Han Schaminee is general manager Navigation and Automation at Wärtsilä Voyage.


The manager I want to be

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Having returned to a management position recently, Han Schaminee ponders what can kind of leader he wants to be.

Many times, I’ve used this column to discuss the impact of leadership in product development and argued that leadership is key for Agile implementation. I gave many examples of how managers unconsciously lowered productivity and predictability by applying traditional predictive leadership practices. After four years working as a consultant and advising leaders on how to manage technology organizations, I’ve recently again assumed responsibility for a large company with around 500 people and substantial revenue. So, this is a good moment for me to lay out what kind of manager I want to be.

I don’t want to be a manager who denies intrinsic uncertainty in the many things we do. Such a manager delegates uncertainty to low levels in the organization, to people who have no tools to manage that uncertainty and thus can only lower quality or introduce buffers. Nor do I want to be a manager who just assumes that as these people are professionals, uncertainty shouldn’t exist for them.

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