The Y2K Bug and Running a Big Business Like a Small One

running a big business

The world was coming to an end at midnight 31 December 1999. We had planned for it for years. It was, as one techno-wag said, “a disaster with a deadline.”

The Year 2000 rollover was going to be big. Worldwide. No escape. Like Noah and the flood, we knew it was coming. We knew this would be no mere technology challenge to be solved with exceptional American ingenuity. The Year 2000 was problematic with unknown unknowns.

The predictions were dire: The Internet would go down. Cell phones dead. The power grid dark — Armageddon.

In the late 1990s, one-half of the world’s Internet traffic passed through the Commonwealth of Virginia, thanks to America Online — And maybe another Northern Virginia entity in Arlington: the Pentagon.

(I think that was a secret … )

Your business professor had the Y2K responsibility for Health and Human Resources, a $5 billion enterprise in the Virginia government. The boss, Governor Jim Gilmore, a former military intelligence officer, knew what was possible — and not — to combat the Y2K Bug.

There was a lot we couldn’t do. And it wasn’t all technology.

It was a condition of continued employment that there was to be no interruption or adverse incidents to the citizens of the Commonwealth and the rest of the world.

(We worker bees could not get it wrong. The world ends AND get a bad employee appraisal. A sub-par job performance would not be the simple career-ending, world-ending mistake. It would be going out with a bang, so to say.)

Business literature notes the adrenaline rush of the “peak experience.” The Office of the Governor of Virginia had this motivation as he had the whole world in his hands.

The Web had to run for the wide world and more: Virginia’s hospital doors had to remain open; the prison doors closed. Fresh water and waste water valves had to direct flow in the correct and desired directions.

Local first responders had to be able to coordinate communications across jurisdictional silos. Governor Gilmore was among the first to realize the importance of seamless radio traffic between Fed/State/Local law enforcement. (It still wouldn’t be fixed years later, as in 9/11 or more recently.)

There were lots of challenges beyond government resources. So, Gilmore hired the biggest IT consulting firms on the planet and bought their solution packages. In my weekly staff meetings I had a dozen of the smartest experts in the business. I was not one of them.

They let me think I was in control at the head of the table. And maybe so. But these consultants wouldn’t let me, a mere bureaucrat, make a mistake. I didn’t know how to run a very large organization.

Actually, no one really does, but the Governor gave me this advice:
B.lioy”Pick a small team and run them as a small business. It will be the same except with more zeros.” I didn’t know if he was talking about the budget or about me. Could go either way.

There were some mistakes the professional tech-gurus could not save me from — I had to learn on my own. I wasted time deep in the weeds doing real work. Instead of managing managers, I wanted to roll-up my sleeves and pound keyboards. I called it, ‘attention-to-detail.’ The staff called it ‘micromanaging.’

Like most small business owners, I had trouble delegating tasks. But I had to adjust fast; I ran out of time. There was an unstoppable countdown and I had to trust the work to the professionals.

Virginia spent $215 million and nothing happened here or in the rest of the world. There were some problems in Nigeria. We now think it was some kind of scam.

Nothing crashed. Except for that super-secret three-letter-agency satellite … and some defibrillators. Not my fault. No one died.

The lesson learned was that the technology was the easy part. The real challenge was in delegation and managing projects — through people — on time and on budget.

It always is.

The Pentagon Photo via Shutterstock


Jack Yoest John Wesley (Jack) Yoest Jr., is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management at The Catholic University of America. His expertise is in management training and development, operations, sales, and marketing. Professor Yoest is the president of Management Training of DC, LLC. A former Captain in the U.S. Army and with various stints as a corporate executive, he also served as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Resources in the Administration of Governor James Gilmore of Virginia.

225 Reactions
  1. I could still remember my nanny telling me (for I was a kid back then) that it will be the end of the world. But then it didn’t happen.

    • Managing people is hard and it takes patience, practice, and planning. I think good leaders find the balance between micromanaging and delegating tasks. Having trustworthy and hardworking employees makes it easier to send out tasks and give more responsibility to workers. As a leader, it is not responsible to micromanage because it leads you to spread yourself too thin and not focus on completing tasks to your best ability. In my internship I found myself micromanaging at times and taking on more tasks and responsibilities than I could handle. Once I sat back and identified all of the jobs that I was taking on, I found the best workers and the ones I could trust the most. Those workers then took on responsibilities I knew they could handle clearing off my plate and allowing me to better focus on the more important tasks. As I enter the work force I will continue to find the balance and avoid micromanaging my employees. It is not good for me as a leader or for the employees to see me acting in a controlling manner

      • Josephine Morrill

        While reading this article, I recalled hearing about this situation earlier on in my life. Being born a little over a year after this and growing up with technology, learning it and experiencing it as it continued to advance, I couldn’t imagine how people thought the world was going to end due to it. What I found interesting reading this is that in this moment, people weren’t relying on technology to solve the problem and solve the end of the world, they were relying on people. People were going to solve the problem. Past this time, and with the increase in technological advancements, we have become less reliant on people solving our problems and more reliant on technology solving our problems.
        In terms of the idea of managers micromanaging their people, I feel that today managers have to not only delegate tasks to their employees, but also to the technology. They have to manage both aspects. We can’t rely on technology to do it all, because technology can’t do everything that a human being can, but we also can’t rely on the manager to do it all. The manager can’t rely on themselves to do it all either. As a manager, you must manage people and those technologies that support your people. You should be able to find balance in your own life and lean on your resources.

      • Gianna De Cesaris

        It is so interesting to read about how the man that is leading me and many others in lessons about organizational behavior, struggled with the things that his class already, or will experience as managers. Delegation is difficult because it requires trust and trust is not gained easily. Some people you click with immediately and can tell they are reliable within a few interactions with them. Others are not reliable at all, and or you are tricked into believing they are until a problem comes up that you as a leader need to solve. That being said, it is so important to build a team full of people that you can trust and actually trust them! Most times you can not hand select your teams, so in that case, relinquishing some responsibilities will only show just how capable the individuals are. It is better to see the performance of your team then to guess how they will perform and make judgements based on your guess. The biggest enemy to some leaders is perfection. Striving for perfection is not a bad thing, but allowing that goal to restrict you from being a good people leader is where it can go wrong. No one wants to disappoint their boss but if you do not put trust in your team you may be missing out on an even better product.

      • I have never been aware that this incident occurred. It has completely opened my eyes to how important efficient management truly is is most cases where a team is present. In my past experience, I was very aware which of my co-workers I wanted to have shifts with vs. the ones I wished never showed up. In order to be successful in leading either types of people, you must associate with workers who work harder, smarter, and are just as/if not more determined than you to reach goals. At any time when management is ineffective or unsuccessful, it important to take a step back and learn the next action that should be taken. This is revealed through Professor Yoest’s struggle with delegating tasks to the co-workers. Credit to him, because he felt the urge to quickly adjust and to advance toward building good habits that would shape him into the future leader he aspires to be. This experience also stresses the overall importance of people interaction and problem-solving. This is clear because while the technology was the main focus, the strategy and plan toward how the troops behind the problem would be rallied was the focal point. Those who lead, succeed. Leading a group of people comes in many forms, but even the lowest level employees can have a thing or two to teach the “leader.”

      • I found this to be a funny yet interesting topic, as the event of Y2K was something that many were terrified for and thought major problems would arrive from, but as it turned out had almost no real consequences whatsoever. I can only imagine that leading a team with the aim of solving this alleged upcoming “crisis” would be extremely stressful, though, particularly if you have very little technological expertise. I have no doubt being tasked with something of so much expected magnitude and with such a harsh and concrete deadline would lead a manager to want to try to do everything himself and be very skeptical of delegating any major responsibilities. When you think the fate of the world is hanging in the balance, it has to be very tough to trust someone else to take care of any part of it, but being able to trust and empower those that you are managing while still being greatly involved is what makes a truly great manager. This is exactly what being a small business owner is like, as that company is your life and you want to make sure everything is done perfectly, yet at the same time you must trust those around you to perform very crucial tasks.

      • Technology wasn’t the issue with this, it was leadership and organizational behavior that caused this big mistake. I think the manager not having honest conversations with the company preventing from getting things done the safe way. The key to fixing this issue is trusting your employees and the process. Many times they are the expert, as they have gone through detailed proper training to get the job done and can do it more quickly. Technology being used in the right manner is also an important issue. With the world at our hands in one small phone, it forces dopamine spikes that cause us to forget about using it for important things like efficiently contacting employees about an action or something that needs to be evaluated. Technology was invented to benefit our world, not ruin it.

      • It seems here in this article that the focus is on managing, not so much the spending and technology. As a manager, it is important to know that the way you manage is going to be a reflection of how your team performs, good or bad. One of the points that stuck out to me in this article was the fact that Professor Yoest admitted that the people that he managed were more knowledgeable than him in certain areas. A common misconception for a manager is to think that you can do every job and do it better than anyone else. The truth is that you need to trust your employees to do their jobs and know that they are experts in their fields. So, the point of “micromanaging” can be a signal to your employees that you do not trust them. It is important to give them their space and let them execute without a boss’s hands in the picture. Another important management point in this article is the responsibility that the manager takes on. The manager will have immense pressure to get everything done on time and on budget, but this pressure cannot seep down into the rest of the operation. The manager must stay calm to develop that trust in their employees so that they can get the job done and get it done well.

    • This article sheds light on the importance of human capital. Technology can benefit our lives in many different ways but it is something that we shouldn’t rely on entirely. We need the human capabilities in order to effectively run an organization. Technology cannot lead the way people do. People possess many different talents that lead to collaboration that benefits all parties involved. In regards to micromanaging, a leader must recognize they might not hold control over every individual yet by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of his or her team, they are able to delegate tasks and project to those who they know can handle it and excel at it. It is all about using your God given talents to the best of your abilities. God created humans so they could flourish and inherit the Earth. Technology wasn’t created to do that. It was created rather to be used as a resource to assist our natural abilities in success.

      • Professor Yoest makes an astute observation about organizational behavior and the challenges of business management. While the end of the world is a memorable example of how large of an impact current events can have on business, the big picture here is to understand the interconnectedness of the world in business. Businesses are affected by every part of the economy and the economy is affected by everything we do. A challenge of management is recognizing not only the internal forces that impact an organization but the external ones as well. Management faces several internal conflicts. They are tasked with ensuring the proper process of their employees to practice efficiency, productivity, and in the best interest of the company. To execute this process, management delegates tasks and considers time and pressing factors that impact each decision. What makes a manager a great leader is a strong foundational knowledge of effective organizational behavior. This means marinating strong relationships with your employees to best task each one with a role that best fits their unique skill set. This also means being a role model and keeping its priorities in check such as CRM. To use its resources, such as technology and the proper utility of its staff, with a strong application of effective organizational behavior, a manager can handle the combined internal and external challenges of business.

    • I find this article very interesting because in class we discuss the importance of managing people. Management is difficult at times due to the way micromanaging can get in the way of the success of some companies. I think the importance of trusting your employees is key to having a more organized and successful business, but more importantly finding a happy medium or balance in managing them. This balance/ happy medium refers to making sure you have some organized management for your employees, while also giving them the freedom to thrive on their own. Giving them the ability to do things on their own, while also having an organized schedule is something all businesses are trying to instill in their company. I think in any job I have had when the boss micromanages the employees I truly see the results to reflect the lack of leadership they feel they have. On the other hand, in jobs I have had where there is a balance there is overall more success, but the business too allows the employees to have more opportunity by creating more ideas, demonstrating more growth, and having a harder focus on the values. Overall finding this happy medium allows for employees to thrive, but on the same hand have an organized management to be able to lean on.

    • High ranking executives at times have difficulties delegating tasks or duties. They want their businesses to run as efficiently and smoothly as possible. Instead of “managing managers”, they wind up “micromanaging”. Executives are responsible and accountable for keeping the organization on track with their vision and mission. They must make crucial and important decisions that guide the establishment to a profitable future. Employees work behind the scenes to “pound the keyboards”, research, solve problems, settle disputes and deal with issues that they bring to the executive’s table. Executives need to be able to access this pertinent information and make decisions that determine the future success of the organization. They need to properly accrue and digest information necessary to be “in the know” of the current events. To properly make sound decisions takes time to reflect on unforeseen circumstances that may occur. Not to fix all of Y2 global problems – “run a big business like a small one” is excellent advice.

      Being an efficient executive leader empowers others to do their jobs thoroughly. They build trust by example and develop shared aspirations. Leaders have the ability to bring a group together for the betterment of the organization and all those involved in the development of team players.

    • I loved this reading. It highlights the management nightmare of having too much to delegate and oversee. With so many things on your plate, it makes it so easy for problems to slip through the cracks. The idea of treating a large enterprise as a small business I thought was a great way to explain the solution to such a problem. I remember hearing someone speak about the pains of being rich. “Yes you have more wealth, but that comes with more headaches”. The bigger the company, the more difficult it is to lead by yourself. I thought it would be beneficial for a leader to want to be on the front lines, to have the desire to be involved with what was going on with his company, however it proves to be impossible to be in so many places at once and to be sure you are getting the same performance from your workers as if you were not there. Rather, a leader should build a strong team of managers which they can consider as their own small team. Managing in of itself is a skill and a job. Giving others something to be responsible for also helps give the team a sense of initiative and ownership over their work, therefore, a greater sense of pride in what they do and how they perform.

  2. Aira, yes–and it wasn’t just your nanny who feared the end of the world. It was a media story as you can imagine (if it bleeds, it ledes). But we just didn’t know.

    So we did a variation of Pascal’s Wager: If we were wrong, everyone got a new laptop and updated software; if we were wrong the power grid goes down and the forces of darkness would be upon us.

    Good upside and we avoided a tragedy.

    You are right: The world didn’t end.


    • What really struck out to me as interesting in this article was something that I am also discussing in my Conflict Resolution class. By micromanaging and prioritizing “attention to detail,” a manager more often comes across as micromanaging. By getting in the way of employee workflow and sticking their nose in something that their employee does all the time, a manager most often does more hard than good. To me, this seems to be closely related to the fact that a manager should be able to go on vacation and the employees would be able to continue operations. Managers are dispensable and are not better at their employees job than the employees. And acting in that way is disrespectful and sends the message that the employee is not trusted or respected.

      • Always expect the unexpected. This is what my parents told me when I first started learning how to drive. It is a statement that I not only still apply to navigating traffic, but to my everyday life. It is also the key to good management as I have learned in my studies. Preparation is the first principle of a manager, in that they need to decide who and what is exactly being readied. As the article states, it is in a manager’s position to delegate responsibilities, identify a job, and put someone to the task. They ought not to trifle themselves, for then they are not doing their own job and not creating an organized, or prepared environment. When everyone knows their job, things get done. The manager needs to oversee this and then they are truly fulfilling their station. It is not just the act of making others do the work but ensuring that work is being completed and is completed well and on time. This article makes it clear that the manager knew that the responsibility was large and there was intense pressure, due to the internet threat of the year 2000. He was surrounded by a very dynamic team and he needed to utilize them swiftly. They had the skills he did not. Thus, he needed to allow them to use their expertise and their jobs, and he needed to do him, manage their abilities. In doing so, he truly prepared for the challenge ahead.

    • I found this article and its take on leadership really interesting. Whether you are running a large organization or a small one, leadership is equally as important. Leading a big organization versus a small one is very different. It encompasses different kinds of delegation, managing, and trust. I have first-hand experience in running a smaller organization. I am the President of Program Board, CUA’s event planning organization, composed of 35 people. As President of Program Board, I find myself running into the problem of micromanaging. Managing people is not the easiest thing to do. It takes a lot of patience, trust, practice, and responsibility. As President, I make sure everyone is doing their job properly. This can sometimes come off as micromanaging and not trusting people and their abilities. My goal is to make sure everything is done to completion and with incredible attention to detail. Once I understood this, I started taking a different approach. I would make larger announcements about tasks and delegate the management to those in charge of the different branches. Going into the beginning of my career I will be more cognizant of micromanaging and focus on how to better myself as a leader.

    • In any business it is vital that you have a network of people to count on throughout your day. This article demonstrates that management in one of the best ways. It is difficult to find the balance between being a helpful and loved manager and one that tends to over work his/her employees. In better words it is more important to pay attention to detail than to micro manage your employees. As I was growing up my dad always told me that you get more with sugar than with salt and I believe that is very applicable in this case. An employee appreciates the compliments more than any critique. Additionally many employees appreciate an extended leash to do what they please on the job. It is crucial that they feel they can work in a place that encourages personality and individual ideas.

  3. Aira, oops — I got mixed up on right and wrong (happens a bit…).

    Your Business Professor,

  4. Jack,

    Have you read Dr. Eli. Gold’s book, Critical Chain? He describes the theory of constraints in a colorful way.

  5. Very interesting between the attention to detail and micro managing. In this type of situation there was a lot of speculation which made the future unclear which makes the job that much harder for the manager to decide what needs his/her attention. But being able to delegate and listen to others, especially in this situation when the experts were the ones reporting to you, is a huge management tool. It is a good thing to be prepared however and this is what the spending of 215 million did for Virginia. Some might say that it wasn’t worth it but it sounds like the correct steps were taken to avoid tragedy.

  6. Confidence is contagious, it seems like your boss told you to run the large entity like a small one because potentially it was what you have had experience with? (Correct me if I’m wrong) Or maybe that the fact that the obstacle seemed so large that it almost seemed insurmountable. But by taking a step back and focusing on one sector you were able to overcome your own reservations. By doing so you enabled others to have confidence in their work, and believe that this was not an impending Armageddon, but simply the start of a new age. No matter what the case may be when put in a leadership position, even if you don’t have a plan, you need to have a plan, like General Grant leaders always need to have that ‘4 o’clock in the morning courage’. That ideal is exactly what you exemplified.
    – Bravo

  7. Martin, No, I have not yet read “Critical Chain” — I have ordered it and will add it to Gold’s “It’s Not Luck” and “The Goal.”

    Well, actually, I got the Audible, but you get my drift…

    If it is anywhere near as good as his other books it will be a welcome edition, so to say.

    Thanks for the recommendation,

  8. Luke, excellent observation on the management dilemma: How much to delegate to staff when the stakes and risks are so high.

    The manager, in this case, Your Business Professor was nervous: I didn’t know what I was doing and there was ambiguity in every unknown. I was, in a word, Lost.

    Just like most amateur managers…

    Everything did work out, but all I remember is the uncertainly.


  9. Elias, thank you for your kind words. But I think the solution was found more in exhaustion than in courage.

    The management team was forced to get recommendations from the expert staff and then get the resources. Because we had limited time and had no option but to trust the team. There were laptops buried (like skeletons) in every closet in the Commonwealth. Every piece of hardware and software had to be found.

    My life would have been a bit easier if I had more practice in the practice of management.


  10. Gabriella Cornacchio

    Initially, I was hesitant to read this article, as I found it hard to believe that one could run a large business similarly to a small one. It seemed preposterous. Yet, in this article, “The Y2K Bug and Running a Big Business Like a Small One,” Jack Yoest has a point. The reason small businesses are so reliable is because everyone has a job and every one (typically) does their job right. The trick to running a large business is to take the work ethic of a small business. By spending more time delegating tasks and focusing on the minor details, the outcome is substantially better. This is the tactic people in charge of big businesses need to take if they want results. I really enjoyed this article because it shows that one must put in the effort to reap the rewards. In this new day and age where generation y is ruled by technology, but we still have the power to use it for our own benefits. The point, however, is not to let it overtake us. Instead, we must keep our heads straight and use it as an aid, without putting our sole reliance on it. Rather, we must still manage business through hard work ethics and delegating jobs.

