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

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9780787961480: Leading Geeks: How to Manage and Lead the People Who Deliver Technology
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Winner of the 2003 Financial Times Germany/getAbstract Business & Finance Book Award

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.

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From the Back Cover:

MANAGE AND LEAD THE PEOPLE WHO DELIVER TECHNOLOGY

"Managing technology talent is more critical today than ever before. This book brings an insightful and delightful perspective."
―James Champy, chairman of consulting, Perot Systems Corporation

"In this provocative book, Paul Glen provides excellent advice for managing 'geeks'―the computer nerds and other high-tech gurus of the 21st century. But his insights apply equally well to the challenge of leading any group of specialists for whom esoteric knowledge is more important than power, and expertise more determinative of social dominance than bureaucratic hierarchy, including actors, athletes, university faculty, musicians, doctors, and bond traders."
―Steven Sample, president, University of Southern California

"With an uncanny perception, Leading Geeks provides rare insight into managing often confusing and complex IT professionals. Whether you have minimal or extensive experience managing technologists, you will be inspired by this book."
―Craig McLeod, director of information technology, San Diego City Schools

"Highly talented technical people are a separate breed, and managing them is a delicate art. Paul Glen's new book, Leading Geeks, is essential reading for any manager facing the difficult challenge of leading, motivating, and rewarding technical contributors. Paul has done the improbable―he's taken his experience and knowledge of technical leadership and produced a funny, engaging, and valuable work that is a treasure trove of wisdom for technical managers."
―Rick Freedman, author, The IT Consultant

"We ought to stop complaining about technical wizards and learn how to utilize their considerable talents. Paul Glen helps us to do that better than I ever dreamed possible."
―Alan Weiss, author, The Ultimate Consultant Series

"I identify with geeks and, therefore, recommend this book not only for those who manage, work, and live with geeks, but also for geeks. It helps us to get to know ourselves better. Read it once for fun and once for meaning, then keep it and expect to refer back to it."
―Dolph Santello, principal consultant, Microsoft Corporation

From the Inside Flap:

LEADING GEEKS

IN TODAY'S BUSINESS CLIMATE, technology drives productivity and competitiveness, and "geeks" drive technology. More than ever, geeks--those people who research, develop, design, build, test, install, and support technology--are a critical factor in every organization's success.

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.

Leading Geeks clarifies the responsibilities and tasks of the geek leader and contrasts them to conventional approaches to leadership. Glen also shows you how to

  • Motivate geeks to be productive
  • Facilitate productivity within technical groups
  • Represent geeks to the world outside the lab and cubicle
  • Manage ambiguity to create an environment in which geeks and leaders thrive
  • Structure groups of geeks to support an organization

Leading Geeks gives managers the tools they need to transform the chaos of the creative workplace into a coherent and compelling place for geeks to work.

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