Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sounds familiar

I'm not nearly as extreme, or as talented, as the people Cringely mentions here, but there is a wee bit of a passing similarity ...
I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Door Number Three | PBS

.... I have a friend of 20 years who is in a key technical role at a very large company. He's too vital to the company to risk losing but too geeky to fit in. He's on the craft (non-management) salary scale, but way higher than he ought to be for having no direct responsibility. All he does, in fact, is from time to time save his company from ruin. And even more rarely, he saves all the rest of us from ruin, too, in ways I am not at liberty to explain. How do you manage such a guy? Where he works they have him report to the CEO. The Big Guy has 5-6 direct reports and one of them -- my friend -- doesn't manage anyone or anything....
In most publicly traded corporations (PTC) rewards increase in proportion to the budget and team a person manages. PTCs can have a hard time dealing with oddballs who may be quite appreciated, but who don't fit the structure.

I think most of these people do best starting companies or joining small companies, but the latter are rare and the former is rather a lot of work - to the exclusion of other duties. Sometimes PTCs find a way to fit 'em in.

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