  11. Gabriella, managing any business is hard work but it can be learned. Delegation for the small business owner and the new manager seem to be the most challenging skill to be developed.

    Peter Thiel who guided multiple breakthrough companies, including PayPal wrote his book, “Zero To One: Notes on Startups.” He gives terrific advice, including–to give one thing to one person — to hold one individual responsible for an individual task or project. Everyone in his company knows, “You have one job.”

    Thank you for your comment,

  12. Jack:
    I agree with your premise on the small business approach. After all these years, it seems to me that the approach for a good manager is the same. if a small business, then take an active hand, organize well what you do, assess costs, and enforce quality to grow the business. In a larger enterprise, the same is true, but the ‘owner’ needs to delegate more to those that share both his trust and enthusiasm for quality, and then let them run with the ball (with oversight, of course).

    We have too many managers who simply want to look at the past and assume they are doing well, without realizing that things have changed. i recently worked with a small firm– a restaurant–whose only ‘planning’ was to see what they did on a particular day the year before to reassure themselves they were doing well. of course, they had no real idea of their costs-fixed or variable, in terms of what they offered, had a huge menu requiring large inventories, and no planning for the future. The owners took a limited part in the restaurant, mostly back-bench quarterbacking, and left the work to managers who rolled from day-t-day. They were gradually losing customers over time, and profits, and didn’t even realize it.

    They still run the business the same way–they refused to accept or adapt to change, and they are still losing volume. Hiring qualified management could save this situation with some organized hard work.

    BTW, one of the interesting parts of Y2K, at least at DoD, was to find that the Department had over 42,000 applications and systems subject to the Y2K rules. With few exceptions (Mostly Command and Control) it was “wait to see what happens”. Thankfully, not much did, and we moved forward.


  13. John, an outstanding observation on the “control” part of management–and this often requires an outside expert (you) to evaluate the small business performance.

    The ‘planning’ part of management is to decide the direction the business will take. The ‘control’ part of management is to compare the results to the plan. It sounds like your client was attempting to do this by comparing same day sales this year compared to last.

    But as you note, this is often not enough–and the real measure is that your client was losing customers. I would submit that the business could have retained these disaffected customer and increased profits if the small business owner took your counsel.

    Good comment,

  14. Cristina Del Rio

    Professor, very interesting article and what a great advise. I believe stress is a huge understatement for what you, the team, and the world was going through that year. Having to manage a big company in this moment in time must have felt incredibly overwhelming, and when we are overwhelmed we can loose track of what the big picture is. The advise you got from your boss was great: think of it as a small business and get a small team. Before that, you and the team were looking at a blurry picture, full of insecurities due to the inexperience in technology and the uncertainty of what exactly was going to happen! And the fact that it was a big company made it a whole lot messier. However, when you think of it as a small business, you have a clearer vision of what you are facing – which at the end was not technology but how to manage the situation. Managing in general, assigning tasks and responsibility to others, delegating for your team and trusting them is the hard part, and as you mentioned, it is always the hard part no matter the situation or size of the business. I saw this everyday at my internship with my team. We always need to focus of the bigger picture and prevent ourselves from confusing what our main objective is – in your case, it was to manage the change that we were all about to face. Great job, and thank you for passing over the advice!

  15. Cristina, you are right: management is getting things done — but each of the decisions is usually less well defined — there are often no clear answers.

    Ambiguity and incomplete data and conflicting interests each drive the management process.

    And that’s why Peter Drucker calls management a “practice” because the boss better be always learning.

    Well Done,

  16. This article was very interesting because the way to handle this task was very well thought out. It is always hard to handle anything that new and might seem like it depends on just you. I think that the mindset to think it was being handled as a small business was very tactical. Although it was very different just starting with a specific mindset helped not freak out with all the pressure. This also shows the importance of team work. As everyone made sure everything came out just right made everything be a success.

    I agree with Gabriella because technology is a great resource to have but we have to know how to use it wisely. In this case, what seemed to be the most hard to handle was the easiest. If technology is used in the way that it should, it will give the results needed, but people have to have control not the other way around. This article was very informative and worth reading.

    • Hally, you are right: The manager and business owner are responsible for all the unit does or fails to do — but the boss and owner should never be alone — most decisions should come from recommendations developed from research from the staff.

      Well Done,

    • Hally, you make a good point. Teamwork is extremely important in any situation. In the professor’s situation, the team needed to put aside their insecurities and find a solution. They had immense pressure (I mean, who wouldn’t?), but they all tried their best to persevere.

  17. I have no idea what it was like to be aware of such a terrible event. Being told that the world will end is not something I’d like to hear. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to manage a company during those terrible moments. I could see how uncertain you and your team were during that time. When your boss told you to “think of it as small business” I could see how truly effective that could be. If you look at it as small business, you could understand how to manage the situation. You had to get things done no matter how big or small the situation was. In your situation, it was a pretty big one. I learned that we must focus and use our knowledge so we can manage any situation. We must never lose sight of our goal, no matter how impossible it may seem.

    • Raymond, I agree with your last point very much. No matter how tough our job gets, as manager the job is clear to lead the team and always have your goal in sight and when the time for promotion comes you have to trust the professionals to do their job. Especially in moments like this when the future is unclear. The biggest motivator for the company is to achieve that goal. We have to be clear of what we aim for always.

    • I agree with you. It would be terrible to be aware of such terrible event. And also it must have been very difficult for a manager to keep doing his work in those difficult times.

    • Raymond, you are right — uncertainty is always a challenge for managers in most any situation or level in an organization.


  18. Its incredible how you managed to keep going in a moment like this. When you didn’t know what would turn out to be the future because the world was said to end. You were a small business owner who is used to do the work yourself and you didn’t know how to run a large operation. They put you in charge of various professionals and you had to trust them to do the work while you were the manager and delegated the tasks. It seems hard to imagine to be put in a position like that where you had to learn yourself how to pull through with just a little advice form the governor, which is insufficient to what the position you were put in especially with the deadline approaching with practically a small amount of time to learn. I guess this is just part of taking part in a new position of management.

  19. In the time of the events of this article you can notice how people freaked out because they thought the world would end. They got carried away with the idea that the world was going to end in the 2000s and did everything according to that “due date”. Also, being a management of an important company may be very complicated according to the circumstances. The manager had to do something for this “due date” and it was hard for him to gather all the people to collaborate in a short amount of time.

    • Melissa, true, the concern, indeed the near-terror of many technologists during the Year 2000 roll-over was driven by the uncertainty of every computer going from (19)99 to (20)00. There were too many unknown unknowns.

      The best that the managers could do was to reduce the risk.

      Well Said,

  20. Nikolai Senchenko

    It sounds like a huge change going from managing a small business to a large one. It’s interesting how the difficulty comes in looking at the bigger picture at letting go of the minor details. That is why it’s really important to trust your team that you’re managing in a large business like you would your partners and employees in your own small business. If the same level of trust is there, then you are more able to focus on larger aspects of the business instead of the minor details that small business owner’s face. Also, it must have been a very stressful time to run a business during the frenzy that the end of the world belief created. During that time, all you could do is put trust team, delegate the tasks that needed to be done, and hope for the best.

  21. Managing a team through a “crisis situation” has to be the utmost test out there for any type of leader or manager. I’m almost envious of the opportunity, but would also be terrified of the failure that could have been at hand. A lot of what I am seeing from successful managers is how important clear and direct communication can be and the better communicator you are, the better leader you are and the more your peers respect you.

  22. I have found that the most effective managers are those that are able to delegate not in high-pressure situations, but in situations leading up to the high-pressure situations. If a manager can effectively communicate with their team on a day-to-day basis, formulating relationships and creating work environment norms, it will be easy for a team to operate effectively with one another when they find themselves in time sensitive situations because they are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their peers. Managers will be able to effectively delegate tasks if they are familiar with their team and their abilities. Additionally, it is easier to deal with conflict, which typically arises in sensitive situations, if peers and managers alike have relationships outside of dictating tasks.

  23. Times of trouble seem to bring out the best and worst in people, but it truly tests the manager/leader and his capability to manage and lead. The possibility of the world ending is certainly a time that would call for a lot of stress and uncertainty for the manager, as it did for you. As mentioned in the article, “”there was an unstoppable countdown and [you] had to trust the work to the professionals.” For someone who does not believe or trust in the capability of his staff, this situation would have been even more of a disaster than the world ending. However, the good manager/leader should surround himself with a great team of people that he can always trust and depend on, regardless of the situation they are in. This way, the team can work together to achieve a common goal, despite the craziness that surrounds them.

    • Professor Yoest, outstanding article discussing an experience you once had with underlying teachings that relate directly to our management class. An interest factor that I found interesting was when the boss told you to simplify the situation as much as possible. The boss directed you to take a small group of people and run them as a team in a business. This is astonishing. In a time of complete craziness, it was more productive to take a small group and simplify the situation rather than involve thousands of people. Discussed in class is that there are certain situations that a small group of people with a common goal and an involved leader can in many instances be more productive than large corporations.

  24. Managing a team through a crisis is one of the hardest things you have to do as a manager. Anyone can be a successful manager if everything goes smooth. However the fact is that no business is every going to be perfect. As a good manager, you should be able to keep calm in critical situations so that you can make the right decision. If you do not think about your decision and get nervous, that is when you are going to make a bad decision.

  25. Professor Yoest,
    First of all I want to say that I loved this piece. Shared the link to some managers whom I feel could benefit from it!
    My questions for you are:
    How do you stop yourself from micromanaging?
    Is there really a way to instill absolute trust in your team?
    and if you get to the point where you can put perfection and attention to detail aside, how do you recover if your team lets you down?

  26. When faced with something thought to bring about Armageddon, the best thing you can do is remain calm. I think it is admirable when someone like Governor Gilmore knows what he can and can’t do. It shows that they have been thinking about a problem, both its solutions and its consequences. It takes a good leader to realize the things that are futile so he can focus on the things he still has time to work on. The best thing he can do is delegate because no one can finish all of the important tasks themselves and have time to spare.

  27. So many times we over look things, and it can cause massive panic and overreaction. I think 215 million dollars is somewhat of an overreaction. A lot of the times as a manager you need to be worried about every possible outcome or every possible failure but I think it is key to note you don’t need to spend all of your money on just simply ideas and not solutions.

  28. I found this article to be very interesting, first only that I had no idea that the state of Virginia was as essential as it was to the development of the internet. Additionally I believe that it was very important that the Governor did all that he could to prepare for what could have been an incredibly disastrous event, both economically and from a public safety concern. As has been often noted it is always necessary for leader to maintain control in stressful situations such as this. The necessity for the governor to call in numerous firms to prepare for this ‘impending doom’ reminds me of a Benjamin Franklin quote, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”, especially when tasked with the safety of numerous citizens I believe this was an incredibly wise decision by the governor.

  29. Successful small businesses are so successful because of their work ethic and because of their structure. By structure, I mean everyone has a role and knows exactly how to function in that role. So if this work ethic is so successful, and is usually one of the big factors in putting these businesses on the map and expanding them, why shouldn’t this work ethic carry over to large businesses? It’s not so easy to carry that kind of ethic over to such a large scale, but when it’s done correctly it can make that business wildly successful.

  30. It’s so important for managers to be able to recognize every possible cause and effect of different decisions, which is obviously not an easy thing to do. I think that the easiest way to do that starts with building a strong, trustworthy team as a manager.

  31. One of things we learned this semester in MGT 310 is that a true leader must be able to adapt. When you are in a time of crisis you must adapt and not do things the same way as you would have. It is impossible to predict the future and you must be prepared if things do not go as planned. True leaders thrive in times of crisis and under pressure.

  32. True leaders are able to succeed in times of crisis. We learned this semester in MGT 310 that leaders must be able to adapt, and times of crisis are the when a leader really must adapt. Times of crisis are impossible to predict but leaders should be able to anticipate and plan for anything. A person’s true nature is shown in times of pressure and it is how they react then that can really make the difference.

  33. Elizabeth Gittings

    When someone is good at something, and they know they can do it the right way their way every time, why would you delegate it? I think this is a mentality that many people have including myself. I have a hard time allowing other people to help me with my tasks when I like it done my way or the highway. This changed when I was once told that a good manager trusts the people they hire, and that you know a good manager when they don’t have to move a finger for their work to be done. A real manager manages people, not tasks, and makes sure that these people get the job done. This article portrays that, and the unnecessary stress that managers continuously put on themselves when they pay people to do the work for them.

  34. Sometimes we take advantage of what we have. If technology didn’t exist, I believe there would be many managers trying to figure out the best way to handle the situation. Managers would want to do it themselves because they want it done right, especially with something huge like technology. Managers have to be flexible and manage people and projects in a different way while still being on budget and on time. When not knowing when something bad is going to happen or wondering if something bad is going to happen puts the pressure on. If the manager does not have a plan for when disaster strikes, the whole company could go out of business. Every manager should have a plan for if/when technology is not there or fails us.

  35. Whether you are an intern or CEO of the company, delegation is one of the most difficult tasks to perform and carry out. As an intern for Fox Business Network, I struggle with retaining and performing the specific tasks delegated to me by my manager and other staff employees, just the same as the Chief of the D.C. Bureau is constantly running around the offices and sending out multiple emails trying to figure out who will take up what task. If delegation is done efficiently, a company can run so smoothly and things would get done much quicker. That is why planning in advance is so important and no time can be wasted when doing so.

  36. Throughout my college career I have worked with many leaders in student clubs and internships in D.C. Some of the time, the leaders were very good a delegating tasks and some of the time I felt completely micromanaged and that anything I would do could not be as good as what the managers or leaders could do. I have also been on the other side where I was the leader and would not give any meaningful tasks to my assistant because I thought they would just mess up the projects that I had been working so hard on. That would then end up just creating more work and more stress for me. So if I have learned anything from these experiences I would say that you have to find a good balance between micromanaging and trusting others with different tasks. You cannot do the project alone without spreading yourself to thin and you cannot delegate the whole project away because you do need to check in and make sure your employees understand what they are working on.

  37. Katarina Percopo

    “I called it, ‘attention-to-detail.’ The staff called it ‘micromanaging.”
    This statement really struck me. Most small businesses have a hard time trying to delegate and split up the tasks at hand to the right people that would get the job done. When trying to fix a problem the boss cannot take control and do it all oneself, they must have help from their employees. A boss is supposed to manage and make decisions, not trying to do every little task the business must complete. Another thing that caught my attention was that trust is one of the most important aspects of a business. A boss must be able to trust their employees to get tasks done in the manner in which they expect. The employees need to also have trust and faith in their employer as well.

  38. Stephen Terenzio

    One of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, John D. Rockefeller, has also been described as one of the best delegators. It’s important for leaders to sort through work and tasks that they can do, and send the rest down the line to employees underneath them. One of the keys to successful delegation is having the right people to delegate to. If a leader can select a team that meets their expectations and standards, there’s a greater chance they will trust delegating work to other employees. The important part, however, is the team, if you cannot delegate work down to others because there is uncertainty about their ability to perform, leaders will often end up taking on too many tasks. When this happens everyone’s work quality and production can suffer.

  39. Delegating has always been a huge responsibility of management. Without delegation, there is a loss of order, which could ultimately result in unfinished products and tasks. It is through delegation that projects can be completed on time and efficiently. When managers set deadlines and tell employees the jobs that need to be completed by those deadlines,the tasks can be done on time and the stress involved in those situations can be lessened. Everyone knows the job that they have and this ultimately results and aids in their ability to know what they have to get done and they can get it done well. Employees can focus on the task the delegator gave to them and they don’t have to worry about anything else.

  40. As the head or manager of a company it is important to delegate. You have a set of employees who all have a different set of skills. As the manager, it is your job to put the employee in the best opportunity to succeed. This can be better explained by relating it to football. A football coach should put his player in positions to win one on one battles. For example, a coach will not put his slowest player at running back because they will not succeed in helping the team win. In the same way the managers should use its employees who can best perform a specific task.

  41. An idea that we discussed heavily in organizational behavior and leadership and organizations which I took with you last semester, a big idea that was communicated is that one of the major components of the employee/manager relationship is the employee should be taking work off the managers desk, not adding to it. This is not just on the employees, another concept we heavily discussed was surrounding yourself with people who influence success, not halter it. This relates back to the manager, the ability for the manager to surround himself with the right people is crucial for being able to delegate and lead in a fashion that ultimately leads to success for the organization.

  42. In business, I value the idea of running a big business like a small business more than anything. I grew up with the mindset of always wanting to be successful, especially in the field of business, but to the extent that is actually meaningful, and not where I would just blend into the crowd and not make a difference with my work. I always strive to leave an impact on whoever or whatever I may be doing, no matter how big or small the project may be. This concept to which I value so highly is present in the Y2k Bug article. Professor Yoest was given a task – a task he very much was not used to being given. Instead of blending in with the rest of the company and kind of just let someone else do the job, he took a stand and took that role of treating a big business like a small one. His desire to “roll-up his sleeves and pound keyboard” is very much something I can relate to, because I too am always looking to stretch that extra mile and go above and beyond what I asked of me. Treating this situation as a small business would is exactly the reason why the outcome came to be what it was. I believe if more people in the business world (especially those high up in levels) treated business as a small one, more effective outcomes would come to be.

  43. The article “The Y2K Bug and Running a Big Business Like a Small One” by Jack Yoest, demonstrates the importance of being able to adapt to different situations as a leader. He mentions a personal experience where he had to adapt to a (thought to be) critical situation. Professor Yoest had the Y2K responsibility for Health and Human resources in an enterprise of the Virginia government. He was in charge of managing a large group of IT experts hired to help diminish the interruptions and incidents the Y2K bug could cause on December 31, 1999. It was important for him to adapt to this situation since he wasn’t used to managing a large group of people. In this case, he had to transfer his power to the people who had the information in order for them to complete their tasks. From this experience, he learned that the problem of the Y2K bug wasn’t the possible technology crash but the importance of knowing how to delegate in a situation like this. It is important for managers to learn how to adapt to critical situations because even though they are not the person who is going to solve the problem directly, they are in charge of the people who will.

  44. Handling a team of individuals and creating a bond amongst those individuals is one the hardest adjustments to being a new manager. The next would be assigning roles to those team members and not trying to do everything oneself. It is like An offensive coordinator in football getting the head coaching job and still trying to run the offense he completely forgets about the defense and the team fails. Every great head coach knows that he must hire assistants that are not only capable of the job but also not afraid to take on responsibility. The coach or manager must hire the rite people and set those people up for success, but then it is those employees jobs to execute. Having a great team to rely on can create much less stress for the boss and in result lead to great success.

  45. For most of us, eventually, in our career lives, we will sooner or later be in charge of a group of people. The number of the group, however, will definitely vary, as we go higher on the hierarchy. In this article, was mentioned a great advice, especially for those of us who would be managers for the first time, on how to go about managing these big groups of people. As the advice mentioned “Pick a small team and run them as a small business. It will be the same except with more zeros.” Our schools and universities acknowledge the importance of working with teams, and sometimes, we end up being the leaders in these small teams for class projects. So, most of us, without maybe realizing it, we already have, or soon will be in a leadership position. The quoted advice comes to play after we have worked in a group project setting, as it calls back our previous experiences we had in these small groups, and reassures us that it is going to be similar to that experience, just on a bigger scale, with more members. Some might say that no, there is no comparison between class projects and the real managerial position. But none the less, it is the closest example to reassure a new manager of the way things would be.

