clear directions on how to effectively lead these brilliant yet notoriously resistant-to-being-managed knowledge workers. Glen not only provides proven management strategies but also background on why traditional approaches often don't work with geeks. Leading Geeks describes the beliefs and behavior of geeks, their group dynamics, and the unique nature of technical work. It also offers a unique twelve-part model that explains how knowledge workers deliver value to an organization.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Editor's Note
  3. Foreword
  4. Introduction
    1. Who Will Benefit from This Book
    2. What's in This Book
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. I. OVERVIEW: The Challenge of Geeks
    1. 1. Geeks, Leadership, and Geek Leadership
      1. 1.1. Geeks
        1. 1.1.1. Who Are Geeks?
        2. 1.1.2. Why Geeks Matter
        3. 1.1.3. The Innovation Imperative
        4. 1.1.4. Geeks and Innovation
      2. 1.2. Leadership
      3. 1.3. Why Geek Leadership Is Different
        1. 1.3.1. Geeks Are Different
        2. 1.3.2. Geekwork Is Different
        3. 1.3.3. Power Is Useless with Geeks
      4. 1.4. What Is Geek Leadership?
        1. 1.4.1. The Context of Geek Leadership
        2. 1.4.2. The Content of Geek Leadership
        3. 1.4.3. Harmonizing Content and Context
      5. 1.5. Summary
  7. 1. The Context of Geek Leadership
    1. 2. The Essential Geek
      1. 2.1. Passion for Reason
      2. 2.2. Problem-Solution Mind-Set
      3. 2.3. Early Success
      4. 2.4. Joy of Puzzles
      5. 2.5. Curiosity
      6. 2.6. Geeks Choose Machines
      7. 2.7. Self-Expression = Communication
      8. 2.8. My Facts Are Your Facts
      9. 2.9. Judgment Is Swift and Merciless
      10. 2.10. My Work, My Art
      11. 2.11. Geek Smarts
      12. 2.12. Loyalty to Technology and Profession
      13. 2.13. Money and Fairness
      14. 2.14. Independence and Rebellion
      15. 2.15. Summary
    2. 3. Groups of Geeks
      1. 3.1. Geek Work Culture
      2. 3.2. Geek Subculture
      3. 3.3. Ambivalence About Groups
      4. 3.4. Attitudes Toward Procedures and Policies
      5. 3.5. Geek World Culture
      6. 3.6. Democracy at Work
      7. 3.7. Meritocracy at Work
      8. 3.8. Mania for Play and Pranks
      9. 3.9. My Hierarchy, Your Hierarchy
      10. 3.10. Machismo Everywhere
      11. 3.11. Summary
    3. 4. The Nature of Geekwork
      1. 4.1. Failure Is Normal
      2. 4.2. Ambiguity Rules
      3. 4.3. Figuring Out What to Do Can Be Harder Than Doing It
      4. 4.4. Geekwork Is Organized by What You Don't Know
      5. 4.5. Deep Concentration
      6. 4.6. What Is Work?
      7. 4.7. Subordinates Know More Than Managers
      8. 4.8. My Work, Our Work
      9. 4.9. The Problem with Problems
      10. 4.10. Done Is Hard to Do
      11. 4.11. You Can't Control Creativity
      12. 4.12. Estimates Are Always Wrong
      13. 4.13. Summary
    4. 5. Performing Geekwork
      1. 5.1. Competency 1: Technical Competence
      2. 5.2. Competency 2: Personal Productivity
      3. 5.3. Competency 3: Ability to Juggle Multiple Tasks Simultaneously
      4. 5.4. Competency 4: Ability to Describe the Business Context of Technical Work
      5. 5.5. Competency 5: Ability to Forge Compromises Between Business and Technical Constraints
      6. 5.6. Competency 6: Ability to Manage Client Relationships
      7. 5.7. Competency 7: Ability to Manage Technical Teams
      8. 5.8. Competency 8: Ability to Play Positive Politics
      9. 5.9. Competency 9: Ability to Help Expand Client Relationships
      10. 5.10. Competency 10: Ability to Work Through Others, to Make Others Productive
      11. 5.11. Competency 11: Ability to Manage Ambiguity
      12. 5.12. Competency 12: Ability to Manage Time Horizons
      13. 5.13. Summary
  8. 2. The Content of Geek Leadership
    1. 6. Nurturing Motivation
      1. 6.1. Can You Motivate Geeks?
