We, old foggies, were transferred out to new assignments. That left some leadership void that (we are glad) our best people filled in. (I’d write about the Peter Principle some other time.) While part of letting your wards blossom is giving them space, we’re still sometimes compelled by certain situations to dish out a friendly advice or two.

I found myself doing just with Mark. Mark’s a really solid programmer and I would like to think that I’ve been influential in shaping his mindset of looking for more elegant designs and solutions when it comes to building software. He had been my appointed lead coder in projects I’ve handled for the past five years.

He’s running his own team of coders now. While still doing some technical stuff, he does get loaded with all the administrative and coordination duties since he feels that by taking them on, it gives his team the latitude to focus on tasks. Anyway, while it’s a noble thing for leaders to make those sacrifices, caution should be taken not to spoil the team.

Part of the getting things done credo is delegation. Now, the douchey way to delegate is to simply unload all of your duties to subordinates and browse 9GAG all day. The more enlightened way is to delegate tasks where the recipient is oriented with and is given ownership of accomplishments.

I caught Mark late in the office setting up scripts to download the full backups of their server. I asked him, “Baka pwede mo nang ibilin sa iba ‘yan. Para maging routine na sa kanila.”

He replied, “Okay lang, sir. Mabagal daw kasi ‘yung internet kanina. Nag-meeting pa kami”

“Try niyo magtanong sa support. Baka may linya silang pwedeng ipagamit. Critical ‘yang backup na ‘yan.”

“Okay lang, sir. Madami naman kasi silang (as in his team) ginagawa.”

I wondered how much his team appreciates this guy’s efforts. Though it’s usually a flag when well-meaning concern sort of comes off as an excuse for a) not delegating and b) for his team not doing the job.

I found myself going all kuya discussing how he might want to consider delegating to his staff and having them take ownership of some of his coordination duties. Besides, slow internet might just be some lame excuse not to bother. One other guy from his group was just watching YouTube videos in the next workstation. Slow internet. Yeah.

I found myself retorting, “Kung may oras silang um-attack sa Clash of Clans, siguradong may oras iyang mga yan para sa mas makabuluhang bagay.”

I hope that struck a chord. And hopefully did not sting.

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