  46. Brandon Johnston

    One of the biggest challenges for a new manager is to figure out what needs to be done to get the team working well together well and smoothly. In the article, the manager seemed to be overwhelmed by the amount of work and people that he had to manage, but was given the advice of “Pick a small team and run them as a business. It will be the same except with more zeros.” To me, this was important for two reasons. The first reason is that there are many cases growing up in different parts of our lives where we are put in the same situation, with the difference being that we aren’t managing a business. Whether this is through school, sports, or other extracurricular activities, there are always those who lead a small group, just like what was being asked of in the article. This familiarity makes tasks like this seem easier, as you have been in similar situations as before. The reason this is so important to me is because that this can be seen as a reassuring tactic to calm and get a new manager ready, as these situations are something that can be related to, just on a bigger scale. I am not saying that this will instantly make the task easier, but it takes away some of the stress and doubt that a new manager might have.

  47. No one can less agree with the fact that technology has eased our work everywhere, say it at home or in business but managing a projects or work is something for which you need the right skills and ‘know how’ kind of attitude. No matter how much we all praise that technology is bringing new developments in the corporate world, reducing the need for manpower and saving lots of financial resources for all organizations, delegating projects and getting things done through staff at workplace is completely a different kind of a story.

    Even though our dependence on technology has made projects and jobs more successful but ultimately at the end of the day, we still need people physically available those manage people who are working on various projects and using the ‘so called’ technology to get the projects finished. This cannot be done by only relying on technology, organizations around the world still need that human skill to make things happen on a timely schedule. Technology surely helps in making those projects easy to work on, but it doesn’t helps at all when finishing that project in a limited amount of time available to the team or a workforce at large.

  48. Natalie M Barbieri

    Technology is never the issue. It is always personnel. And, sometimes this personnel is US. I am definitely my own worst enemy. I like to blame technology for my discretions, but usually if I was better at my job, the incident would have never occurred. In teaching, I can usually get something done if I plan ahead. If I do not plan and something goes wrong with the technology, I am in an uproar, but I should have planned to complete the task previously. The same thing goes for my side business. Sometimes my packaging labels are wrong, and I get angry, but if I would have printed my labels previously, this would not have been an issue. I have yet to learn from my mistakes.

  49. This article shows us again how high is the importance of communication and right leadership. If it comes to any projects – having skilled, qualified team is not enough to solve the problems and manage the situation. Especially, when the project involved hundreds of people, you have to be able to delegate responsibilities because it is the only way to make all elements of the project work. I personally, always struggle with delegation of tasks. It is hard to have strong trust that your people will do as much as possible to make things work out. On the other hand, I have also learnt that if you put some trust, little by little, people appreciate that and are able to work harder to meet your expectations. What is more, the big part of delegation of responsibilities is the importance of the deputies in the completed staff work. Every manager or leader need someone to count on and trust. We all have to start from the right communication to build strong relations with people in the work environment as well as in the private life. We need to first be for our subordinates to expect them to be devoted to us.

  50. harshani kumarasinghe

    I think the leadership with the proper planning despite of what type of a technology or process you are planning will be a key matter n this mentioned the work delegation is the key role where you see the beauty of a desired leadership skilled while working with different personnel with different levels of skills but yet to directing them for a one task is hard to believe. treating your own team fairly and building confidence will make up the team spirit and the make their personalities stronger.the technology plays the huge role it could make things easier or the things complex it is all depends ho we use it and corporate in to our work, but still we love in a human world where our end customers would be humans at some point so we still need to build competence levels of our team rather than depending on technology.

  51. Considering today’s advanced technology looking back to Y2K problem seems ridiculous. However every milestone had its own impact in changing the pace of global innovations in technology and business. There are some tactics that can be applied in a small businnes that works for a big businnes either. Sometimes the tasks that seem daunting and immense can actually be dealt with following fundamental principles of relatively easy tasks. Yes, the scope and impact of the decisions can be vastly different but essential problem solving approaches resemble or even identical.

  52. Being able to run a small business may seem like a minuscule task to someone running a big business. This article does a great job of explaining how the ability to run an efficient small business is relevant to running a big business. Having such a great deal of responsibility can cause anyone a great deal of pressure but the way that pressure is handled can be the difference between life and death, as displayed in this article. The advice the Governor really stuck out to me, “Pick a small team and run them as a small business.” This advice I find very interesting because when running a big business many believe their work goes unnoticed or it does not directly contribute to the goal of the business. However, this is unlike a small business everyone has a role and knows their role is just as important as any other role. Those who work in small businesses recognize the importance of their work and the contributions they make. This article does a great job of displaying how this can be possible in a big business.

  53. James F. Turner IV

    Y2K is probably one of the biggest overreactions our society has ever faced. Many people panicked about Y2K and declared it as the end of the world as we know it. I found this article very enticing as it shows how a government and a consultant dealt with the “end of the world as we know it”. The main issue that Jack Yoest faced in this article was a deadline with a group of people that he must instruct. The state of Virginia had to be operational even with the doom of Y2K. The proper planning was essential in preparing for this crisis. The article talks about running this important project as if it was a small business. The idea itself is oxymoronic and a difficult idea to grasp. But, this is an interesting concept for a crisis as a small business takes a lot of delegating. A small business usually has a CEO that gives very precise instructions on how employees should be working. In other words, a CEO of a small business becomes a master delegator. Delegating is in fact a very important part of a crisis. A crisis needs to be handled by a strong leader who can handle giving out specific orders to a group of people. Delegation can solve a crisis because when a strong leader gives provides a division of labor, it then provides for a successful project. Treating a crisis, a small business is in fact how you handle a business.

  54. Martha Salazar Banda

    The Y2K story seems like taking out of a movie. What would younger generations think of it? Nowadays, every answer is on Google. The idea of the “end of the world” at least, technologically speaking seems unbearable for younger minds. I recall my thirteen year old self asking my dad about it, I have heard of it in the news, and as curious as I am, I wanted to know what they were talking about. My dad, did not wanted to scare me, but I can be certain that he actually was. Being an accountant and working in the financial department of a large company and having to face the uncertainty of losing all the stored information must be a pretty scary thing. Like I mentioned, he worked for a large company, how do you find the balance and manage a large corporation as a small one, especially in difficult situations like this one, when every single move is risky and I could result in a big expense for the company. Delegating responsibilities is a job made for a manager, who is in charge and knows better each and everyone of his followers. In the end, there is only one way to know if we will be successful, this is by taking a chance.

  55. My opinion that I found this article to be really interesting. I learned that small business are so successful because of their work ethic and structure. I mean that everyone has to have a role and knows exactly how to function in that role. In my opinion, handling team of individuals is one of the hardest adjustment for being a new manager. Moreover, one of the most significant challenge for new manager is to figure out what needs to be done to get the team working well together well and smoothly. The article shows us how high is important of communication and right leadership. I believe that the leadership with proper planning despite of what type of technology or process you are planning will be a key matter especially in this subject.

  56. Consistency is key for anyone trying to succeed but is especially necessary for leaders. Leaders must be consistent for themselves and for the members of the team. Leaders need to be there day in and day out for their team because the team will recognize this effort from the boss and in turn perform better. Another aspect of consistency is having the same temper and have an established decision making process. Teams suffer when the leader makes sporadic and uninformed decisions because he/she feels like it. This type of decision making makes the team focus on the leader when the should be focused on their goals and company goals. Another interesting part of the article was when you talked about how the consultants knew you were the boss and only interfered when you needed it or were going to make an ill-advised decision. This parallels with our knowing of completed staff work. They let you, the boss, worry about things you needed to worry about while the team came up with plans that could be easily implemented if decided to act upon them.

  57. Byambasuren Myagmar

    The lesson learned was that the technology was the easy part. The real challenge was in delegation and managing projects — through people — on time and on budget.

    That is exactly the textbook “Leadership: Enhancing the Lessons of Experience” was highlighting on some chapters. That delegation helps not the only leader but also followers get to grow. And positive feedback just after delegation is vital for both leader and follower.

    I took away from this article that says “Work gets done by people more than technology”. And for me, every leader or manager has weak or strength button that pops up in random situations. For me, being self -aware in emotional intelligence is one of the critical skill including delegation and technology adaption skill.

  58. This article brought up a good point in that to get the job done right you have to have trust in your coworkers and professional to get the job done. In the Y2k situation, there was a lot riding on the fact that when the year changed, there would not be serious issues that could harm the citizen of Virginia. Since the development of the internet, there had not been a huge year change anywhere close to the changing of the millennium, and this required a highly skilled and capable staff to get the job done.
    In many situations, including this one, hiring contractors in the best option to ensure the jobs get done correctly. There is a large difference between keeping the daily functions of software up and running and preparing the systems for the Y2k. As a manager and a leader, it is important to know when you are going outside of your comfort zone and knowledge to tackle certain situations. It was an excellent move on behalf of Gilmore to hire a contracting group to ensure everything would run smoothly. Going forward I will take the advice of this article and not be afraid to delegate tasks to others, like bringing in a company that specializes in a specific task or handing out projects to the people I work with. At the end of the day, you must be on time and on budget and the only way to do that is to work with your team members.

  59. Managing a business, whether it be a large or small one, requires certain leadership skills. One of the most important skills of a manager is to be able to delegate responsibilities to subordinates. It is easy to get caught up in the details of the work, and many people have the mindset that “if they want something done right they should do it themselves”. The key to fixing this issue is trusting your employees and the process they went through to get in that position. Many times they are the expert, as they have gone through detailed proper training to get the job done and can do it more quickly. The use of technology was another important topic brought up in this article. As technology is developing it can be hard to keep up with how to use it efficiently. When employees are trained to used specific software, they are able to get the job done more quickly. Overall, the best way to delegate responsibilities without getting anxious about it is to have faith in your employees, your team and your company. Whether it be a small or large business having a personal connection with employees will help it succeed.

  60. Bernardo Guillamon

    What I like about this article is how it highlights the importance of management. In the article, Professor Yoest was trying to focus on the “attention to detail” and working on things he shouldn’t have. This is a perfect example of the management technique of delegation. If Professor Yoest had known the importance of delegation, it would have yielded a greater output (even though nothing happened, and the goal was still met). Delegation increases efficiency and effectiveness within the organization by allowing the manager/leader to focus on what’s important- making the big decisions. The boss should never have to too much stuff on his desk and if the boss is not delegating the work, then it becomes the employee’s duty to anticipate and try to alleviate the workload, allowing for a more fluid organizational workflow and maximized productivity.

  61. It is interesting that the things we may consider the hardest part in a business say the accounting, technology, or financing etc. are actually a lot less complicated than some of the team work people encounter. Delegating and managing people is a challenge because interpersonal differences. Additionally, it is sometimes easier when working in a group to micromanage everyone so you know things are getting done right. However, it creates tension and a lack of trust within the team. The manager is suppose to make sure the team succeeds and works together through delegating.

  62. I found it very interesting how you found for yourself a key component to resolving this issue was managerial problem more so than a technical one. You note that you were lost in the weeds at times with your sleeves rolled up doing actual work as compared to managing others. I wonder to what degree your personal involvement and technical knowledge must be present in order to properly lead. While it is obviously detrimental to get lost in the weeds as a manager it appears you had some merit in doing so because this gave you a better understanding of the task and problem at hand. If you did not have this technical knowledge you likely would not have been able to lead and manage these individuals to accomplish your task. How can we as managers balance the line between micromanaging employees and ensuring the task at hand is completed as needs to be? Delegation is such a powerful, useful, and necessary tool for any organization so how can we maximize its multiplying effect while also ensuring great work is done? It seems as though a way must be created for managers to verify their employees work while not being overbearing.


    I do think that businesses would work better if people treated them like a small business like this article talks about. With what happened with the Y2k incident they worked together for the betterment of society to figure out what was going on and to make sure the 2-digit code didn’t reset when it went from 1990 to 2000. How often in life can we come together as a group to work for the better? I think a lot of us could do a lot of good by pitching in when others need help. Maybe this is just a dream, but I think working together is a great way to have everyone be successful.

  64. As highlighted in this article, the ability for a manager to delegate tasks is vital. It can be commonly misunderstood that a manager is supposed to know how to do everything in the company. Oftentimes, this is not the case. A manager is needed to lead and influence people to get work done. A good manager will have the influence and power to get subordinates to think critically and solve problems. This is directly related to the delegation of tasks. Putting trust in your employees will generate positive outcomes for the company, including greater job satisfaction, and increased productivity. It is important for managers to put people in the position who are trustworthy to make important decisions. This will allow employees to take on more responsibility, which will prepare them for future managerial roles.

  65. The advantage of managing a large corporation as a small business comes from the fact that all departments are under the same roof and can simultaneously and more effectively solve an issue; leading to less downtime resolving an issue. It is easier to manage people due to driving change being facilitated.I agree with Professor’s point on micromanagement and how little was accomplished when one individual focuses on a problem, rather than a group. It was interesting to read that saving the world from the Y2K apocalypse was not the hard part, but the management of people was. In a large corporation, it is hard to delegate people because many become a number, rather than a collaborative individual. This makes me think of the saying, “if you want something done right, then do it yourself” – Professor Yoest stayed keen when working and although he has an IT group, he was determined to find a solution to the problem at hand. You can have all the information needed to solve a problem, but if you don’t know how to manage the people providing the information, it becomes useless. Oftentimes, large corporations lack the ability to manage people and the information they can contribute.

  66. Isabel Rodriguez

    There is great importance in organization and the practice of communication. Both of these tools will allow for projects, assignments, or even just an average conversation to be completed efficiently. With this being said, these tools could be used alongside understanding a new topic or system all on your own. The topic at hand could always be explained by an external individual, but at the end of the day, it is you, and you alone, who needs to truly understand and pay close attention. These skills will not always be easy to master, however, if they are practiced, they can make an individual well rounded. Personally, I believe that being organized is a skill that will take you the farthest because with organization, you have the ability to work with others, complete tasks promptly, manage a group, etc. With this being said, I believe that anyone can manage a group with the ability to stay in control. I personally resonated with this article because I enjoy being organized and detail-oriented in my everyday school work and life. Therefore, I can truly agree, first hand, that all the skills previously mentioned are the keys to success in life.

  67. As we’ve been discussing throughout the course of your class, professor, managers must be able to delegate tasks in order for the organization to be effective and efficient. A lot of managers run into problems because they feel they must do everything themselves, but in reality, the purpose of having staff is so that the manager can delegate tasks to them. In doing so, the manager can focus on making strategic and long-term decisions for the business, and staffers are motivated because they are being assigned tasks that are vital to the performance of the company. Furthermore, these workers become much more knowledgeable and experienced, so when the boss is not present, things will still run just as smoothly as if he or she was in the office. In contrast, if these workers were only given simple, systematic tasks, they would be less inclined to work hard. Also, if the staff members perform delegated tasks effectively, it shows that the manager is successful, which results in promotion opportunities for both the manager and his or her staff. As the manager climbs the corporate ladder, his or her well-trained staff members will be able to fill in that position.

  68. One thing everyone knows in a business is that the manager has one very important task to do and that is to delegate. The manager needs to authorize his employees to the best of his ability so that those employees will succeed. Another component to this is the manager needs to be able to hire the right individuals because when the manager surrounds himself/herself with the right people then it will be much easier to delegate and ultimately find success. The manager cannot do all the tasks himself, so he needs his employees to pick up the slack and work on it together so that the company can have the best outcome. Delegating individuals is not something that is easy, but if you do it right, nothing is stopping you. Without delegating though, the management of the company will fall apart. This is because there is no one telling anyone what to do and this is a loss of order. This would mean that there would be a result of unfinished tasks and products. When delegating these employees, a manager has to keep in mind that some individuals are better at some tasks than others. So, the manager must authorize his employees carefully and this will lead to the best efficiency.

  69. This article provides a very interesting perspective in the fine that managers have to make in their decision making and leadership process. In a time like Y2K it was very easy for someone to get swept up in the commotion of the expected impending doom, and would make the already difficult job of managing a group of employees even tougher. The advice that the governor gave about dealing with subordinates as if they were part of a small team is really insightful. By dealing with managerial duties as if it was part of a small group managers gain the potential to have more trust in their employees, and it’s easier to establish a cohesive culture. Both of these would be very useful in the days leading up to Y2K because they were very stressful for everybody, and the companies that have a strong culture and high levels of trust are able to perform more efficiently in times of high stress or adversity. Additionally, in times like these it’s important for the manager to have faith in the abilities of his employees. Y2K must’ve been a scary time to be alive because any situation where there is talk about the world ending tensions get high. However, the stress of being a manager at the time definitely wouldn’t have made things easier.

  70. The title of the article is very interesting, since I never thought about how someone could run a big business like a small one. But after reading the article, I now understand the importance of everyone in a business doing their job correctly. Also, I believe that managers need to trust their employees so they can do their work right and at the same time everyone is being efficient. One takeaway from the reading is that managers have to learn how to run a big business like a small one. Managers have to make sure they are correctly delegating tasks and being efficient in the business project through their employees. I agree that technology is always part of our work day but we cannot always rely on it. That is why we have to always have strong work ethics and understand the importance of how to delegate tasks to be successful. Delegating and managing are skills that have to be developed for a manager to become successful at his position. If he knows how to delegate and manage, it will become easier for a business to be effective and efficient. I really enjoyed this article because it’s a great advice for business students. I have learned a tactical strategy, handling a big business like a small one. Business situations are solved with knowledge and practical solutions always aiming towards the end goal of the business.

  71. Gisselle Barreto

    Growing up, I remember my siblings telling me stories about how the whole world was losing it basically towards the end of the year in 1999. A lot of people went in hiding supposedly and were generally stocking up preparing for the worst. Nevertheless, nothing happened. I could not imagine if what Yoest described in the article were to have actually happened. Like hospitals and prisons losing their security breach or machines losing power. Especially, if all the water valves got mixed up-that would have been a nightmare. At that point, what else could you do but brace for impact? Better safe than sorry. At least Y2K was prepared if all went sideways. Amidst the chaos, I can see why Yoest would want to be hands on. However, I do like how he pointed out that it drew time from his actual job which was to manage his managers. I definitely agree with him that in high pressure situations like that it is important to listen to your experts and evaluate alternatives accordingly. Great insightful article!

  72. At the beginning of the reading, I found it difficult to accept that an individual could manage a big company simultaneously; the way small business are run. This article demonstrates that the initial cause of a small business is vital, and the reason is that all individuals are always working on a specific category. Still, in the end, they get the job completed on time. I appreciated the reading’s message since it proves that you have to work hard to get what you want to obtain the end goal desired. I found it interesting when the article mentioned technology was not the biggest worry; it was the easiest part, but the challenge depended on maintaining the actual projects. I believe it applies to tasks done today, too, since technology is not an issue; it is finding productive ways to utilize it.

  73. If someone told me that it is possible to run a big business like a small one, I would’ve said they were lying. This article taught me that I was wrong about such a thing. I learned that big companies can be managed like small ones. In the article attention to detail is mentioned, but the staff working at the time called it micromanaging. I can see the importance behind attention to detail especially when given such an important task. If you’re starting at a new job and the manager gives you a job to do, you’re not going to breeze through it with no attention to detail. If you don’t pay attention to detail and you manage to mess something up, you’ll get fired. When managing a big company like you would a small business, I now understand how important trust is within the business. Attention to detail is very important, but so is being able to trust your employees. A manager must be able to delegate tasks to certain staff members in order to get more tasks done in a shorter period of time. There has to be a level of trust between the staff and a manager when it comes to a business or else the business may fail. It seems to me that without trust, the company wouldn’t be able to perform to its full capability.

