I’ll be half of you that clicked through on that headline did so because you thought I was going to talk about how women make for bad managers and perhaps include a reference to PMS or why Hillary Clinton didn’t when the Democratic nomination.  Or maybe I’d pick apart the word “manager” and point out that it is not “womanager”.  Sorry friends.  Not only am I not dumb enough to ever say something like that, I also don’t believe it.  Women make great managers, it’s the frenzy of gender research and the quest to determine who is the better manager that is bull$#!%.

I submit for your consideration the last five management structures I have encountered as a professional.  They are in no order and some also represent management changes while I was in the same role.  The top level is the department director while the middle is the team manager and I am of course just a wonderful human being.

Man – Good
Woman – Good
Me – Awesome

Woman – Not Good
Woman – Good
Me – Spectacular

Woman – Not Good
Man – Great
Me – 6 Stars

Woman – Gooder
Man – Great
Me – 13 out of 10

Man – Average
Man – Great
Me – Grandtastic

That’s correct, a new word was invented for how amazing I was in that position.  Once grandtastic is admitted into the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of me.  I’ll also be next to “humblastic” because I’m the best at being humble.  Moving along…

You’ll notice that I’ve had a good variety of managers.  You’ll also notice that no gender stands out, and I don’t seem to show a preference for one over the other.  Of course you can say that I am only going from my own experience but we can take a lot from that.  Take for example manager #4.  I think he’s great, but there are members of my team that would say he is the worst manager they’ve ever had.  Director #5 is mostly out of the picture in my world, so he is difficult to rate.  Does being out of the picture make him good or bad?  Director #2 is not a good manager in my opinion and most of my colleagues would agree with me.  Manager #1 is good because I am given a lot of independence and am relied on for many decisions.  At the same time she doesn’t offer me any feedback so I never know how I can improve.*

The most important takeaway here is that all my ratings are subjective.  When rating managers you can quantify with things like sales data or use subjective data from surveys and such.  Both are flawed.  I do currently work close to a sales environment and can say the managers with the best sales numbers are usually very poor at actual management.  Even if we could create a formula of quantitative and subjective data to really measure who is the best manager this would still be bunk.

Your definition of a good manager is different than mine.  You might want someone that will leave you alone to do your work and not bug you so long as you get it done, I might want someone that will push me beyond what I think I can do.  So if you and I work together and get a laid back non-pushy manager you’d rate them highly and I would rate them poorly.

So this whole realm of research into which gender is better at something is a bunch of crap.  It spits in the face of equality and I find it as offensive as trying to determine which race is the best at parenting, which religion is the best for business, and the optimum height one should have to make the most money.  What is gained by this research?  It helps us form generalizations about a specific group of people, just what our 21st century society is working towards.

As always, judge people based on their own merit, not on the research by people that have nothing of value to contribute to the economy.

*Take note I speak of all management structures in the present tense

categories: business