Unseen Work

We often mistake the job we see managers doing with the job they are really doing. We’ve all asked, at one time or another, “What does my boss actually do?”. We see them go to countless meetings, ask questions, or send around documents. We then equate those activities with the actual job of being a manager. Until I was promoted into the role of my departing boss, the perception I had of what they did was totally different to what I found myself doing. There was all this unseen work going on behind the scenes that led to the countless meetings, that led to the questions and that led to all the shared documents. On-top of that, the un-seen time and thought that went into ensuring the right questions were being asked and the right documents were being created and shared. This is no different to equating Engineers to writing code. There is so much unseen work involved in writing the right code. It’s knowing what technologies to use, it’s knowing what techniques, data structures and algorithms to use, and it’s knowing how to put it all together into building a functioning product.