Give it to Mikey, he’ll like it!

As a middle manager in several start-ups I’ve had to deal with being short of resources of all kinds.  But, at the height of the first dot-com bubble, I had a great team.  No, not all of them were equals, but each pulled their weight and each could be relied on to perform well, in their area of expertise.

One guy, was a great troubleshooter.  He’d leave no stone unturned and you could tell if a problem was bothering him since he’d fixate on it until he understood it AND had solved the root cause.  It wasn’t good enough for him to fix the current problem. He wanted to make sure it couldn’t happen again.  However, what he wasn’t good at, was the rote, boring procedures. “Install this package in exactly this way, following these steps.” He’d tend to go off script and sometimes that caused problems.

On the other hand, I had another guy who was about 2 decades older and not from an IT background.  Troubleshooting wasn’t his forte and he honestly didn’t have the skill set to do a great job at it.

However, he excelled at the mundane, routine, rote tasks. Now this may sound like a slight, but far from it. The truth is in most cases in IT, you’re dealing with the routine, rote tasks. In an ideal world, you might ever have emergencies.

Now, this wasn’t to say he couldn’t solve most problems as they came up.  Simply if it was overly complex or rather obscure, it wasn’t his forte.

I learned when I wanted to get stuff done, that assigning the routine stuff to him worked far better than assigning it to the first guy.  And just the reverse.  If I had some weird problem I needed debugged that wasn’t easy to solve, the first guy was the guy to through at the problem.

Each excelled in their own way and the team did best when I remembered how to best utilize their talents.

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