The Secret to Happiness
Russell, Bertrand, The Conquest of Happiness (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1930) ISBN 0871401622 Happy people make for better managers. While I doubt happiness can be conquered, this book will help you sort out what makes you happy and why. Russell was a prominent philosopher in the 20th century, and in spite of that, he writes very well. He was something of a troublemaker and free thinker and it shows in his writing. I first read this book on a road trip with Chris McGee from Seattle to Banff. I started on the trip quite unhappy with life in general, and came back ready to make changes. This book, Chris, and the trip itself were all influential in my decision to leave Microsoft and start writing.
When we looked at the world, we saw technologies and their engineering merits only. We never understood why poorly engineered products sometimes sold very well or why well-engineered products sometimes failed to sell at all. We also noticed that engineering quality didn't always correlate with customer happiness. For these mysteries, we had two answers. First, it had something to do with the magic powers of evil marketing people. Second, we needed smarter customers. But we didn't think much about our conclusions. Instead, we went back to writing code or finding other products to tear to shreds. I was able to see my view for what it was only after I'd listened to some smart marketers and some talented product designers.
In our department alone, the changes to be made will be very crucial to the happiness of the employees and the success of projects. They must feel they are being given a square deal, especially in the evaluation procedure. Who will do the evaluation Will the functional manager be solely responsible for the evaluation when, in fact, he or she might never see the functional employee for the duration of a project A functional manager cannot possibly keep tabs on all the functional employees who are working on different projects.
Responded, So, I am to take it that you can understand what they do, but they can't understand what you do Her answer Yes. It never dawned on her that all were shaking their heads at her ignorance and elitism. Not surprisingly, her process presentation was not very enlightening. Taichii Ohno had a phrase for managers (and others) who believed their work was above scrutiny, but that process operators' work was not He called them cementheads. Be on the lookout for them. They will sabotage your lean transformation. One lean facilitator told me that when he encounters a cementhead he recommends that said cementhead be given an opportunity, at the earliest possible time, to seek employment in a mass production environment. Why Because in a mass production environment their views will fit the management paradigm and they will be happier. They are not going to be happy in a lean-empowered workplace. And we won't be happy with them.
In the end, proactive leadership in your own sphere of influence is the best way to grow your own sources of power. Initially, you might lose favor with your superiors for working differently than they do. But over time, people will like the playing field you've created. They will be happier and more effective working with and for you than with others. Unlike with the status quo of the rest of the organization, the quality of your team's work will continually rise.
Happiness generally suggests a feeling of pleasure and contentment. Most project managers view project management as a lifetime profession and are usually quite happy, even under situations of stress. A senior construction project manager commented on why he has not accepted a promotion to vice president I can take my children and grandchildren into ten countries in the world and show them projects that I either built or helped build. What do I show them as a vice president My bank account The size of my office The stockholder's report Obviously, not all people would respond like this. The work challenge associated with the project environment is a strong driving force toward happiness. There are very few positions where an employee can see an activity through from beginning to end.