Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Managing Teams

So for the past couple of weeks (actually a month now that I think about it), I have been working on what I had thought would be a nice easy pro bono project in the world of film. Unfortunately, it seems nothing is ever nice and easy in the world of consulting.

The seniors on the project decided in their infinite wisdom that given the low risk nature of the assignment, they would assign a lowly senior consultant (me), to run the damn thing. This has meant that, for no more incentives, I have been stressing for the last four weeks like never before.

I never quite appreciated the jolt to the heart a manager gets when the junior consultant cant answer questions about the numbers, or presents numbers that change day to day with no good reason. Maybe I am too invested in it, or have too high expectations, but sometimes I feel like I just need to grab control of all the detailed work myself, so I know its right.

This is balanced by my desire to not emulate the worst job managers I have worked with. I have no desire to be the work until 2am guy (even though we did that a couple of days ago), and I find the idea of making people work on the weekend abhorrent. I worry sometimes though that in my desire to be an nice guy, I am not sufficiently preparing my junior consultant for the rigours of real world consulting.

All in all, I think its been a formative experience, although one that is not over yet. Due to the size of our organisation, this will probably be a rare event until a promotion or two away, but I think I will take away some valuable lessons on managing people. I haven’t got enough distance yet to work out what those are, but I will post when I do. Any thoughts would be welcome.

Next post – a discussion on an interesting quirk on the film distribution industry.


  1. "I never quite appreciated the jolt to the heart a manager gets when the. junior consultant can't answer questions about numbers.."
    Damn right. It's horrible.

  2. "I have no desire to be the work until 2am guy"... unfortunately it is an inevitability on many projects.... but don't worry the feelings of guilt disappear pretty quickly (and are usually replaced by frustration at the incompetence of juniors that work for you)