  74. Esmeralda Sevilla

    I found this article really interesting. I imagine that managing a team through a crisis is not easy. A good manager needs to keep calm to make the right decisions. If you do not think clearly, then you are going to make bad decisions. I also believe that a manager cannot solve a problem on their own that is why delegating tasks is very important; this will help get the job done throughout the organization. A problem might occur when managers think that employees cannot do the job as well as they can. That is why a manager needs to trust their team, and if they do that, they will see that the staff will get the task done. Trust is an essential part of the process; a manager needs to trust their employees to get the job done. Also, delegation gives the opportunity for the staff to flourish their abilities and skills. Through delegating powers, the team gets a feeling of importance and gets motivated to work and provide good results. Also, efficiency arises when duties are transferred to people, helping a manager plan better and be relieved from heavy workload. As mentioned before, if a manager trusts themselves and their team, he/she will be amazed by how efficiently the team can come up with ideas to solve a problem faster. Delegation leads to better decisions; that is why I think that delegation is the way to success!

  75. The Y2k bug was a computer bug that caused problems for dates after December 1999. Since many people thought that the world would end before the year 2000, Professor Yoest and his organization tried to combat the Y2k bug and technology was becoming more advanced in the year 2000. Many of the staff were under pressure to combat it because the world and their careers were at stake, also the uncertainty of the Y2K bug was putting people on edge leading to millennium madness.

    Professor Yoest had a hard time doing some tasks because he was a small business owner and didn’t deal with large organizations and was used to micromanaging. However, in the end, Virginia spent 215 million dollars and exterminated the Y2K bug. Many staff realized that the problem was solved and that the problem seemed bigger than it actually was. The only struggle was having a deadline, a budget, and managing people and projects. but everything else, including the technology part, was easy for them.

  76. Though NYE in 1999 may not have been fun for those working to keep the world afloat, I can imagine that the parties were definitely fun to be at. I loved how this article portrays the very real sense of danger that was felt by the world towards a situation that people now chuckle at when reminiscing. I also have often found myself struggling with the art of delegating tasks. In certain predicaments, when there is not much work to be done, delegating tasks is not needed. I would rather do the work myself because I know for a fact that it will be completed. However, once the workload becomes too heavy, trust in fellow employees must be a factor. Running a large corporation as though it was a small business may sound difficult at first; however, it can be done. Whether or not a company is efficient is based largely on a managers mindset towards managing their employees. If a manager feels that he can trust his employees, the company will succeed because the manager will be able to delegate many tasks. This will lead to a good relationship between the manager and the employees because the manager will not be as stressed as usual.

  77. The idea of running a big business like a small one has never really crossed my mind, probably because I didn’t think it was possible. But, I can see why this method can be effective after reading this article. There’s a hierarchy in businesses, and managers or leaders need to use it to their advantage. They are the ones who manage other managers, who then manage other managers, and then other employees. The idea of delegating can be scary to many people, I know it is for me. There isn’t anyone that you’ll trust like yourself, and I actually often find myself checking after other people’s work to make sure it was done the right way, or at least the way that’s right in my mind. But this defeats the whole purpose of having a team behind you. Not to mention it would be downright impossible in this type of situation. This is a really important lesson that anyone who wants to own or lead a business needs to learn. Stepping away from what you may think as just being “detail-oriented,” will allow for the company to be ran effectively where people are productive and the amount of work being done is maximized.

  78. There have been plenty of stories that I have heard about the world coming to an end, but 1999 is one that stood out the most to me. The way that you describe how people were acting and reacting to the news of the end of the world is shocking and nevertheless, scary. It is shocking to me to hear that it is possible to run a big business like a small one. However, it does make sense. If the focus stays on the mission of the company by delegating tasks, paying close attention to detail, having a clear head with as much information as possible to make good decisions, and so on, there will be an overall success for the company, big or small. By going through the cray situation that you did, I found it interesting how you mention that the technology was the easy part but delegating and managing projects was the hard part. I believe that it is so important in a company as a manager to be able to trust all employees so that they can have certain jobs that will eventually build their confidence. By them being successful and therefore confident, the company expands its talent and resources and becomes a better overall company.

  79. This was an extremely interesting article because it makes something so complicated become very simple. When you think about big businesses, you think that is nearly impossible to have your operations run smoothly. However, this article puts it into a different perspective. This article says that a big business is like running a small business. By treating a large business as a small business, it shows that everyone and all leaders are still under one roof and they if everyone works together as a team, their operations are still able to run smoothly. When you hear large business, it can sound quite intimidating, but it all boils down to the same process and if everyone works together, then they can be successful. The second point that stood out to me is that you can have the smartest people and all the information needed, but if you can’t be organized or able to delegate then nothing will get done. As a manager, organization is key because if you aren’t organized then you aren’t able to delegate tasks to the proper people. A manager cannot do everything by themselves, so the team needs to be able to work together so they can perform efficiently.

  80. Making sure a business is operating smoothly is not an easy task for anyone to complete. As a manager during a crisis or a big problem there can be many things that do not go your way, but the best way to deal with so is being calm and confident. This way everyone on the job buys into what you’re trying to accomplish and then they gain the managers trust. This can go a long way especially when it comes to employees efficiency in the workplace. Running a big business like a small one seems like an unlikely way to be successful but it does work. Keeping a close bond and relationship will go a long way in gaining your employees trust and work ethic. Overall, I find this article to be very interesting and different, it throws different perspectives and ways to keep employees on track and successful. My takeaway from this is, as a manager there are different ways to gain efficiency in the workplace and gaining trust and having confidence is a main route of success.

  81. This article was very interesting to read. I think that the main take away from this article is that you can’t control everything that happens in this world but the one thing that you do have control over is the way that you act and handle your team of people around you. In this article it talks about a universal bug that was supposedly going to destroy the internet and how the government took action to make sure that it didn’t destroy the entire worlds network. When looking back it can be seen that no matter what happened, if the disaster happened or not, the biggest feat to overcome was the delegation of the people involved in trying to control the bug. In any group of people, whether it be a company or the government, the delegation of people is the deciding factor on whether or not your group will succeed. Without a well-functioning team behind you as a leader then you will get nowhere and information will fall through the cracks. As a leader you must control your employees well and everything else will fall into place. The hardest part of any project will always be the people.

  82. When in charge of an important task, it is important to make sure everyone is on the same page and will complete their task(s). 99% of the things could go according to plan, but if one person does not do their job, it ruins the whole operation for the entire company. In this article, the unpredictability of what was going to happen to the internet cause great cancer. Yet, the only thing you can stay on top of is the effectiveness of you and your company. One way to help with that is by building trust with your employees. If your employees trust you and know you have their back even if things get messed up, it will give them a built-in sense of comfort. If an outside force messes with your operation and it does not work according to plan, you have to adjust accordingly. But, with that in mind, also know that you did everything you were supposed to and the plans were ruined by something else. It is so hard to expect the unexpected, yet if you and your employees are ready to adjust, that is the best way to prepare them.

  83. Ever since I enrolled for this class, I realized how much management skills are underrated (at least on my part) We see people on their LinkedIn profile adding “management” under the “skills” section but the reality is, most of us only the superficial surface of management and what it takes to be a manager. This article offers great insights – by showing that the manager was not a tech-savvy guru but using his knowledge of team-work and human behavior, he was able to add what the team was really missing – someone to coordinate tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy teams. It takes a lot of work to improvise in stressful situations and there one should be able to tailor his skills and logic to each situation

  84. This article shows one of the greatest examples of communication you can find. As someone who possibly wants to look for a career in high-tech sales, I directly related to the dilemma of not understanding the technology that I may have to sell. Although technology can seem intimidating and confusing for those who have worked in business their whole lives, I believe Professor Yoest has a great point that the hardest part is truly managing these operations. If a team can not work together in a cohesive unit, the technology that is being applied has no directly implication. If there is no plan of action, the people who know how to work and operate the technology will not even have an opportunity to display their abilities.

  85. Whether we are discussing technology or any other matter, leadership and teamwork are not easy. Besides needing proper communication skills, one must have the ability to manage. To manage something or someone does not mean to simply exercise your opinion and or boss people around. If that is what it means to manage, people would volunteer every time and Professor Yoest would not be writing this article. Though I was very young at the time this article refers to, the points about leadership are strong and relevant even today. Regardless of what position you start out in, delegation and communication are two of the hardest learning curves for any leader. For a select few, this talent comes easily, but for many it takes years to become even somewhat comfortable in these areas. It was not wrong for Professor Yoest to have these concerns at the time. I appreciate that Professor Yoest mentions ‘micromanaging’ and ‘attention-to-detail’ as two separate concepts, because they are. To micromanage means to control to a point where there is no room for outside mistakes or changes – you control the situation. Being attentive to detail means paying extra attention to everything you do, but mistakes may still be made. A good manager should be attentive to detail without controlling every specific, acknowledging that mistakes can still occur.

  86. This article shows the clear dangers of micromanagement, no business can function like that. It is key for businesses to have a more liberal regime. This article also emphasizes the need for clear communication, the example shown helps a great deal in understanding this need. Technology may seem difficult, but is also very important for business today. I can see the issues with technology with some of the professors in online classes, but it is necessary, the needs of communication are very important for smooth business operation. The technology, communication, and teamwork, without the limiting factors of micro management are very important.

  87. Under such intense pressure, with the threat of the world ending, I imagine the difficulty of being a leader is multiplied. In such a circumstance, it is understandable that you would want to have everything under control. However, you are not working alone; in this case, our dear professor had some of the best equipped people in the world to deal with this problem. So, it is critical to simply give a sense of direction and structure, they can handle the tiny details. Micromanaging not only makes it more difficult to look at the bigger picture, it creates a culture of mistrust between the manager and the managed. I believe that all of this occurred because of intense pressure, but this article taught me that the threat can sometimes be worse than the actual problem. I imagine our professor nearly went mad thinking about what would happen and how awful it would be, which led to mistakes. All of this from a threat of a disaster, not an actual disaster.

  88. Before reading this article I honestly had no idea how bad December 31, 1999 must’ve been. Everyone really thought the world was ending when the year 2000 came around. For someone who was born in 1999 it is really weird to think that the year I was born was also the year that everyone thought that the world was going to end. Honestly I don’t really like knowing this, it’s messing with my head a bit haha. The way Jack Yoest described the year 2000 as a year of unknown unknowns really puts into perspective how scared everyone must have been during this time. I could not imagine everyone walking around all the time scared about the unknowns as if we did not get a new year every 365 days. I really do not ever want to be in the shoes of someone who has to be held responsible for all things pertaining to Y2K. Just the mere fact that it was a $5 billion dollar enterprise that was in the Virginia system meant to aid the Health and Human Resources. That seems like an unappealing task and definitely must have been tricky to get under order. I really am glad I was only 6 months old at this point in my life.

  89. After reading the article one thing that comes to mind is that sometimes leadership roles don’t mean that you are an expert in that field. Coming on in a role like this may be challenging at first but if comes down to how you manage. The team you work with was hired or is experienced in the field itself already. It comes down to how you can shape them to be the best they can be. Leadership and management are both skills. Some people have them and some don’t. That is okay because that is the whole point of working on a team. Each person is efficient at certain things and if all the parts are working correctly the team succeeds. In the article it was obvious this was a stressful situation. The key to handling situations like this is to remain calm so the team remains calm. A true leader would never show weakness to his/her group because the rest of the team feeds off that energy and could be damaging. The skills we are learning with in this course are exactly the tools we need to be able to handle a leadership role. In the real world nothing is guaranteed and you will not be able to be an expert at everything.

  90. Chris Talamini-Kelemen

    Running a large organization as if it were a small business has interesting implications, and I agree and disagree with the concept. The reality is that it often depends on the circumstances, and each organization is different. On a large scale, I think this concept is true because the principles and concepts that apply to managing a small business also apply to managing a larger organization.

    However, I think there is one important contrast between the two management styles: communication. When considering communication, it is important to note that miscommunication increases when there are more levels (or channels) that information has to travel through. In a small business, if the owner/manager communicates information to the entire staff, everyone receives the information in the exact same manner. On the contrary, in a larger organization, the owner/manager might tell the employees on their team, who then direct the information to the employees on their own individual teams; in this situation, the employees at the lowest levels are receiving the same information, but it is communicated in a different manner. Since every person perceives information uniquely (due to their own individualism), the information often becomes distorted. This is one reason why the concept of feedback is important to ensuring the accuracy of horizontal and vertical communication. When managing a larger organization, this principle is something important for managers to consider.

  91. Running a large organization as a small organization seems like a true challenge, and an unwise decision to manage resources, which will not only run the organization inefficiently, but it will also violate one of the 4 catholic social principles: subsidiarity.
    Subsidiarity is a social principle that establishes that a “Community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good”
    The delegation, then, becomes an important fundamental in any organization. Moises was one of the first to discover the power of delegation by appointing judges to decide minor cases for him and to bring any big dispute to him. In delegating Moses not only found more time to concentrate on a more important issue, but also led the way to succession in case he dies.
    Nowadays nearly every large organization, from a corporate firm like apple to the Catholic Church relies on delegation trying to follow the principle of subsidiarity. These large corporations do so, because they have found that delegating, and not micromanaging, to be effective.

  92. While reading this article, I found it merely impossible for any person to single-handedly lead a large organization. This has nothing against Professor Yoest as I’m sure he did a marvelous job. I like the central idea of this message as it states that every business should be run like a small business. Where every small company has individual expectations for every employee, and these expectations help lead the company to success. Paying close attention is important because every employee is important. This leads back to the four developments of team processes where trust and cohesion in the workplace are important. In order to maintain these processes you must run your business like a small business, in order to maximize efficiency.

  93. This article is an interesting metaphor to make the very true point that it is always about being both on-time and on-budget. I thought the article gave a great example and something that my parents have told me a lot about. Y2K was a worldwide phenomenon that said that technology would be finished in the year 2000. It was a new millennium, a new time, and everything was going to change. While we would find out this was not true at all, there were many companies that prepared for a technological shutdown. Obviously, Professor Yoest’s company was one of these companies. This put him in a tough spot as an inexperienced business leader that had not run a big company before. However, the advice the governor of Virginia gave him was very good and I’m sure holds true today. “Pick a small team and run them as a small business. It will be the same except with more zeros.” It helps a business owner just to keep things as simple as possible and not complicate things if he/she does not need to. This way, if the business is simple, the problems are usually simple as well. Simple problems require simple solutions.

  94. This article is very interesting as it talks about the end of the world and the y2k problem that fueled this fear. Y2k is the belief that technology would be finished and would not carry over to the year 2000. Preparations began all over the country as people were preparing for the end. Businesses and organizations were forced to prepare for the worst. Our Management Professor during this tragedy had to start to think about the worst-case scenario. As a young inexperienced manager, in charge of this company, our management professor was not ready to make that decision. In an Organization, when tragedy and hardships occur, just like this example of Y2k, a leader must think about the company and the betterment of his employees. To truly handle these issues in the right manner, as a leader or manager we must remain calm and try to weather the storm so to say. People are faced with problems every day and a good manager reacts and fixes the problem that has occurred while remaining calm and keeping the best interest of the organization in mind. We might not be able to prepare for every problem that is thrown our way in the workplace or in society. Running a large organization especially in a time like this must’ve been very hard. There was a lot of uncertainty in the world.

  95. “Running a large organization as a small organization”, well how do we do THAT? It sounds like an impossible task.

    In the simplest terms, this is about delegation and management. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the tasks at hand or the resources at one’s disposal. In that instance it’s vital to remember that teams work when they share. That means sharing skills and sharing responsibility. Leadership and management are both skills; like all skills, some people have them and some don’t. That imbalance is perfectly okay because that is the whole point of working on a team. The team succeeds when everyone specializes, just like the economy benefits when producers specialize. In the Prof Yoest’s reminiscing’s it was obvious that the Y2K problem was a stressful situation.

    It can be very difficult to trust others in a situation that requires minute detail with an impossible deadline. Sometimes we feel that it’s better to be at the captains help and reading the map as we go into a storm–when in reality we would be much better at either one of those if someone else helped out. It’s a very fine line between micromanaging and delegation, which is when it’s important to remember that team members are there to help as support staff. Yoest excelled at his duties because he recognized this before he was in over his head. Prudent leadership requires trust and foresight to succeed as a group.

  96. Alba Segura-Cruz

    Due to me being born within the year 2000, I did not know how much of an emphasis on a change of year could be something so important. However, it makes sense due to it being the start of the advancement in technology and many other things. I also found it quite interesting the comparison to Noah and the flood. I find that the Governor giving you the advice of running the team as a small business was rather interesting. I find that it is beneficial because you would run the team to your best ability in order to try and meet the organizational goal. I also found it interesting because he might have figured this was probably a speciality, and was probably easier for you to understand due to past experiences. Also, the article mentioned how staffers viewed the tasks as “micromanaging,” yet the other point of view was “paying attention to detail.” This was an interesting point made because no staffer likes to be micromanaged, and I always thought of micromanage to be a negative thing due to the manager having to be right behind you every step of the way. However, paying attention to detail does not give off the same negative aspect as micromanaging.

  97. The most effective leadership begins with the virtue of humility. As a leader, your humility demonstrates a desire for collaboration rather than internal competition. Humility will open doors for you to get to know your team much better because it is a virtue that can be consistently worked on by always listening to people and hearing what they have to say. A mistake that leaders tend to make is definitely micromanaging. I have found myself in this situation a few times as it can be difficult to trust people with getting every detail correct. It is so much more effective to confide in your team members to get the job done instead of being concerned with hypothetical issues. A humble leader will sometimes pile a lot of work on themselves instead of ordering people around, however there is an effective way to do that without wasting time on things that you could have trusted someone with. Humility is defined as a realistic assessment of your own abilities. That being said, every leader handles high-pressure situations differently but those with humility are able to move forward and adjust to change much more effectively. Overall, when you lead with humility, your team will immediately see the difference thus creating the most strong, well-balanced team.

  98. I think your emphasis on delegating important work is an important challenge many managers will have to face one way or another. I too am someone who wants to do everything themselves because then I know everything that I am doing and do not have to rely on other people to get the work done. It gives me the most peace of mind. I understand, however, that it is not always the most efficient way to complete the task, or even possible at times as you stated citing looming time deadlines. It is certainly a skill one must practice from an early start in a managerial role because the business will not function as a well oiled machine if one man or woman is trying to be every part of that machine.

  99. Professor Yoest’s job experience at Y2K shifted his mentality from “attention-to-detail” to delegation. There was an immense amount of pressure with the idea of Armageddon as we entered the world 2000. Not to mention, the multibillion dollar enterprise that needed to run like a well oiled machine. Governor Gilmore hired the biggest IT consulting firm to help the enterprise, which paved the path for Professor Yoest to run the organization. It was important for Yoest (at that time) to let the consultants run through their plan, without hesitation. Hesitation to give the reins would waste precious time. However, the multiple zeroes in the enterprise’s net worth did not mean anything. Former Governor Jim Gilmore said to treat the enterprise as a small business. With this advice, Professor Yoest made the same mistakes every small business owner makes: the inability to delegate tasks to staff. Attention-to-detail and micromanaging grow from the same root, making it difficult for a leader to realize the difference between the two. In the eyes of business owners: there is an issue of letting go and losing control. Without delegation, the business will dwindle before it could flourish. With the constant evolution of technology, people have the misconception that technology is the hard part. For managers and leaders, it is the easy part, but the hard part is delegating to their team.

  100. Professor Yoest, this is great article that touches on the importance of organization and communication within a company. Managers and team members must trust in each other in order for a business to run efficiently. I completely agree with the idea that one should manage an organization like they manage a small business because this stimulates streamline communication and allows for the team to efficiently solve challenges. In my past working experiences I have witnessed how important communication is in order for the organization to run efficiently and effectively. I also agree with the point that managers cannot do and solve everything and that is why having a team is so important. However, the manager must make sure to properly delegate tasks so everyone is productive and happy in their role. Additionally, a manager must remain calm in times of chaos in order to effectively lead a team because if the manager is showing fear than that will cause fear among the organization.