      2. 6.2. Sources of Motivation
      3. 6.3. Motivating Geeks
        1. 6.3.1. Select Wisely
        2. 6.3.2. Manage Meaning
        3. 6.3.3. Communicate Significance
        4. 6.3.4. Show a Career Path
        5. 6.3.5. Projectize
        6. 6.3.6. Encourage Isolation
        7. 6.3.7. Engender External Competition
        8. 6.3.8. Design Interdependence
        9. 6.3.9. Limit Group Size
        10. 6.3.10. Control Resource Availability
        11. 6.3.11. Offer Free Food . . . Intermittently
      4. 6.4. Demotivating Geeks
        1. 6.4.1. Exclusion from Decision Making
        2. 6.4.2. Inconsistency
        3. 6.4.3. Excessive Monitoring
        4. 6.4.4. Focus on Tasks, Not Goals
        5. 6.4.5. Unqualified Evaluation
        6. 6.4.6. Misaligned Extrinsic Motivators
        7. 6.4.7. Artificial Deadlines
        8. 6.4.8. Changing Deadlines
        9. 6.4.9. Organizational Disinterest
        10. 6.4.10. Teams Without Skills
      5. 6.5. Summary
    2. 7. Providing Internal Facilitation
      1. 7.1. Facilitation Versus Control
      2. 7.2. The Challenge of Facilitation
      3. 7.3. Establishing and Maintaining Local Work Environment
        1. 7.3.1. Creating Community and Culture
        2. 7.3.2. Creating Safety for Ideas
        3. 7.3.3. Creating Forums for Conflict and Search for Truth
        4. 7.3.4. Supporting Conflict Resolution
        5. 7.3.5. Valuing Achievement, Not Just Knowledge
        6. 7.3.6. Defining Physical Space
        7. 7.3.7. Being the Therapist
      4. 7.4. Facilitating Tasks
        1. 7.4.1. Allocating Resources
        2. 7.4.2. Coordinating Schedules
        3. 7.4.3. Coordinating Tasks
        4. 7.4.4. Overcoming Obstacles
        5. 7.4.5. Monitoring Effectiveness
        6. 7.4.6. Arranging Interventions
        7. 7.4.7. Streaming Information
      5. 7.5. Summary
    3. 8. Furnishing External Representation
      1. 8.1. Functions of Representation
        1. 8.1.1. Acquiring Information
        2. 8.1.2. Establishing and Maintaining Alignment
        3. 8.1.3. Obtaining Resources
        4. 8.1.4. Managing Expectations
        5. 8.1.5. Projecting Prominence
        6. 8.1.6. Protecting Geeks
        7. 8.1.7. Insulating Geeks
        8. 8.1.8. Attracting Geeks
      2. 8.2. Internal Relationships
        1. 8.2.1. Peer Organizations
        2. 8.2.2. Upward Relationships
      3. 8.3. External Relationships
        1. 8.3.1. Customers
        2. 8.3.2. Recruiting
        3. 8.3.3. Media
        4. 8.3.4. External Vendors
      4. 8.4. Summary
    4. 9. Managing Ambiguity
      1. 9.1. What Is Ambiguity?
      2. 9.2. Ambiguity Organizes Geekwork
      3. 9.3. The Hierarchy of Ambiguity
      4. 9.4. What Is Environmental Ambiguity?
      5. 9.5. Making Sense of the Environment
      6. 9.6. The Foundation for Geekwork
        1. 9.6.1. Defining Purpose
        2. 9.6.2. Establishing Identity
        3. 9.6.3. Finding Meaning
      7. 9.7. How the Foundation Supports Geekwork
        1. 9.7.1. Supporting Internal Coordination
        2. 9.7.2. Supporting External Representation
        3. 9.7.3. Supporting Motivation
      8. 9.8. Tips for Managing Environmental Ambiguity
      9. 9.9. Summary
    5. 10. Selecting and Organizing Geekwork
      1. 10.1. Projects
        1. 10.1.1. The Nature of Projects
        2. 10.1.2. Why Projectize?
      2. 10.2. Processes
        1. 10.2.1. Team Structure
        2. 10.2.2. Task Process
        3. 10.2.3. Risk Management
      3. 10.3. Tips for Managing Structural Ambiguity
      4. 10.4. Summary
    6. 11. Uniting Geeks and Geekwork
      1. 11.1. Designing Project Roles
        1. 11.1.1. Structuring Project Roles
        2. 11.1.2. Example of Project Roles
      2. 11.2. Managing Assignments
        1. 11.2.1. Importance of Resource Allocation
        2. 11.2.2. Building Effective Teams
      3. 11.3. Making Judgments
        1. 11.3.1. Defining Done
        2. 11.3.2. Delineating Quality
        3. 11.3.3. Circumscribing Acceptable Behavior
        4. 11.3.4. Rewarding Outstanding Performance
        5. 11.3.5. Punishing Poor Performance
      4. 11.4. Tips for Managing Task Ambiguity
      5. 11.5. Summary
  9. 3. CONCLUSION: Harmonizing Context and Content
    1. 12. How Geek Leaders Lead
      1. 12.1. Harmonizing Content and Context
      2. 12.2. The Tools of Leadership: Narrative and Embodiment
        1. 12.2.1. Subjects of Narratives
        2. 12.2.2. Functions of Narrative and Embodiment
        3. 12.2.3. Vital Narratives
        4. 12.2.4. Evolution of Narratives
      3. 12.3. Building Trust, Respect, and Unity: The Effects of Narrative and Embodiment
      4. 12.4. Summary
    2. A. Models and Lists
    3. Notes
      1. A.1. Chapter Two
      2. A.2. Chapter Four
      3. A.3. Chapter Six
      4. A.4. Chapter Seven
    4. References