Sharing Management Skills with Fellow IT Professionals

Recently, I read a useful guidebook that presented an array of tools for new managers that are also useful reminders for long-time managers. Since many in the tech industry don’t often focus on learning how to manage effectively – because they are often tasked with extinguishing fire after fire – I would like to share some excellent tips from Lawrence Pingree’s book, The Manager’s Guide to Becoming Great.

But a personal note first: after earning my MBA, I spent ten years as a manager (specializing in marketing) in a variety of industries. Several years later, I decided to return to school and earned networking and security certifications. Over the last few years, I have been working on the tech side of the table and have quickly learned that the one thing everyone agrees on is that business and technology don’t speak the same language. However, there is a solution for this conflict. There must be quality managers and leaders across all disciplines, including technology and information security, because poor management can and does lead to brain drain and low morale.

Written by a respected and active member of the Information Security industry for over 15 years, Lawrence Pingree has numerous IT certifications (CISSP, CCSA, CCSE, ICE, ICI, and NSA), and has published two books. He has consulted for large financial institutions, corporations, and government entities on technologies ranging from firewalls, intrusion detection, networks, system penetration, risk management, compliance, ediscovery and forensics – and has served as a Chief Security Architect at Peoplesoft and Netscreen. He is an active member of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) of Silicon Valley, the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), and a founding board member of the Digital Forensics Association.

Chapters within the book address management responsibilities, leadership traits, maintaining discipline, developing cooperation, employee onboarding and acceptance, training principles, grievances and complaints, and selecting the right employee. Who doesn’t need assistance with these important management issues, and moreover, who couldn’t improve his or her management skills?

When you are promoted to management, you’re under a microscope. Employees will be watching to see how you react to the new responsibilities, and top management will be observing all of your actions and interactions with your direct reports. The problem is, 9 times out of 10, there is no “Management 101” course for new managers. And if you have previously managed, everyone assumes that you know what you’re doing. But do you have a list of duties and responsibilities for managers? Lawrence created a great list:

  • Get the right employee on the job at the right time
  • Economical use and placement of materials
  • Attendance control (absence and tardiness)
  • Accident prevention and control of hazards
  • Keeping employees satisfied and happy
  • Addressing grievances
  • Maintaining discipline
  • Keeping records and making reports
  • Maintaining quality and quantity of work
  • Planning and scheduling of work
  • Training employees
  • Requisitioning tools, equipment, and materials – or approving the requests
  • Inspection, care, and preservation of tools and equipment
  • Giving direction
  • Developing and maintaining cooperation with other departments and personnel
  • Settling differences among employees
  • Promoting teamwork
  • Preparing and disseminating rules and regulations, procedures, etc.

No matter how much the workplace may evolve – from telecommuting to smartphones to tablets to biometrics – people will still be part of the equation, and managers will be necessary. As managers, choose the best employees, make sure that the workplace is conducive for productive work, provide the tools for employees to do their jobs and excel, and foster a positive environment. Be an advocate for your employees, and they will do their best work for you.

As Lawrence explained, “The old aggressive type of management is no longer acceptable. Today’s need is for leaders who have the ability to inspire their people to work because they want to work. People will produce to the extent that they like and respect their management.” So, ask yourself, don’t you want to be a great manager?

Visit Lawrence’s website:

Follow Lawrence on Twitter:!/lpingree

Connect on LinkedIn:

Watch an overview on YouTube:

More about the book:

Follow Lawrence on InfoSecIsland:


About Allan Pratt

Technology and cybersecurity professional with focus on tech news, cybersecurity, networking, infrastructure, data protection, consumer electronics, and social media.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Management and Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

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