  101. Fernando Guerrero

    Organizations are effective when there is a good manager. Without a qualified captain to steer the ship, the crew is at risk of running into one iceberg. According to the Memo, effective managers accomplish organizational goals. Good managers are skilled at effective delegation of task to staffers. This helps the team achieve max productivity by splitting the responsibilities. This article emphasizes on how delegation of task is something that is very important in an organization, but it can be difficult to achieve it effectively. The real challenge throughout his experience in working with a big business, was in delegation and managing projects through people. Delegation is a critical skill, because it benefits managers, direct reports and organizations. Effective managers know what responsibilities to delegate to their staffers, because ultimately, they are the ones who know their team the most, and know the capabilities of each individual in his/her team.

  102. A big change since Y2K has been the emphasis on teamwork throughout most organizations. Companies like Zappos and Google claim it is the best way to generate new ideas. Governor Jim Gilmore’s advice on running one’s team as a small business is useful. However, micromanaging can be a problem managers face when tasked with running a team. As the author mentions, it is crucial in most instances to adjust or face backlash. Generally, when managers are thrown into a new situation, they can adjust quickly. In this instance that luxury was unavailable. According to research on team dynamics, teams need trust and cohesion in order to function successfully and efficiently. Trust allows the manager to delegate to team members that creates cohesion for free thought and idea generating. To foster these qualities within a team, control has to be shared. I empathize with the author as to his micromanaging challenges with Y2K as the stakes were high and there were tight time constraints. The author seems to have overcome these challenges and learned to be more efficient along the way. As the article concludes, the task (technology) was the easy part, working with others was the real challenge.

  103. Even today, the Y2K bug is well known to have been a major issue. The ticking clock to practically the end of the world created a push to repair the major flaw in all widely adopted systems. The fact that so much had to be done in such a short period created an idea to work a quickly as possible. Professor Yoest recognized the time-crunch in this situation and felt that the best method was a “hands-on” approach. Quickly, through subordinates, he was made to discover this was seen as more of a form of micro-management than anything else. If anything, this shows that receiving feedback from subordinates is vital for a business to last. No person likes to be micromanaged. However, if a boss feels as though he is “down in the trenches” in helping with work, they may see that as a sign that they are all in that situation together. If subordinates see this as a form of micromanagement but do not share that with their superior, they will become increasingly frustrated. In a situation such as this, the best thing a manager can do is focus on making everything run smoothly at a high level. They initially chose these people that they could do a job well. Therefore, they should give them the trust in trying times to complete their goals.

  104. What an intriguing article that I just read! Learning that you had to run your team like a small business was an interesting way to say it. I believe this is another way to show that leadership, management, and communication are important aptitudes in order to run your team or business like a well-oiled machine. While it is important to have intelligence in the workplace, it is just as important to know how to delegate tasks to your employees. We learn from the “Memo” to let the completed staff do the work and top management approve it. If top management is doing the work then nothing will get done. Furthermore, communication is key in the workplace. Without simple communication to all employees, anxiety and distress will spread throughout the workplace like wildfire. Being a leader and being able to manage and communicate with your employees are ways to delegate and be attentive to all types of details. Many of these qualities create an efficient and effective team/organization. Everyone will be happier, the environment of the organization will be healthier, and tasks would be completed.

  105. Sophie Maccarone

    Professor Yoest talked about the importance of continual communication within a team and even a business. Communication does not have to only happen in a time of crisis, but it needs to happen every day in a business. What stood out to me the most in this article was, “Pick a small team and run them as a small business. It will be the same except with more zeros.” To me, this seems like when things get too complicated, think of them as a smaller scale and work like that. It may be hard to delegate work, but you have to do what’s best for the organization. In the Memo, by Professor Yoest, in Chapter 12 he writes about WIIFM which stands for “what’s in it for me (or the organization). Being a manager means you have to see what is in it for you and the organization as a whole. It is important to know what is in it for you before you take on the role of managing a small group and delegating out work. This article overall showed that a team needs to know what’s in it for them and they need to have the best communication to have the best success.

  106. Margaret Higgins

    I think that this article was very interesting and important because of what it teaches students about business. One of the harder things to do as a manager is making sure that you are properly delegating tasks to all of the employees. Although it can be easier to try to take on more responsibilities as the manager, you eventually get bogged down and cannot fulfill your role. You must hire people that you can trust so that you can have confidence in delegating these tasks. Going back to basics when things get tough can be important because it can ground you and allow you to remember what really needs to get done. On a sports team, one person cannot play every position and that translates directly into being a manager you can’t do it all.

  107. I found this piece from Professor Yoest quite interesting. It’s amazing how problems can arise from what you thought would be a solution. What is obvious in this story, is how important communication and delegation really are to an organization. You can bring in as many experts as you want to help you solve a problem, but if they are not led properly, or instructed properly, their presence is a waste. In order to effectively analyze and handle a task or issue, a staff must be properly informed on their duties. If a leader fails to assign roles, and micro-manages for his/her staff, then they are completely diminishing the role of the staff. Like Professor Yoest said, he had to run his group as if it was a small business. In small businesses, the roles of each individual are highly important to create a functioning environment. If the boss is doing all the work, not only are they defeating the purpose of the staff, but also are leaving themselves to be liable for mishap. The more time one individual spends on a task that they do not have full expertise on, the more possibility there is for them to mess up!

  108. When you read about December 31, 1999 today in 2021, it is fascinating to think about what people really thought was about to happen. I have heard people talk about this date because no one knew what would happen as if the world was about to end. When the first computer was made in 1943 and made available to the public in 1973, it is fair to say that everyone worldwide had the right to be uncertain about what could go wrong.

    When reading about the precautions governments and companies took in avoiding a disaster, I think it was used as a wake-up call for many to prepare the correct way if this was to happen ever again. I found it very interesting when the governor of Virginia said to professor Yoest to run his team as if it was a small business that allowed everyone to stay calm throughout the process. Although nothing happened when the clock struck midnight, the event’s preparation was a good run for the events that followed, such as 9/11. I wonder if something like this can happen again in 2100 since our lives run off computers and technology.

  109. Small businesses and organizations are not that much different from what we might think. Of course, a big business differs from a small one when it comes to all the fronts the business might have. This is where the idea of delegating comes into play. Since the human species placed into practice the division of labor the world has progressed and this idea lives in business when it comes to delegating. Of course, the person in charge needs to put a heading and a goal and he needs to make sure that the business is going in that way. Splitting responsibilities make a company much more productive and much more efficient, assembling a team is not that easy some might say it is even considered art. That is why it is really important, but none of this matters if there is no communication from the captain to the crew, so communication plays a really important role as well, especially in big businesses.

  110. One thing that really stood out to me was the fact that the manager surrounded himself with the best people possible to fix the problem. He even admitted that they were much brighter than him. Like many managers, you want to surround yourself with people who help you and help your team, whether they are smarter than you or not, if they help, they should be apart of the team. In today’s business world, you see a lot of great business minds, and a lot of them are very egotistical, but the best realize there are smarter people than them, but as managers, it is your job to set those smart people up for success. That is what makes a great manager and a great organization. The people that know their role and excel in it. Delegation seems like an easy task from a birds-eye view, but that must be one of the most important and hardest parts of a manager’s job. This is why there is so much turnover in terms of coaches in professional sports, they were not able to put the best TEAM out there, not necessarily the best players. Therefore, when you get the right people to do the best job for them, it makes the team much more effective.

  111. This article I believe to be an excellent example of what it is like to run a business whether it be big or small. As a student soon to be entering the workforce I found this article to be very encouraging. As the leader of the team you openly admitted to having what you felt to be shortcomings however you also showed how your hard work and dedication helped you to make up for those shortcomings and lead you and your team to success. As someone who has had a few years of basic managerial experience I know first hand how difficult it can be to delegate tasks especially when you have a decently sized team to work with. I have often found myself suffering from the same problems you did with completing tasks on my own rather than delegating them out to other employees which resulted in the job getting done but a lot of idle hands around the workplace which is very inefficient. Managing a team of employees also requires a great deal of communication between one another in order to come together to complete the task at hand which can prove more troublesome the larger the team becomes.

  112. This article serves to offer two means of importance: organization and communication within a company. The article touches on a point that no one really knows how to run a very large organization. The advice is to create a small team, and “run them as a small business”. To perform a job well and correctly, there needs to be trust amongst the leaders and the coworkers. It is important for leaders and managers to be able to communicate when they are stepping out of their comfort zone and trusting others to help the company address the situation. It is fine to ask for outside help and Gilmore showed this by hiring outside contractors to make sure everything ran smoothly. When a workload becomes too much, it is important to have trust in other coworkers that the job will get done. Relying on others to get the job done may be difficult for some as they rather take on all the tasks themselves to insure it will all get done. An important part of being a leader is to know when to delegate tasks to others. Professor Yoest found himself stuck in attention-to-detail and micromanaging phase.

  113. My first reaction to reading the article was what were people thinking on the night of December 31st at midnight. I am sure some were out partying enjoying one last night, while others hid in bunkers, or a few sat nervously watching the ball drop. I know my parents bought a few extra cases of water and stayed in. This article does not just beg the question of what did people due to prepare for themselves and families, but also for business owners. How does one prepare for the end of world. What actions can one take to ensure or protect their enterprise from going under. I am sure the months leading up, the stock market began to fall, and additionally grocery stores appeared a little more empty than usual. My other main reaction to the article was the delegation of jobs, to prepare for this. I am sure families and businesses had plans for each member to complete in case of bad news. Because of this each group had to be great communicators and have a certain level of toughness.

  114. Michael P Juchem

    From what I picked up throughout the article, it was evident that there would be some mishaps with the little cohesion displayed by both the bureaucratic office, and the IT experts which were called in to help ensure the smooth performance of Virginia’s multitude of technological aspects. I found a lot of similar themes from the first several chapters of the Memo, including the concept of the subordinates performing the mundane tasks on their own, only bringing important decisions to the boss. The only concern I see is the lack of cohesion, between both parties, could lead to a problem, if the whole Y2K problem actually occurred. However, the concept of working a team like a business is rather interesting. Taking a few individuals, and working them to become a well-oiled machine requires a variety of skills on the manager’s part, as well as the patience required for the process. On top of simplifying the concept, the fact that the Professor needed to unite a group with individuals from different professional setting, is a feat worth noting. The number different self-interests or ulterior motives that could be driving a team apart could mean the difference between success and failure

  115. Natnael Yohannes

    This article is very fascinating, Mr. Yoest, because an interesting way for S&P 500 and larger businesses to operate is by mirroring small businesses. As an executive, you should delegate and entrust the people you work with and employ, instead of always having the mentality of handling tasks on your own. The mindset of completing day-to-day assignments like a small business is riveting, because small businesses have to be resourceful, and attentively knowledgeable about how much they expend for rent, equipment, overhead, labor. They have to be creative with how they organize their space, maximize their efficiency with their equipment, embolden and incentive their employees, intrigue and grow connections with customers. Placing your self in the mind of a small business owner, highlights the importance of team work and communication. Meeting exemplary goals with even limited resources.

  116. After reading this article, the main point that stuck out to me was the aspect of a strong team. Jack Yoest explains that in a time of worry, chaos, and the unknown, his team was able to come through because of the team’s dedication and hard work. It is obvious that because he had such a knowledgeable team to support him through this time sensitive task, they were all able to work together to catch mistakes and come up with different solutions or tasks for each member. It is so important that one can have an effective team that will work together to achieve their task. Something else that this team had that makes them such an effective team is trust. As the manager, Yoest had to trust his team to do their work and to not get caught micromanaging. It can be hard to not want to do all of the work yourself because then you will know that it was done and done in the way you would like, but for jobs to be completed effectively, there has to be a large trust between all members of the team. Running a small business will have its challenges, but there are definitely advantages that come with it. For example, small businesses can easily form a close team that can develop trust in each other, build norms, and have a cohesive environment.

  117. Caroline Darnell

    This article points out how crucial it is to have a team that includes different personalities and strengths within it. Without any diversity in skillsets, a team will not be effective or productive. If all members of one team lack the same type of leadership or are only strong in technology expertise, there would be no direction. Although the knowledge of the hired technology experts was a key element to handling the Y2K fiasco, scientific expertise is only half the battle. To get things done, efficient management and delegation of tasks are required. Although the world did not end, and we all lived to see another day, addressing the Y2K bug was necessary for two reasons. First, to assure the public that their government was ready to take control of the situation and protect its citizens as much as possible in the event of the world ending. Second, Y2K was a learning experience that marks the start of the world of the internet and technology which we are all accustomed to now. Learning how to deal with technology and the science of computers has become an increasingly key part of our daily lives ever since the start of the 21st Century.

  118. In reading this article, I saw many crucial aspects of organizational behavior integrated into the work ethic of this small team. As a manager, Yoest was humble enough to recognize his strengths while admitting his weaknesses. He used his contagious energy to rally his team and lead them to the best of his ability, but also worked to understand the process of delegating tasks that he knew he was not the most capable to do. At the same time, he stayed confident in his own abilities, and even though it was seen as “micro-managing” to others, his attention to detail could have been his most useful and crucial contribution in keeping the team cohesive and functioning properly. Yoest had to learn how to trust the work ethic of his team while also navigating how to be “the glue” holding it all together as its singular, shared executive. By letting his team work with their strengths, he could minimize the “micromanaging” and focus on developing his own strengths alongside his group. This shows how tedious the study of organizational behavior can be- by sharing a common goal, recognizing strengths and weakness, and delegating work, a team can go from a disheveled mess to one with great culture, motivation, and success.

  119. I think this article does a great job of highlighting what it’s like being a manager of a team, whether the organization is large or small. Mr. Yoest does a brave job of admitting that nobody really knows how to run and be in charge of a large organization. I think a big part of being an effective leader is the ability to learn on the fly and be adaptable. It’s apparent that Mr. Yoest was able to successfully adapt and adjust to his situation by breaking his large operation down into a small team and running it like a small business. This allowed him to surround himself with a select group of very intelligent people. A strong team is imperative for success. In order for Mr. Yoest to find success, he knew he had to trust and believe in his team. He points out the trouble he had with delegating projects and not micromanaging, as he felt the need to be involved in everything. I think it’s safe to say that lots of managers in corporate America face that same problem. However, as a manager, it’s not only important to delegate tasks, but it’s necessary. Although for many managers, being able to trust the professionals and delegating tasks may be a tough skill to learn, it’s absolutely crucial for an organization to operate at peak performance.

  120. This article about Professor Yoest’s experience with the Y2K Bug emphasizes the importance of communication within organizations and flattening the hierarchy to achieve their goals and avoid making a world ending mistake. Professor Yoest talks of his “detail-oriented” personality and how this would hinder him from trusting in his employees. Eventually, the lack of delegation caused him to have too much work and too little time, he needed to believe in his team and who he hired to do their job to the best of their abilities just as he employed them to. This is where communication becomes essential, when employees, either lower level or management, are honest about their workload and capabilities other team members can pick up the slack and make sure the task is completed thoroughly. In this particular case, to combat the Y2K Bug Professor Yoest had to communicate with his team, explain his expectations, and understand that his employees would uphold his standards of good work to make sure the world remained afloat. Another example of how communication was essential in this situation was the addition of companies and people in the efforts against Y2K. Many other parts of the puzzle had to be factored in like the Governor and his input, as well as the IT consulting firms he hired for technological solutions. For all of the pieces of the puzzle to fit together, there needs to be clarity and trust between all members. Clarity and trust leads to cohesion and success.

  121. This article highlights the nuance of problems of a manager. It is rarely technological or skill-based issues that cause trouble for managers. They usually have the training for tasks that they manage. What is challenging is to delegate tasks. A lot of managers’ struggles with delegation come from a good place. Professor Yoest phrases it as “attention to detail”—managers think they are being thorough when try to do everything themselves. But in reality, this is harmful to the business for a couple reasons. First, it takes time from the manager’s ability to actually manage. The manager who is doing tasks cannot make decisions. And secondly, it robs employees of a chance to learn and perform their own work. But delegating work is what allows for good teamwork, and is ultimately the humblest form of management. By delegating work, subject matter experts can rise up and own projects with a level of expertise that the manager will never have time to achieve. Subject matter experts can start their own micro-teams and bring their work to the manager in the most efficient way. It makes the most sense, however hard, for delegation if the manager want to work with intelligent others instead of just his limited self.

  122. Running your small team like a small business is a really great way to be efficient with your work. When I read that sentence, I stopped to take a moment and allow myself to fully understand what that meant. As a leader, it can be easy to fall into the route of wanting to “get your hands dirty” in real work, but as mentioned in the article, this can easily turn into micro-managing, and a good leader should never fall into that habit. Instead, by treating your team as a small business, you’re overseeing their work and allowing them to take control of their sections in the company. Thus, they bring the completed work to you for final approval and you are left with more time to take care of your own responsibilities and not the responsibilities of others. The staffers in this story, are the ones that get everything done. They help the leader run the company, and fill him in on information he may not be able to understand. There’s a lot of trust required in this type of relationship, but when all the parts fit together and true trust is established, a company can go far in their work.

  123. This article points to the importance of running a team. Sometimes as a manager or leader in the workplace it can be challenging to organize a group of individuals with unique purposes, goals, and values. In this course, I have learned about the importance of predicting workplace behaviors and truly gaining an understanding of your team. This article mentions the idea of running a team like a small business. By shifting to that mindset, a manager or leader in the workplace can be more motivated to keep moving forward with a team. In addition, a by having a strong understanding of organizational behavior, a manager can come up with unique and adaptable goals that the team can work together to achieve.

  124. I believe that it’s extremely true that no one really knows how to run a large business. For instance, the CEO isn’t in contact with most of his workers but those who are in charge of the rest of the workers. A single person can’t ever really run a large business because a large business has many moving parts all for the success of the company. The CEO is able to run a small business/group within the larger company because of the higher-ups/management through delegating tasks to them and properly explaining the goals of the company. Not everyone is good at delegating tasks to others, especially when you like things done a specific way. That’s why it’s important to hire and have the right people around you to ensure that even when you’re not there that the task can still be complete to the best of their ability. A big part of this article relies on trust within a company. This trust is achieved when a manager realizes that they manage people not just tasks. In a small business, the CEO could possibly oversee a lot but when the size increases, this is where that trust kicks in.

  125. In this article professor Yoest does a very good job in demonstrating the process of organizational behavior using a real example that he want through. He uses his own experience of being put in a managerial position to show how it is difficult to be in that position and how it is hard to be in charge of an entire group of people. Through this experience he decided to run his operation like a small business so that he could have a more hands on approach that was detail oriented that was perceived as micromanaging by the people he was managing. This is a problem many people face as managers when they go for a more detail oriented approach, however it is important to delegate so that one person is not left with too much work. It is a very crucial skill to learn and requires a lot of experience dealing with people, but is important in the success of any business whether it is a small business or a large corporation.

  126. I remember hearing about the anxiety people were facing when they didn’t know what would happen when the computers had to compute that the next year would be 2000. I would probably had been on the side that all the computers were going to shut down or go back to 0. The Y2k was a serious issue, without computers even back in 2000 a lot of things would not be able to function property.
    Trying to run your team like a small business is a very interesting way to look at the aspect of teamwork. When running your team like a small business. Seems like running a business needs to have great management, the management team in a small business has to have a great leadership. Also, in the article it talks about a small business manager or owner delegating that seems to be a big part of running a small team or business. I think the most important part in any team or business is leadership. I think in any organization if you have strong leadership you have chance to be very successful. I’m not saying leadership will always give an organization success but without good leadership it is difficult to have success.

