……but it’s still a hell of a lot better than the last place.
I am a good reader of vibes. I wish sometimes I was not – but wishing won’t change the fact that I am. A month ago, I looked at the most senior and opinionated developer and surprised him by asking why he didn’t put his name in the ring for the manager job. He was already doing it on many levels, so why not take the title and cash and make it official.
He gave me a reasonable answer. Or at the time, I saw it as reasonable.
Now, I’m not so sure.
I was given the role that I suggested he take. And before and even after, I was constantly getting from him and other “hey, whatever you want us to do – we will do it – just show us the way.” I appreciated that mentality. I really did. Most other places are filled with people who are far less interested in changing than holding the status quo, so it was quite refreshing.
Now ask me what I think?
Since I have gotten the role, things have been off. The joking has not been the same. I have noticed every time something comes up, he gives me 100 reasons why it is not right or possible or why it is no. And, in short, I have found his words of “we will make it happen – just tell us what to do” are empty. They are not true.
Because, I think, he worries about not being the smartest person in the room.
I think he fears not having full control even though he tells stories about not wanting control.
I think he fears the idea of losing the status of “superman” who comes in and saves the day.
I get that he is faced with a shitload of change in the past six months.
But at what point does he realize that he is not the expert in the room on a subject, that he is no longer in control of a group (because he opted out), and that acting like superman has built him a cage.
Today, we were discussing something that is a fundamental part of all IT organizations I have been a part of. The process and concept already exist in part of the IT organization – just never in his part. I dragged one of the guys into the meetings – and thanks to that action, we caught something big before it became a huge emergency fix for the team. The process is good and broad – it just needs to include all of IT. Easy stuff.
We spent over an hour on it.
And in the end, he even started arguing about the steps we added into the process after he argued they were missing. Yes, we added them based on his feedback, then he argued about why they were there. I knew I was at my breaking point when I responded, “are you really arguing about the steps we added because you argued earlier that they were missing? do they need to be there or not – you get one side – not both.”
I shut my mouth after that point.
I fear the fact I now have to go off and draw up the process that he has been in control of. I could bring him into the mix – and part of me wants to do that to make sure he is on board. But what I’ve learned about in this past week is that he isn’t 100% helping. He is withholding certain things to make him the expert. I wasn’t part of any conversation about a project but was asked to write up the results. I asked a lot of questions, drew up the diagram, wrote it up, reviewed it with him 3 times, then went into a meeting where he commented that I was wrong in how I wrote it.
Whatever. My ego is not depended on being 100% right. Nor is it dependent on being 100% the focus on all things. So I turned shit over to him and stepped back. In the end, my boss and I fixed it all. My ego isn’t that fragile – and my boss isn’t that blind.
But today, during the meeting that went longer than it should have gone, I realized that the honeymoon is over. The NRE is still there – but I have not feelings that this is a fantasy wedding. I’m tougher than he realizes. Plus, I see and sense more than anyone ever realizes.
I will survive – I really will.
Just today, I realized the gloves are off.
And that’s fine – I have been honest that the last company was a shit show where there was verbal brawls in the halls in meetings with executives – every day that ended in “Y”.
I wish him luck.
The last 5 years, for me, have been training.