Self Starter vs Self Managed

March 4, 2010

Self Starter is Not Self Managed

When it comes to hiring IT staff in your small to medium business, I am willing to bet that you have done this before!

You need a technical services staffer, so you put up that that job advertisement or job board posting. And in that job description it clearly yells; must be a self starter!

You also know that you put self starter piece there because you are a general manager. And as a general manager perhaps you don’t really understand what that technology hire will be doing any way! right? Keeping things smooth is what you are looking for!

Let me just warn you to be careful doing that. There is a big difference between delegating your IT services, and abdicating them.

As this brilliant post by Miki Saxon (on my favorite blogger list!) titled; Self-starter Does Not Mean Self-managed states;

The important lesson here is that “self-starter” does not mean “self-managed.” Even the best will need direction, structure, and accountability in order to perform brilliantly.

In the small to medium business – this affects many of us. Just because we may not be experts at technology, does not mean that we can stop properly managing our IT staff or providers.

Sure that IT staff member may be a self starter, but a self starting technologist who chooses to do what is fun, what is challenging, or what is new, does not help you reach your strategic goals.

They need to be properly managed to ensure that what they are doing is required and needed for you to meet those goals and objectives.

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Photo Credit D. B. Blas via flickr

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2 Responses to “Self Starter vs Self Managed”


  1. […] In his post he hits the bull’s-eye with a phrase that any manager at any level in any size company would be wise to tattoo on their frontal lobe. There is a big difference between delegating your IT services, and abdicating them. […]

  2. Miki SAxon Says:

    Hi Elliot, I’m glad you found that post useful.

    I’ve always found it strange that “self starter” keeps translating to “self managed” no matter what kind of work was involved.

    I really like your comment “There is a big difference between delegating your IT services, and abdicating them,” since it applies universally. (Hmmm, good basis for a post:)


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