  127. Prof. Yoest does a phenomenal job here in highlighting the managerial struggles that one may deal with, whether on a large or small scale, through the telling of one of the most anxiety-filling scenarios in recent history: the transition from the 20th to the 21st century. While there are numerous nuggets of wisdom to be taken from this short story, I greatly appreciate the honesty of the article in the sense that it highlights something very important: sometimes you end up extensively preparing for the wrong things. While there was much talk of computer shutdowns, satellite crashes and the likes (or so I’ve heard, as I wasn’t even a year old at the time), much of the talk ended up being nothing more than that: talk. Now, this does beg you to ask yourself this question: so what? Isn’t it always better to prepare for the worst case scenario and simply be thankful when it doesn’t come to fruition? I think yes. As Prof. Yoest highlights, regardless of whether the extensive preparation was needed, he still walked away with a better understanding of how to manage for a much larger group of subordinates. His understanding of the universal issue of tendencies to micromanage may not have come at the time that it did without this exact scenario. At the end of the day, valuable lessons were learned, which can now be passed onto the next generation of managers: us.

  128. One major point that stood out to me in this article is around the idea of managing a team while facing the unknown. No one knew what to expect when the year 2000 began, but preparations for the worst started months before the close of 1999. With the stakes so high and a deadline approaching, it was up to the managers running organizations to make the smartest decisions in order to adequately prepare for the unknowns. But making the smartest decisions does not require you to be the smartest person in your organization. In fact, one of the best decisions a manager can make is hiring people that are smarter than them; in this case Professor Yoest shared Governor Gilmore hired the smartest experts in the IT field that could assist in areas which extended beyond government resources. When it comes down to running any organization, there will always be unknowns and challenges that must be faced. There are ways to prepare to handle the unknown when something unexpected is encountered. One of those ways is through effective delegation of work. A manager should not waste his time doing work that staff is assigned to do, they need to focus on their specific tasks as manager. Everyone in an organization is hired to do a specific job and the organization will run most smoothly when everyone performs their tasks in a time efficient manner.

  129. I agree with the governor’s advice about paying attention to the smaller groups. Different teams make up the entire organization, no matter how big or how small the organization is. People are hired to perform well and produce efficient results and/or products, but sometimes you can’t always rely on individual work. When you’re looking to produce results in a timely manner, it’s better to break off into teams to get tasks done, rather than having everyone working on the same thing at the same time. In the Y2K instance you outlined above, the team needed to perform at their very best because it was a time when the company needed them the most, or so they thought. Although the situation ended up being harmless, it was a great opportunity to exercise the team’s strengths and identify the weaknesses for the future. Whether the employees were being micromanaged or not, they were pushed to their limits and because of Y2K, they were able to recognize what they were capable of.

  130. Mary Kate Shields

    What an interesting but true idea to ponder at the end of the article – “…technology was the easy part. The real challenge was in delegation and managing projects — through people — on time and on budget. It always is.” Professor Yoest has mentioned this concept to us time and again throughout our class this semester, and it seems to be proven true here. Technology does not deal with emotions, personal challenges, personal goals, and other things that individuals may face. Whereas a task like delegating people – real people with a genuine focus on a tangible end goal – will always deal with emotions, personal challenges, and personal goals. This action is almost always expensive and time-consuming. The real skill is managing projects and people quickly and in a cost-effective manner. Although in the case presented above, there were stressful circumstances creating pressure on the manager, he was still able to act in such a way that his employees were shown genuine care and delegation of projects, all while beating the clock during Y2K.

  131. This is a beautiful lesion that we can learn. Growing up I was always told “control what you can control.” This stuck with me throughout my whole life. Yoest attacked a problem that he could not control, maybe real maybe not, no one knew at the time. Through this journey he came to the realization that he can not control the world, the internet, power itself. He can help contribute to himself and his team. This is a mandatory lesson for a leader to know. From this, he learned that he had holes in his management abilities. He took humility and realized he needed to make a change for his team. Though there was money wasted in the process, I would argue that it was not unwise to brace for impact. They had to delegate responsibility and put people in places they have never been before. This allowed the team to grow as one and made the team takes steps for the future. Though there was money lost, the experience and lessons gained were invaluable for the situation. This is the takeaway from this story, not the loss of money, not the mistake and successes, but the lessons learned. Control what you can control, work on yourself and your team and be prepared for whatever you can do.

  132. Professor Yoest’s article does a phenomenal job of demonstrating the importance of a strong team in times of crisis and in general. His team was able to succeed in the toughest of times, for example when they thought the world was coming to an end, and still be able to get the job done. It goes to show the importance of a good manager within that great team. Yoest was able to effectively listen and understand the advice given from his team without looking to over manage and nitpick everything they say. He understood that a team has a back and forth balance, and the key to success in a team is trust. It also goes to show that the best managers are those who surround themselves with people who are smarter than them. Although Professor Yoest may have been the manager, he surrounded himself with top level experts who he believed were smarter than him. By doing this, he is able to learn something each and every day and as a manager doesn’t get caught up in thinking he is better than everyone else. As a business owner, this article is applicable because you need to learn how to lead, without micromanaging. The team succeeded because they all trusted each other, and brought in different ideas, where they could each learn from one another.

  133. As a person who was born a year and a half after the turn of the century, it is hard to believe that so many people truly thought that the year 2000 would bring a global catastrophe. While some planned for the apocalypse, others had to take action and plan for what happened after the 21st century brought no cataclysmic event. Professor Yoest did this in his role in the Virginia government and brings up a few important learning points. One of these points is the important idea of breaking up large firms into smaller teams in order to get more work done. When teams are too large, work tends to be less focused and cohesive, so many smaller teams operating in the realm of the larger firm is a model that will most likely produce the best results.
    I also appreciate how Professor Yoest discusses that the boss does not always, and maybe should not be, the smartest person in every meeting. This comes back to the point of hiring good staff. When a boss has a staff that is smarter than himself or herself to make suggestions, it is easy to make decisions. Since making decisions is the role of the manager, hiring intelligent and creative staff and recognizing their gifts will in turn make that manager more effective.

  134. The problem during Y2K was major. Its truly inspiring to see that you were given the opportunity to lead the team for such a major problem like this. I love that you said that the biggest issue was managing and coordinating with staff in this entire issue meanwhile, the cyber world was at stake. I do understand how that was an important factor though nonetheless. Being able to lead a team and work well under that type of pressure is next level, and the outcome is in the hands of the entire team. If there is no coordination the problem won’t be solved, it may even get worse. It takes a real leader to bring a team together to work well and solve major issues under pressure. In your class we have learned that the boss doesn’t know it all. Rather, they choose people that are better than them at specific tasks because they know that it will lead to a cohesive, successful path. We have been taught to communicate with our teams, and contribute to the bigger picture with each other in order for the team’s success entirely. This story is a great example of that.

  135. The article the Y2K Bug and Professor Yoest’s experience with it demonstrates how crucial communication within organizations and distributing responsibility helps to accomplish their goal. Professor Yoest brings up his “detail-oriented” personality and the adverse effect this would cause him from creating trust within in his employees. As we read, the absence of delegation caused Professor Yoest to be overwhelmed with work and not enough time. That is where the role for communication becomes imperative and the management needs to be aware of the entire company’s workload. If it is too much they should delegate it out to those who aren’t as busy. This will help strive to the goal quicker. Professor Yoest had to start communicating in order to prevent the Y2K Bug. He began to understand his employees could and would live up to his standards for quality of work. However, he needed to communicate to his team first or it would never have happened. The communication piece did not stop there, when more employees and companies were brought into the operation, they too had to be briefed and understand the goal as well. We can see that in order to create a well oiled machine there must be a clear line of communication every step of the process.

  136. This piece was a truly interesting read. To be honest I did not know basically anything about the Y2K bug before reading this. Obviously, this was slightly before I was born, but nonetheless it was a very crucial time in the transition of technology to the 21st century. The transition of this writing from the main Y2K bug to how Professor Yoest had to learn his way around leadership was fantastic. Especially in times like with the Y2K bug it is extremely difficult to not micromanage and instead delegate to your many employees. In reality these times are when a business needs its manager most. The comparison to small business is an excellent one, as I have worked in a particularly small office myself. While I was in this workplace the one thing I always realized was the boss would focus on his own work. He would only check on us workers maybe 1-3 times per day, just to make sure we were on task and knew our outline for the rest of the workday. Not only does this allow the manager to focus on more important tasks, it gives the employees confidence in their abilities. Lastly, it gives your employees a chance to grow, and as Professor Yoest says, it is better to hire people smarter than yourself.

  137. Professor Yoest’s experience with the Y2K bug emphasizes many important aspects of organizational behavior. With the anticipation of disaster quickly approaching, it was up to managers of organizations to make quick decisions about how to deal with what was to come. The governor’s input of delegating smaller teams to deal with big problems was crucial in the preparation for the anticipated disaster. Most people think that putting more people with higher skillsets on one team will help the team solve problems faster, but it’s actually the opposite. Smaller teams that instill trust, have communication and cohesion are far more equipped to deal with the problems that will arise. Furthermore, Professor Yoest was able to delegate specific tasks to his teams and have trust that they will get them done well. At the time it was hard for him to trust his team when something so detrimental was at stake. Instead of Micromanaging, Professor Yoest was able to communicate to his teams what needed to be done and have faith that they will succeed. A manager can’t get wrapped up in completing every task that arises. It is the manager’s job to create a mutual understanding of what needs to be done and lead the team to a successful outcome. In the end, the team was prepared for anything that could have happened because the managers utilized communication skills and had trust in their subordinates.

  138. I think the governor’s advice in this case was very practical. Smaller teams are more effective. There are less people who have to grow to trust and work with one another. Learning everybody’s strengths and weaknesses is definitely one of the biggest challenges a manager faces when compiling a team and delegating tasks. I thought what was said about the boss not being the smartest person in the room was a little funny. The boss, or Your Business Professor, may not have been the most knowledgeable on the subject, which is why he had consultants, but he may have been the best suited to delegate and handle the personalities of each of those consultants. A manager needs to be able to understand people and how they work more than he or she needs to understand every single scientific aspect of the problem. Managers are more educated in the study of people than anything and that seems to have been the case in this scenario. The manager was able to delegate the tasks and hear the concerns of everybody without prior knowledge. They obviously need to know the basics, but the other “smarter” people in the room are there to fill in and advise the manager’s final decision.

  139. This is a very interesting article, especially regarding delegation, proper management, and teamwork. The setting of the “end of the world” didn’t help the situation as it probably turned up the pressure by a hundred. Navigating through challenges and assignments in this time required extreme attention to detail which probably caused my business professor to pay too much attention to detail. Instead of delegating my business professor was doing the hard work instead of properly using the resources he had. The focus on technology diverted decision makers into hyper focusing and working extremely hard. In doing so, it caused them to stray away from the most integral part of this situation the people aspect. The intensity also caused a lack of communication and trust in the team. Members were so focused on preventing this impending doom that it was less important to collaborate and more important to do as much work as possible to stop this Armageddon. This just goes to show that the most effective method is properly communicating and trust. This puts everyone in the situation where they are working hard on their own assignments and only that which would result in an end result that is the best there could be.

  140. This reading brought a very interesting example of the importance of delegation and management. The toughest part about it is the manager can never really tell if they have delegated properly till after the fact. Things either went well or something went wrong and that is how your delegation is evaluated. This also points back to the fact that the greatest skill a manager can have is putting others in the best position to succeed. By doing this the manager also puts themselves in an amazing position to do well! In this particular situation it seemed as if the whole world was simply going into the unknown. To be able to create teams to essentially guide technology into this unknown seemed to be nearly impossible. This is exactly what it turned out to be as nothing even happened! So, in this instance the best thing that could be done was to prepare for the worst. During Y2K my grandma worked at a hospital and she always tell us stories about how they handled the situation. There was hundreds of techs sent to the hospital the night it was to turn and in the end it turned out they were there for nothing!

  141. One thing that a reader should note in this case is that with the turn of the century approaching, the problem with ensuring that all computers would still be able to function is not something one individual can fix, but rather it needs to be done as a team. A team needs to be able to work together as one to achieve one goal: ensuring that when we move from the 20th to 21st century, all computers continue to work. Each team members must understand how crucial it is because even though it was several decades ago when there was no smartphones or tablets, computers were still being used. With this being said, it is crucial for each team member to fully have trust in each other- especially in this scenario since the team is going to need to explore unchartered waters. Each team member has a different background and experience; thus it allows each person to bring something new to the table. Many industries relied on the team- so it was major for each team member to work hard and with other trwam member cooperatively to ensure the problem was solved. Seeing how the team worked in this case and it was very successful, other teams should do similar things as this team did to work together and solve a problem.

  142. I find the concept of running a big business as a small one is a genius idea that makes all the sense in the world. Good communication is one of the pillars of a successful business and in order for there to be good communication there needs to be an established order of management that is accessible to all team members whenever needed. When you focus on working in small teams toward a common goal, you are assuring that no one is lost in the workplace and you can easily ensure good productivity. When teams get too big it is easy to lose communication among coworkers which is where mistakes get made and the business starts to lose its attention to detail. Another takeaway I had was that although the manager did not know as much about the Y2K crisis as the IT professionals he hired to solve the problem, he still rolled his sleeves up and tried his best to help solve the problem among them. I think it is important for employees to see their manager equally devoted to achieving the team’s goal. This gives them motivation to see that no one person is above the team and they are all working together and everyone needs to do their part if the team is to achieve its mission.

  143. As somebody that was born in 2001 and not around during the change of the millennium I found this article extremely intriguing. I always thought that people coordinated the end of the world with the year 2012 but I now know that that must have been solely my generation as I would have just then been able to comprehend the gravity of rumors like the end of time. Outside of my immediate fascination with the history of the US before me I enjoyed how the narrator of the article can look back on his management and be open with his mistakes. One that stood out to me immediately was that he tried to do work himself and believed what he was doing was “paying attention to detail” when rather, looking back on it, now realizes that he was “micro managing”. I found that point to be extremely useful as I believe that I sometimes can be at fault at the same thing. I pride myself on being a doer as my parents have instilled a great work ethic in me. But, at times I find myself doing entirely too much even sometimes to the detriment of myself or even my team. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this article and found it to be a very useful read.

  144. This article does a great job at reminding business workers that every organization, no matter the size, has individual needs and requires a small attention to detail. There are many causes of anxiety in the workplace. Some of which, like Y2K, were unavoidable. Because of that, there are a handful of ways that people are going to react when they have anxiety-inducing opportunities come about. A good manager should know how to acknowledge and manage the emotions of others. A way to do this is to have a closely knit group so that the team has close social ties. A small business is a prime example of an environment where social needs are met, and emotions can be acknowledged properly. In a larger organization, challenges can arise because the employment pool is so large and diverse that there becomes a disconnect between management and lower-level employees. This causes some issues. Issues can be financial, like the wasting of $215 million, or they can be structural, with people leaving the organization because they are discontent, creating turnover and inefficiency. Not acknowledging these challenges would be a detriment to the team.

  145. One big takeaway I had from this article is that technology is not often the problem in the big scheme of things. Although there can be technological malfunctions, most of the time they will not impact a situation in the same way that organization and the managing of people will. This is where the presence of a manager is vital. Although there can be numerous IT people and other experts in fields of technology, the ability to delegate and lead a group of people is not something that is easily taught like the way coding is. Looking at the situation more than twenty years in the future, it is a great teaching lesson to see how people reacted in times of crisis, or “thought to be crisis.” It is interesting to analyze what actions people take when under pressure, and the kinds of things they prioritize in “crunch time.” It would also be interesting to see how members of the company felt after the situation, and what kind of adjustments they made to ensure that they are better prepared a similar situation in the future. One thing that surprised me was the emphasis that people had put on Y2K, as I was not born yet, and really never had seen what people thought of the end of the millennium.

  146. I think the precautions taken for Y2K are something that I will never have to experience. I know there was a lot of confusion and uncertainty on what was going to happen. My family tried their best to not think about the catastrophe. My mother was due with me only a few days after the New Year, so she was worried about what the next year would hold for her and her children. I think uncertainty is more dangerous than knowledge. Uncertainty leaves for the worst predictions, the worst preparations, and the worst reactions. Hindsight is not a friend when situations like this arise. I think when it comes to any uncertain situations, going forward as normally as possible with some extra precaution is the best way to handle it. Split up some extra tasks and do what needs to be done to prepare for the worst, but don’t get to the point where you sacrifice the success of the best situations.

  147. Professor Yoest’s article demonstrates the importance of having a strong team at all times, especially in times of crisis. The team stays strong and does not fold under pressure from crisis, It shows the importance of a great manager leading a great team. The manager needs the team and the team needs the manager. Yoest was able to listen and take the advice given from his team without looking to over manage and value his thoughts before theirs, he surrounded himself with experts who he believed were smarter than him. He does this because he is able to learn something each and every day from his team which keeps good structure in the team and holds everyone including himself accountable. He understood the key to success in a team is trust and communication. As I remember Professor Yoest saying in Class this semester, good managers “are those who surround themselves with people who are smarter than them.” This is applicable for business owners because you need to learn how to lead, without micromanaging each of your employees. You need to remember why you hired them. Ask yourself what made you trust them to be a part of your team. The team succeeded because of trust, communication, and the acceptance and understanding of each other’s advice and ideas.

  148. I agree with the governor in that there is no correct way to run a large corporation. There is no possible way that you can keep tabs or even personally know everyone that works for you. This is where cohesion and trust come in. You have to trust that your team leaders are executing your decisions and the employees under their jurisdiction are upholding the standards of the company. It is not always easy to delegate tasks, especially when you are particular in the way you want things done. For example, I like documents in certain fonts and sizes, but someone else may like it in a different way. The example is very surface level, but it can go a lot deeper than that. Most of the time, a manager’s struggles with delegations come from a good place. In the article it was put as “attention to detail.” This could be more harmful than helpful for employees. They could be more worried about the minor details/presentation than the actual content of the work. In some cases, this may be necessary, but the quality of the work should be what matters the most.

  149. I believe that there are a ton of different methods in running a business. The article is clear in stating that there is no perfect, or best way to run a business. I do like the idea of making big things smaller, because when you break big tasks down, they become a lot simpler. On top of this keeping a small, efficient, tight-knit team will have the most effective results in most business settings. The author mentions micro-managing, which is something I have personal experience with and understand how it can affect the morale of an employee and an overall group/team. I think that no employee prefers a micro-managing manager. You are hired because you are believed to be capable of fulfilling the requirements of that position. If somebody is constantly over your shoulder, and tries to do your job for you, that employee will never feel the level of trust necessary for a group to succeed. I don’t believe many people have been in such a large/high pressure situation like the one mentioned in the article, but even small tasks in small businesses can cause an insane amount of stress and worry. For me, breaking things down into the controllable and the uncontrollable helps me determine a course of action for a problem. Anything I can control; I develop plans on how to attack those situations. Anything that is out of my control, I push to the side and try not to worry about it, because it’s not on me.

  150. love how this article shines light on the fact that taking suggestions and thinking outside the box is extremely helpful. Being a boss does not mean you make all the decisions. The boss is still apart of the team. They are just a facilitator and leader. They keep the team on the right track and contribute regularly. The Governors suggestion to you about running the team like a small business resonates with you because that is your expertise. He was a good leader to you in that situation because he was able to help you relate a task that you did not know how to handle to be able to handle it effectively. This article taught me to try to be relatable and think outside the box to be be a lol good leader and boss.

