Management is about the right people making decisions. It is about forming the trust and delegate chains. It is about hierarchy. Don’t be afraid of hierarchy, because life is full of centers. To have something that is full of life, life centers need to be formed naturally. To have an organization that is full of life, life centers also need to be formed. The forming of life centers in an organization is exactly about “right people making decisions” and “forming the trust and delegate chains”.
So don’t be afraid of hierarchy. Every organization has hierarchy. The right question is how many levels of hierarchies there are in an organization, there are too many or too few, whether there is natural flow btw hierarchies, whether there is transparency, whether there are still channels of communication across hierarchies, and etc.
This hierarchy is totally based on individuals’ ability to make the right decisions in this domain. And it it about making decisions and taking responsibilities for your decisions. It doesn’t extend to to your personal life (this part is usually quite difficult for people coming from the oriental world to comprehend).
I have seen startups where bosses seem to be afraid of hierarchies. They are afraid to delegate any responsibilities and authorities to other people. It seems they are trying to maintain a flat structure, but in reality, the bosses often become the sole authority in the company and make decisions on every level. A lot of micromanagement indeed.
Finding the right hierarchy, having the right people at the right positions and at the same time maintaining natural flow between hierarchies and transparency are what management is all about. In short, management is about centers of lives.
I often say that software is about creating lives. Thus you can see why I say software and management are inherently connected. I don’t see a software engineer as a good software engineer if s/he cannot do good management. However, what we often see in the industry is that a lot of people tend to think that software engineer cannot do management, and thus management belongs to people who can not do software. It sounds bizarre. However, that is how many software companies are run today. What a tragedy if you run a company like that!