  151. The Y2K phenomenon was one of the most suspenseful and unknowing times for a lot of people in our history. For many, people thought it was the end of it all, as highlighted in the article. People prepared for the absolute worst and had no hope whatsoever. With thoughts and actions like this, how were businesses and organizations supposed to act? How were they supposed to be run? The article does a great job of highlighting how to manage a team when there are unknowns on the horizon and the perception of everything is negative. The main focus of the article was explaining how the managers in this situation had to make the smartest decisions despite not knowing what could happen. An emphasis was placed on managing these decisions as if it were a part of a small business. Delegation, teamwork, trust, and collaboration were many of the traits and assets used in this tough situation to allow for the best possible outcomes. It was not just on Professor Yoest or the Governor of Virginia to carry the weight of everyone. Instead they made rational and practical decisions to do things such as hire the best IT people in the business to handle the technological things they might not have had as much knowledge about. Instead of trying to do everything themselves and push their limits, they used delegation and trusted these people to assist in the problems they were trying to prevent and solve. The value teamwork presents in an organization is huge. Delegating jobs and tasks to everyone and not having the focus all be on one person will allow for teams or groups to succeed within their task in the most efficient way, as presented in this article.

  152. The Y2K event lead to millions of people fearing for the worst. They had feared that they would not be able to continue on technologically after the year had turned. Everybody was searching for a place to put there hope. If what everybody was panicking for happened, then the entirety of cell services, networks, internet, power grids, and more, would be terminated due to the date error. This was the single biggest scare in American history at the time. It would lead to widespread panic and fear. This was a time where people didn’t know how to act. How were businesses supposed to manage? Would jobs be lost nationwide due to this event? These were all fears that the public had. This article demonstrates how running a business through a crisis is dealt with. It shows the hardest part of managing a team in a crisis scenario, which is decision making. Managers still had to make smart decisions, even in the face of adversity. This was one of the biggest events that caused a public scare in U.S history, and those that handled it well, were showcased.

  153. Brittany Connatser

    This article was very interesting and put into perspective how to handle such a terrible situation. It is hard to imagine what you could have been thinking during this time because the idea of the world ending is almost an unimaginable feeling. Having to step up in that time of crisis does not seem like an easy task in the slightest and being able to stay calm as a leader is so important. The team will act on how the manager is leading because if you freaked out and they happened to notice then it would have been as you said Armageddon, and nothing would have gotten done to help the company or your staff get through this crisis. Since you were as calm and you could be in this situation and still were eventually able to delegate tasks, your team was able to stay focused and accomplish most of their work. I believe in faking it till you make it as a leader and even if you were stressed and having a hard time you were able to display confidence. You were advised to treat your large group as a smaller business, and this made it much easier to try to delegate different tasks even under such immense stress.

  154. Y2K was a situation that led to mass confusion and fear across America. No on can really prepare for the world ending so there were a lot of people who were genuinely concerned for health and safety during a timeline this. During Times like this, it is common for people to act out because they feel like the end is near and consequences are limited. I found the part where the boss tells the worker to assemble a small team and treat it like a small business very interesting. At first, you would think this is not right because the sheer volume of the big company would not work if there were small business tactics implemented. However, I realized that “treat it like a small business” causes the men in charge to simplify the business model and take things one step at a time. With the team behind him, the employee could ask for help on certain problems and trust the people next to him to give him the right guidance. Her also did not have to worry about as much, because he trusted the people with him to pick up any slack. With a situation like Y2K, the group was under a lot of pressure but since they stuck to what they knew and relied on each other, they were able to navigate the disaster quite well.

  155. The idea of managing a big business as you would a small business is fascinating. Surely some things one would spend time on as a manager of a small business would need to be compromised, but essentially the duty of the manager would remain the same. He would need to spend more time delegating tasks to others in a detailed manner so that the company can run smoothly once everyone knows precisely what they should do. Surely mistakes will be made if one has been used to managing a small business, but these will be corrected over time. Something that I think will be very important in a scenario like this one would be delegate authority to employees to choose the best way to go about their tasks. The assumption behind this is that an employee who has been doing the same thing for years probably knows how to complete his job more effectively than his manager. So he would tell them what to do, and they would choose how to do it (of course this doesn’t apply to new employees). Once this has been done, things will flow naturally from the bottom to the top of the organization. The manager then will only need to spend a lot of time delegating tasks even though it may seem that a lot of time is being lost. The truth is that once he does that, the organization will operate effectively.

  156. Y2K was a tragic situation that unfortunately led to millions a people being so feared of the worst things to occur. This specific situation was one where nobody could prepare for if things were really to get out of hand. People feared that they would not be able to get in touch with technology and now as we all know; technology has a huge role in our lives today. Throughout this hard situation it is really hard to grasp when or will this happen but people can fear what is yet to come, it is more they have to think about the present. This brings up the comment, “treat it like a small business”, this statement tells the people that they can cut things down and make it less of a problem for them that may occur in the future if things don’t settle down.

  157. The Y2K phenomenon caused a lot of unnecessary stressors and worries for people across the world, causing people to feel extremely uncertain and scared of what was going to happen next in their world. Even though many people lived with the fear of the world ending, they still had to complete the tasks that were asked of them daily because the world could not come to a halt because of speculation. This made workers more stressed at work, causing them to have to focus on every aspect of their job to be able to do it correctly despite the overbearing uncertainty of what was going to happen to them when the year of 1999 expires. The mounting fear felt by the workforce could only be relieved by properly managing and relying on your friends and co-workers to do their part in helping the business be successful. Teamwork and collaboration are some of the main traits that were needed by managers and employees to maneuver through this difficult time, as treating employees and co-workers with the respect and trust they deserve helps them to complete the task they have at hand. Managers possessing and implementing these traits into their work environment will help the business run like a small business despite its size, along with handling any issues they encounter.

  158. Y2K was an event that cause many people to fear about what could happen. The way that computer programming worked in the 20th century was at a very basic level and programmers also had very limited data space. In a way to circumvent this, the way they set the date on everything was month/day/last two digits of the year. The problem was that they did not take into account when it goes from 99 (for 1999) to 00 (2000) and the belief was that it was going to go to 1900 instead of 2000. This is where the name Y2K comes from; Y is year and 2K is 2000. This was believed to be a huge problem because if the date programmed goes to 1900, a bunch of systems could go down and it could have been very chaotic. But, thankfully, many companies got ahead of the problem and fixed the bug and while the 1900 problem did happen in some other places, that was also quickly fixed and the world moved on from a hysteria that swept the world.

  159. This reading was a very informative and interesting read. It is really interesting getting someones perspective who was living through the Y2K era, and seeing how everyone was reacting to it. Having been born after this time my generation really never got to see the full extent of the effects it had. This article brings up a good point about managers. A lot of times managers want to try and help their employees by doing some of the tough work themselves, when in actuality they should be leading and managing their employees. It takes a smart person to be able to realize they are not the smartest person on a team and that is what a good manager does, they assemble a team that is smarter than themelves so they’re team is the best.

  160. With a daunting task such as the possible end of the world as a hard deadline. When the stakes are as high as these one can often want to do the work themselves so it can be done in the best manner it can. In splitting up the large team into smaller ones, you gain the advantage that each member of the team gains a purpose that they can see as it is more focused while working as part of a larger group can make their purpose seem almost abstract. This points to the importance of delegation. Delegation within an organization, especially a large one, is essential for success. Having people who are capable of doing good work and as a manager not having to worry about the quality of work will lead you to avoid micromanagement. Communication among small teams is also better as they are more aware of the tasks of the team as a whole. It is also important for the managers of those small teams to understand their roles and know their team well enough to know where each member can be most effective. Management is not just “bossing people around” but is more about making sure the chemistry of the team is built so it is most effective.

  161. While Y2K itself ended up being a completely imaginary issue, there seems to have been a real and valuable lesson learned in this process. Managing a team on a budget and a strict timeline when the world seems like it’s about to end is no easy task. However, if the world were ever on the brink of technological disaster, that would be the way to find a solution. Breaking initiatives up into groups and instructing them to operate like small businesses is a genius delegating exercise. Giving a team a goal with a strict timeline and the opportunity to act as an autonomous organization leaves the responsibility up to the delegator. Whoever assigns and delegates the objectives to various team members is essentially the individual responsible for the effectiveness of the team as a whole. Proper delegation strategies are more often than not learned through failure rather than success. By improperly delegating tasks and attempting to do the work themselves, delegators and managers are aware of lost time and potential. The ability for a manager to anticipate a deadline and delegate the proper jobs to a team is far more important than the manager being able to do all of the work themselves.

  162. This article tells the story of how sometimes the hardest thing in a company isn’t getting the technology to work but getting the people to work together. For Example, in business’ there are sometimes a lack of communication on projects or whatever is happening at work resulting in some sort of mistake. The best thing for an organization to have nothing but complete success is for them to talk everything through. This can be applied to anything in life. For example being a college athlete in a practice before the game if I have a question about something we are running as a team I will speak up and ask. Sometimes and most of the time someone else has that same confusion about the play and it not only clears things up for me but for the rest of my teammates as well. The same can happen in a business where people are confused about a project or deal going on it is better to just say I am confused can you help me rather than just let it be and let the project be wrong.

  163. The Y2K possible catastrophe was such an interesting way to start the new century. Some believed the world would end and all technology would be ruined and others thought those people were crazy. But what kept everyone on an equal footing was that no one really knew what was coming, everyone was secretly scared of what was to come. I think this is where the article shines with its comparison to small business. When businesses are starting some believe that this business will be the next big company and others believe that they are crazy. What holds true is that no one can predict what is going to happen, but people can be the best prepared for possibilities of what may happen.

    What this article does really well, in my opinion, is expressing the slippery slope that is management. There will be people who have different ways of doing things which will cause frustration if you try to micromanage and there will be people who will gel well with your expectations of the job. Once you realize that in order to let your team flourish, or your business grow, you must loosen the reins, then everything else will hopefully fall into place. This being the hardest lesson to put into action but the most beneficial when successful.

  164. Sophy Blenkhorn

    After reading this article, I was able to grasp how scared people really were for the year 2000. I did not know it was a total scare like described above. The change to how the government communicates within itself was not started until after 9/11 when it had no choice but to get stronger. I think that this tragedy pushed the American people to want to be better and incentivised them. This motivation was something that all people had in common and pushed them to attain their goals together as efficiently as possible. However, the management comments are interesting. It was written that Professor Yoest was focused on his piece of the pie instead of trying to deal out some of the work to others. This was partly because of the attention to detail he wanted to be done. I think that in managing others, building trust is important as well as finding their motivations in order to ensure the common goal will be made as the leader wants it to be. By sparking a fire under everyone of your employees or teammates you are able to know work will be completed to the best of their ability.

  165. Michael Yuschak

    The Y2K was an interesting time to be in the business world because there were new advances in technology being made every single day but there was also this looming catastrophe as well. There was a sense of hope along with this sense of almost danger by the sounds of it. This is why many people were nervous about this new century because of all the new advances that are being made going along with it. These advances scared people to the point that they may have even believed that the world was going to end. This did not happen but what did happen was that those who believed in these advances and bought into them were rewarded for it. This goes along with how managing a big company can seem very daunting. It can seem daunting because it is but the only way to get better at it is with experience. That was my main takeaway from this article was that there is no better way to learn something other than through experience. That is how in this article the manager learned how to manage his team properly rather than the way he was doing it.

  166. Y2k was a situation that thankfully never happened as the result would’ve been totally catastrophic causing a loss of not only an immense number of jobs, but there was also a scare for a loss of life. In times of doubt, fear and pre-chaos anxiety, you were able to remain poised and collected as da fear for the worst crept in. Preparations and arrangements were already being made for a worst-case scenario adding more preoccupation to the mix. It is not easy to keep your composure in a situation like this. Thankfully everyone played their role correctly and this world-changing problem did not occur. This should be an example as to how micro-managing and overall team-management in the workplace should run. It is impressive the amount of work a group of humans can accomplish when everybody does their job, not only correctly but above the expectation, this situation is the embodiment of such.

  167. Charles Iarocci

    In the early 2000’s we as Americans experienced what was called the Y2K bug, this bug was a prediction that the coding of computer systems would fail and the necessary technologies we use to live today would be inaccessible. The thought was that all technologies were going to be breached and began sending the people into global hysteria. There was a large global panic involving the possibility of terrorism during this blackout as well. All the top IT companies were recruited to find a solution. In this passage, he talks about the troubles he had starting to run the company as a small business. They came to realize that the technology was the easy part but the hard part was delegating tasks and managing projects through other workers on time and within a budget. The realization that management plays such a crucial role in the success of the company. Getting people to communicate effectively and as a team to get the larger task completed was the hardest obstacle they faced. Not even the government was capable of managing such a project and keeping it running smoothly. The global hysteria eventually passed and the Y2K bug never posed a problem.

  168. Nicholas J Leyhan

    My feeling is that small “family owned; or not” companies have an advantage over larger companies because every employee will know the daily tasks for each department. However, this can also hurt them because one person may feel they are responsible for all jobs and not let go of the reins. Large companies have different departments in which the heads of departments oversee the daily tasks and are available to their employees if they require help. That being said, they should know the duties and responsibilities of that department and if they do not, their department can implode. I have heard during Y2K heads of companies were more concerned that they were going to lose everything more than worrying about their employees keeping their business running. Some companies had one person or very small teams working on ways to keep their data safe, but no one knew exactly what needed to be done. As of today, companies have back ups of their back ups and an entire department dedicated to keeping that technology safe. Before Y2K everyone thought computers would crash and they would have to start at square one. Currently in today’s world it seems everyone is going about their business at hand without that worry and hackers are coming in and holding companies hostage for their data because of this. Smaller companies seem to be at a disadvantage because they do not have the budget to invest in their security and future. On the other hand, large companies have the means to protect themselves and do not always choose to do so. Let’s keep Y2K in the past and never worry about it again!

  169. Nicholas Saldias

    The Y2K bug was one of the more fascinating things I’ve read. It was fueled mainly by hysteria and extreme predicting. I think of the Y2K bug as a drill. Many companies were put to the test of how to solve a problem that they couldn’t stop from happening. I think for many companies, this was a wake-up call on the lack of project management and communication companies actually hold. However, many people see Y2K as a weird event that caused a lot of people to panic. I view Y2K as a good gut check for companies and can attribute it to many of the successful companies today. Many companies learned about the importance of team management and the flow of information through that team. Companies have not only improved in team management but also have installed backups in case anything catastrophic like the planned Y2K bug happens. These improvements have led companies to have a stronger foundation and core that can allow something like this to happen in the future and allow the company to survive. I think companies should view Y2K as a lesson and something to improve on instead of looking back at something that could have been catastrophic.

  170. This article was a very entertaining read. The Y2K Bug was a huge wake up call for many companies and displayed their true nature. The event caused an outbreak of severe panic and mass hysteria. This put a lot of companies to the test, it showed how underprepared they were. This issue emphasized the need for better communication and project management. The Y2K event taking place led to a lot of crucial company growth that we can see in the corporate world today. Some of these improvements consist of better team management, improved communication, and the better processing of important information.

  171. Marie Fitzpatrick

    This article shows the importance of building relationships where trust is at the core. There has to be a balance between being confident and being nervous when delegating tasks. In the same way, you have to take risks and delegate tasks and allow your followers to have autonomy and feel responsible for their work. Many times it can be nerve-wracking to not do the whole task yourself yet, as the governor advised treating your team like a small company is a great way to go about it. Not only will you allow them to feel as though they can accomplish the work you will also build relationships where you can trust them to do the work. By forming relationships and creating trust between employees you will be both an efficient and effective team. Just as we are our brother keepers we also need to trust that they are able to do the work. We have to understand the importance of delegation not only for ourselves but for others. This reminds me of Theory X and Theory Y. It is vital for us to use Theory Y as the way to delegate as it allows the employees to feel as though they can do the work and it pushes the responsibility down forming the Catholic Social Principle of subsidiarity.

  172. Pick a small team and run them as a small business. It will be the same except with more zeros.“… keep it compact, don’t overthink and don’t overdue if it is not really necessary. Focus on one sector at a time. Getting to manage people is harder than just assigning the tasks and managing others around you. I believe that the harder/bigger task, the more responsibility, and the more motivation to do it the best way possible, and with a great team behind you to rely on the completion of the task needed. One must take one step at a time, and doing that one thing at its full potential rather than doing many at the same time and nor really doing any of them great, that’s why I don’t agree with the constant act of micromanaging. Lastly, in my personal experience i have dealt bringgin big project to life, and starting doing something new and realizing everything one must manage in order to make it happen is frustrating sometimes, because one tend to see the whole operation system as one’s responsibility when in reality is all about working with other people in order to divide the task/roles needed in order to be more productive and sufficient.

  173. The lesson learned from the Y2K story is simple and one I have found very apparent in my life. When you are in charge of a certain event, you want everything to go as planned which is obviously never the case. The sense of trust by micromanaging diminishes outside work because of a fear of failing. The main point that I believe is shown from this article is that you cannot be afraid to fail. This takes the main point of delegating different parts of a job to a whole new level by challenging the very reason a certain individual will not let go of their power. As shown in the article, micromanaging can hurt workplace culture along with production as well. Once power is delegated however, is when process is made as all work can be done at the same time and trust between individuals grows. This will lead to success and a better culture as a work place and a push to get all the jobs done and not leave it to one stressed out individual putting themselves through an impossible task. Overall, be fierce and willing to let others help and do not worry about small concerns such as a computer which is already programmed to do the right thing, especially only change a couple numbers in the date.

  174. In 1999, the world was in fear of what the year 2000 would do to the newly acquired technologies. In this article, we see the experience within one company during that time that should be a lesson to all managers of companies big and small. Since there was a countdown and they were unsure how to fix the problems, the manager brought in IT consultants. Although he had the title that put him in charge, he did not let himself be the smartest in the room. He delegated the responsibility. However, prior to this, he was an overbearing leader. What he, as the manager, saw as attention-to-detail, his employees viewed as micromanaging. It was not until the would-be Armageddon was on his hands that he relinquished himself from the responsibility and allowed other, more suitable people, to do the work necessary for success. The lesson that should be learned is that, as a manager, you need to focus on being managerial; if you pull together the right team and push them in the right direction, the work will get done and get done well. Do not wait for the presumed end of the world (or even the end of the business) before doing what you were hired for.

  175. I like how Governor Gilmore’s advice was, ”Pick a small team and run them as a small business. It will be the same except with more zeros.” This was his way of making you feel comfortable in this hectic situation and helping you realize you have done things like this before. Even though this was on a larger scale, or involved more zeros, he knew you could get the job done. The Governor helped you get in touch with the managerial skills that you are used to using in the business world and apply them to this Y2K situation. While owning a small business made this transition easier than not, some tendencies were not helpful in this scenario. You said you had trouble delegating tasks, like most small business owners who are used to making the big decisions themselves, which makes sense. After you tried to get everything done yourself, you realized there was only one option that would set your team up for success; delegation. Once, you delegated the tasks and things worked out, I’m sure you felt a lot better about the next time you would have to delegate in the future. This sounds like a pivotal learning experience in your career. Luckily for the state of Virginia, everything ended up a lot better than expected.

  176. There is a simple, yet important message in this article. Nothing is ever going to go exactly according to plan, and as the manager, you have to accept that everything will be okay. With proper management and plans in place, the team will be able to pivot and adjust, however this cannot happen if a micromanager is in place. The micromanager will want everything to always be so perfect that he is almost afraid to fail. However, this does not show trust in the team or trust in the organization. The good manager will run his team like a small business, allowing and trusting them to complete their tasks. This gives a sense of ease to everyone and can calm down the situation when things inevitably go wrong. In sports we say, “Act like you have been there before” after a win. I feel that this quote can apply to when a scary situation arises. If you are prepared to adapt, and continue to work as a team rather than a dictator, everything will work itself out.

  177. One part of the article that stood out to me was the fact that half of the world’s internet traffic passed through northern Virginia in the 1990s. In my information technology class last spring we talked about how one of the largest cloud servers is in Loudon County, Virginia. . I have to wonder why cloud servers are in northern Virginia. I would assume that it is because of the federal government and government agencies being headquartered in the DC and northern Virginia area.
    In terms of managers and how they manage their teams, managers are in charge of managing both the tasks that are delegated to their employees and their employee’s personalities. My manager at the company where I am interning has broken up our clients into a “pod” system. We are then broken down into smaller groups of three to four depending on the type of client, whether the client is a political client or a corporate client. This system has worked well for our teams so that we are not overwhelmed with the amount of work. Breaking up the amount of work that needs to be done is an effective way to prevent burnout and keep everyone accountable. Everyone knows what tasks need to be done.

  178. The lesson learned from the reading is that there is a real challenge in delegation and managing projects through people on time and on budget. Knowing the small, typical tasks and how to get the job done is the simple part; the hard part is managing a whole corporation or group that you are responsible for and leading them in performing successful outcomes. In the article, the governor offered advice saying that forming small teams produces better results. I believe this to be true because it creates a certain dynamic where team members trust each other and get to know each other on a deeper level which allows the team to gain insight on how each member works best. The work is more productive that way. By trusting the employees and their abilities to be responsible in their work, a leader can be more effective, perform better, and focus himself/herself on the more important tasks. In this article, it’s evident that a good balance between technology and micromanaging is important in the workplace. Technology can’t do everything that a human can do so we shouldn’t rely on it too heavily; therefore, a good delegation of tasks and and the forming of heads coming together create the best form of synergy.

  179. Harry Stinger, IV

    Listening to the stories of people describing the Y2K bug was genuinely eye-opening and demonstrates the amount of concern the entire world felt at the time. Managing people during uncertain times can be a daunting task that requires clear communication on all levels. Without effective communication tasks and due dates can easily be mistaken; costing the company valuable time and money. To be able to assist our peers we must humble ourselves and examine how we might be able to improve our productivity. On the other hand, it is vital that we trust our employees and do not micromanage every task they are assigned. Finding this ideal balance involves trial and error and actively listening to the opinions of others. Trusting that staff members will complete a specific job on time and correctly speaks volumes about a manager’s belief in their workers. This act of trust simultaneously instills confidence in workers, resulting in more productive/effective work. Working together as a group through adversity typically strengthens the culture and unity between members of an organization. After the Y2K scare, I am curious about which organizations and cultures were able to come together and grow. Additionally, it will be interesting to see how those industries look today in comparison to over 20 years ago.

  180. It is funny just how underrated delegation is, and how some people avoid it because they are scared of being “lazy.” I can tell them “you have subordinates for a reason” all I want, but so often they just shake their heads, at ebay delegating miniscule amounts while still taking up as much of the task as they can, as if asking subordinates to do something was some great breach of trust. It is a somewhat understandable stigma in many ways, as from an outside perspective giving someone else work you were told to complete seems dishonest, being the same sort of behavior you would expect a bully character to perform in a saturday morning cartoon. But, as with most things done in a capitalist system, the media can often give it a worse rep than it deserves. Throughout my stint as a senior patrol leader in Boy Scout Troop 740, I found that working along with the other scouts was not actually the most efficient way to get things done: scouts would finish their tasks and wander off, get distracted, or just stand around twiddling their thumbs, unsure what to do next. It was not that any of them were lazy, but that they lacked direction. Productivity leapt up once I stopped working and started only delegating and overseeing, me being able to dedicate my full attention to making sure everyone else knew what they were supposed to be doing, only assisting when someone did not know how to complete a task; and even than I usually delegated teaching them to someone else.

  181. Jessica Raguso-Failla

    This article emphasizes important points that most people either overlook or do not realize. A person can have technology and all of the resources they need at their fingertips, but if they are having trouble applying it or are having management issues, those resources are meaningless. Big and small organizations are run differently, with different levels of delegating and different amounts of managers and supervisors. People always say that if you want something done right, then you have to do it yourself, so it can be very difficult to delegate tasks if a manager knows what has to get done and how they personally want it to be executed, because they just want to do it themselves to ensure it is done correctly. In organizations, though, the employees feel suffocated by that and do not have opportunities to flourish because their manager is doing their work for them or breathing down their necks. This article shares important lessons on how to delegate and work as a member of a team to get things done so that people’s strengths are utilized, because resources mean nothing if you are unable to apply them to your full capacity.

  182. Connor McDonough

    I believe as a manager, the toughest realization you must come to is that nothing will get done (at least in a timely manner) without trusting that those under you are capable of performing their duties as a professional. When you are very invested in the outcome of a situation, it is natural to take an “if you want it done right, you got to do it yourself” approach, because you can have total trust in yourself to put in the effort it requires. It is not very easy to put that trust in others as you simply don’t know how hard they are working. The checks and balances that exist internally are not present when looking in on someone else. While you may feel that you are the best man for the job, there are very few situations where one person is able to complete a task on time, and as a manager, that is not your job. Within the article, he mentioned the urge he had to “roll up his sleeves” and get to work, but that urgency he showed was not received in the same manner by his staff. There is where the trust must lay. A manager must have the ability to back off and delegate a task to someone and trust that they are capable of handling it. You can never fully know what the finished product will look like, or if it will be up to standard, but managers have the responsibility of leading teams, to the best of their ability, towards a collective group effort that produces a above standard result, because that’s how things get done.

  183. What stood out to me about this article is that it seems like technology is running the world right now and more and more jobs are being lost to technology every day. However, there is no technological solution to the management of people. There is no replacement for human instinct and managing different people with different skill sets. As mentioned in the article technology can be learned and farmed out to other experts but management needs to come from within the organization. Managing big groups can be very difficult, especially with the end of the world looming, but Senator Jim Gilmore gave some great advice: “Pick a small team and run them as a small business. It will be the same except with more zeros.” Although the task of managing a big team may be daunting it can be simplified when broken down into smaller groups. The smaller groups should contain people smarter than the manager especially when they are brought into the project to complete a specific task because the manager can’t know everything at all times. Although the manager can try to become an expert in the field, they may fall short because they have not had enough practice or learned the task earlier in their life.

  184. This was definitely an interesting read because I had no idea that there was speculation about a potential disaster occurring as the world ushered in the 21st century. I also cannot believe that there was a very, very large sum of money put into action in order to protect the Internet, and society itself during this time period. Disaster or no disaster aside, I think it is very important to note that managing the skills and peculiarities of other people in order to complete a common, righteous goal is a great example of completed staff work. Not in that the manager is doing all that much, but what they are doing is allowing their staff to be the best versions of themselves so that their members can simply allow the manager to sign off on their work.

    I also found it funny that the conclusion of this work experience was that conflicts between people will always supersede hypothetical conflicts in terms of importance. People are what makes the world go ’round, not technology.

  185. The thing that stuck out to me the most about this article is that even the most top level government officials sometimes do not know how to manage people or have all the answers. Whenever I think about government officials, like those described in article, I always think of them as the best of the best. However, this article showed me that even the best of the best sometimes need some help, and I believe that it is always best practice to seek advice from those who are considered experts or know more than you. I also thought it was interesting that his manager said that you have to think of your team as a small business in order to successfully manage a team. I think this is wise advice because it will not allow the manager to over complicate anything, it will allow him or her focus on the most important details. It allows you to build more person relationships in order to gain trust from your team as well as respect. Once you have respect from your team, they will allow you to manage them in the best way possible. Even in the government, one of those my high stakes stages, this method has been proven to work.

  186. The main lesson of this story is that regardless of the physical resources you have, it is much more important that you have the non-physical skills to properly and successfully manage a team. In the midst of a worldwide crisis and uproar, there are things that still need to happen. In the case of Y2K, people thought that the world was going to end. But what happens on January 2, 2000, when the world continues? You cannot give up even when the world is supposedly ending. It is important to continue to do your job in the face of potential catastrophe. Something that I found very interesting was the advice to treat the team as a small business, rather than treat it as what it was: a team formed from a much larger organization. I like this advice because it helps the manager to focus on their work and making the team work as efficiently as possible, rather than only working for the company at large. It is helpful to the manager because when the team is operating smoothly and correctly, it assures the rest of the company that they do not have to worry about that particular team, and can focus on the bigger picture.

  187. Managing managers and employees is something that is often overlooked in the workplace. He talked about “attention to detail” and working hard instead of managing the people who were actually supposed to do that. I think sometimes a manager thinks as the employee and does the grunt work, instead of being a manager that is supposed to focus on other things like managing their team and overseeing projects as well as delegation. Getting lost in the weeds of small tasks is something that managers overlook and should start thinking about more. The perfect balance of technology, management, and communication can make all the difference in the workplace.

    I also found it interesting that technology ran through DC/Northern VA because I’ve lived in NOVA my whole life and never really thought about it that way.

  188. This is a great lesson to learn and use in the future with managing projects and delegating work to your team without the use of technology. Technology is not the answer to problems such as managing people and being a leader. A great leader is someone who is able to manage their team through hard challenges in delegation on time with no mistake. I learned in this reading that you need a compact team that you trust. There are times where you can’t pick your team so It’s hard to first trust and have people on your team trust you. Since a compact team is small, it is important for the team to become close in a level where they understand each member’s strengths and weaknesses. This is especially important for the leader to pay attention to such things because trust and productivity will grow. I bring productivity into this because when managing a project there’s also a time to be done successfully. When the leader understands and trusts each member, they are then delegated to do a task they are capable of doing effectively. The team will perform better because everyone comes into unison and becomes less reliant on technology.

  189. Declan O'Sullivan

    I think the point made in the article about comparing running a government to running a small business was the most interesting point made in the article. Both small businesses and governments run on generally the same idea. There is a manager who needs to delegate tasks to other employees below themselves in order for the business to be able to run smoothly. As Professor Yoest pointed out in the article, it is very easy for managers to get bogged down in details that do not necessarily matter to themselves. I often find myself doing this when I get into projects because I love looking at the small details and making sure that every last thing is correct before I can move on to the next part. However, this is not effective management. The effective manager would have hired good people on his team who he trusts to delegate to. This means each person can get into the details of their part of the project while the manager can focus more on just simply managing. It is important to note that you cannot just simply delegate. You have to be able to trust the person you delegate to in order for the project to be successful.

  190. I found this article to be incredibly interesting for many reasons! First of all, I think it is wild that half of the world’s internet traffic passed through Northern Virginia in the 1990s which really was not all that long ago. I found it very fascinating how difficult it can be to not “micromanage”. I never really thought about it being so difficult to hold yourself back and allow others to do the work so that you, the manager, can truly manage and delegate tasks. I have learned just how important the role of a manager is to the functionality of a business. Especially to managers, delegation can be difficult because it requires trust and trust is not gained easily. Some managers worst enemy is perfection. Striving for perfection is not necessarily a bad thing, but when you allow that goal to prohibit/restrict you from being a good people leader, that is where you will have a problem. Therefore, by learning to trust your employees and allowing them to do the work while you stick to the delegating, you will be on the fast track to leading a successful business!

  191. High ranking executives at times have difficulties delegating tasks or duties. They want their businesses to run as efficiently and smoothly as possible. Instead of “managing managers”, they wind up “micromanaging”. Executives are responsible and accountable for keeping the organization on track with their vision and mission. They must make crucial and important decisions that guide the establishment to a profitable future. Employees work behind the scenes to “pound the keyboards”, research, solve problems, settle disputes and deal with issues that they bring to the executive’s table. Executives need to be able to access this pertinent information and make decisions that determine the future success of the organization. They need to properly accrue and digest information necessary to be “in the know” of the current events. To properly make sound decisions takes time to reflect on unforeseen circumstances that may occur. Not to fix all of Y2 global problems – “run a big business like a small one” is excellent advice.
    Being an efficient executive leader empowers others to do their jobs thoroughly. They build trust by example and develop shared aspirations. Leaders have the ability to bring a group together for the betterment of the organization and all those involved in the development of team players.

  192. For someone who was born in the year 2001, the Y2K scare is only a history lesson, but an important one at that. Looking back on this big problem that never came to be makes one contemplate the importance of management and their role in recognizing future problems for their companies. The Y2K problem posed a threat for companies all over the world, and managers were forced to act on their own accord to best combat this oncoming storm. I think that it is interesting that Jack Yoest was given the advice to “pick a small team and run them as a small business.” I think this advice is important for managers on multiple levels, because at the end of the day running a small team is more effective than trying to control a larger one. I also think that it’s interesting that Yoest wanted to get straight to work alongside those he was managing. This is something that can be and is a problem for a lot of managers. My mom, a CIO of a large company often talks to me about how it is hard to delegate time between managing her team when they are working on specific projects because she often gets caught up trying to do the work herself in an attempt to help her team reach their end goal. A manager at the end of the day is most useful however when they work to guide their team, when they organize their team so that each team member can use their strengths to come to a solution together.

  193. My favorite line in this article is “Like Noah and the flood, we knew it was coming.” Professor Yoest uses biblical passages throughout his classes to educate, inform, and guide students in their studies. Most handouts, slides, and blackboard posts are headed by a verse from the Bible related to the topic of conversation. Drawing on the relationship between faith and academics is a foundational value of the Busch School and Professor Yoest does an excellent job conveying it. This article is no different. The choice to connect Noah and the flood to Y2K really highlights the importance of preparation and deliberate action under time constraints with little information. Noah knew very little about how the storm was going to take place. He knew danger was in his future and that something needed to be done about it. Likewise, the world knew that Y2K was approaching and that the current technological systems were not adequately programmed. The deadline to fix the problem was coming whether we were ready or not. Just as Noah did, staffers got right to work coming up with solutions. They worked as hard as they could until the job was done, and the future danger was no longer an issue. And most importantly, they were on time and on budget.

  194. What really stood out to me in this article was when your boss told you to pick a small team and run them as a small business. I feel as though when it feels like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders in a situation like that, micromanaging and condensing things down can make a life a whole lot easier and take some stress off of the individual. In times of need, people always need a leader to show them the way. Even if you think you are not qualified or ready, act as so so that others will believe in you and their stresses can be reduced. Technology can’t make people feel more comfortable or confident with their words, they need a real leader, a human leader to guide them. It is very hard as a leader to delegate tasks to your team, but if you are confident enough and understand that you are a leader, there will be no questions asked. It doesn’t matter at all that your team is “smarter” than you. Most of the time, that is how it should be. Coaches in the NBA and NFL aren’t hired because they were the best at the sport at one point in time, they are hired because while they are knowledgeable of the game, it is more for the fact that they can lead a group of men to victory and demand their respect.

  195. Through this article we see a man discover the importance of organizational behavior and management. With a deadline at hand, the boss decided to do everything himself instead of delegating it to his employees, this is a thing a lot of bosses struggle with today. For a manager, it is difficult to trust that those below you will do the work and get the job done, but you did hire them and have to believe in their abilities. When there is a deadline, it is human nature to take it upon yourself to get it done and do it the “right way”, but with a team, everyone can put in their effort and get the job done more efficiently. Additionally, this article brought up technology and how Y2K everyone thought the world was going to end due to it. However, now, technology is the backbone of every job, school, and life. We spend countless hours using technology every day and many jobs have been created due to the rise in technology. Without it, COVID-19 would have greater negative effects on the job and stock markets. Consequently, if a manager does not know how to manage people, even with all this technology, they will still not be successful and the business will not operate efficiently.

  196. This was an extremely interesting article because it makes something so complicated like organizing and dividing up workers into a task that they are better at, become very simple. When you think about big businesses, you think that is nearly impossible to have your operations run smoothly. However, this article puts it into a different perspective. Once you can micromanage every aspect of your workplace then managing problems between employees and difficulties throughout the workplace will be easier. This article says that a big business is like running a small business. By treating a large business, the same as a smaller sized business, it shows that everyone it can show that everyone in the workplace will be apart of a team making their operations are still able to run smoothly. When you hear large business, it can sound quite intimidating, however it will be completely up to the team if they will work well together however this proves to be easier with a less amount of people. In smaller groups technology has made smaller and larger teams more successful however we rely heavily on this too much at times. at the end of the day, we still need people physically available those manage people who are working on various projects and using technology to help.

  197. Joris Van Straelen

    ​​Coming from a small business it is very hard to adjust from micromanaging, most small businesses are run this way. But with running such a large operation micromanaging wasn’t the answer, delegating work and trusting professionals was. Technology has evolved even more since 1999 and we are even more dependent on it now than ever. One job technology can never replace is a good manager, one who knows how to manage and lead his employees, one who knows how to delegate work properly throughout his staff and one is able to trust his staff to the fullest with completing these tasks. One major challenge of being a great manager is trust. When such an important task is on your plate, especially when the end of the world is coming, it is easy to fall into the mindset of only being able to trust yourself. Managers might want to get to work on a project themselves but you may never know if your work is as good as it can be without outsourcing work to your employees. The main part of a manager’s job is to lead people and to allow the employees to do their work, which is to work on the projects and tasks at hand.

  198. What I took away from this article is that professionals in the business world are relying too heavily on technology. Employees that rely too much on technology do not realize the importance and impact managers can have on employees and the overall performance of a company. Communication is the most important aspect of a company, and face-to-face interactions are the most effective relay of information. Communication that is strictly through technology does not have the same impact and most of the time does not convey all necessary information because of the lack of focus that goes along with it. This article goes into detail about the importance of task managers and their ability to create and implement teams that are self-sufficient. If the separate teams of a company rely on the manager to perform their tasks the manager hasn’t been doing his job effectively and needs to rethink his approach within the company.

  199. This was perhaps the most aspirational quote from the whole article: ”Pick a small team and run them as a small business. It will be the same except with more zeros.”

    I have a friend who worked for a large company once that took two weeks to just set up their computer. Everything their boss said publicly was managed by an HR person, and every single action his boss wanted to take had to go through a series of approvals by upper-management. Safe to say this was a “behemoth company”.

    But not all companies operate that way, especially not all tech companies. Amazon has a rule called the “two-pizza” rule. If a team takes more than two large pizzas to feed, it’s too big. Agile methodologies have become extremely popular in the tech world after Y2K. Lean, Kanban, Scrum are all systems they put in place to keep them adaptable to big changes, rollouts, or bugs in their system. Hopefully we can avoid another expensive global panic like Y2K.

  200. I loved this reading. It highlights the management nightmare of having too much to delegate and oversee. With so many things on your plate, it makes it so easy for problems to slip through the cracks. The idea of treating a large enterprise as a small business I thought was a great way to explain the solution to such a problem. I remember hearing someone speak about the pains of being rich. “Yes you have more wealth, but that comes with more headaches”. The bigger the company, the more difficult it is to lead by yourself. I thought it would be beneficial for a leader to want to be on the front lines, to have the desire to be involved with what was going on with his company, however it proves to be impossible to be in so many places at once and to be sure you are getting the same performance from your workers as if you were not there. Rather, a leader should build a strong team of managers which they can consider as their own small team. Managing in of itself is a skill and a job. Giving others something to be responsible for also helps give the team a sense of initiative and ownership over their work, therefore, a greater sense of pride in what they do and how they perform.

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