Need advice about business leadership and management roles

I work for a highly disfunctional healthcare organization. I started out 6 years ago as just a wiz kid in the computer department. Somehow my problem solving skills got me deeply involved with our majorly disfunctional information process between nurses/doctors/billing/ and medical records. I have been knee deep in problem solving the information process between these many departments for over 2 years.

Yet, this entire time, my job description has remained “wiz kid in the computer department”.

Today, I am seen as a respected problem solver for the information process of our organization. We recently hired a team of consultants to come analyze our continuingly disfunctional information process. This is what the team has givin us as one of the solutions:

Create a team with the heads of the following departments: Medical Records Billing Nursing Make Me (the computer department wiz kid) the leader and chairman for this team.

The team will meet every week until our information process is cleaned up to a point where it can meet less often. They are hoping this will only take 6 intensive weeks, but they are dilusional.

Here is my questions:

If you are creating a new and important team in a business:

Does it make sense to say the leader of the team is not responsible for the team’s success?
Does it make sense to put a person in charge of the team who is a staff member, while every team member is a manager? I make $7-$15/hr less then every member of this team I am supposed to lead.
Does it make sense to tell a team leader:
You will organize and run the meetings
You will make assignments to team members
You will report on the activities of the team
Yet, you are not “in charge”, you are not managing, and this does not involve greater “responsibility” for you?
And here is the most wierdly disfunctional aspect of this entire thing.

There already exists a team, let’s call it the BigWig Team, with the exact same make up of this “new team”. This other team has the managers of: Medical Records Billing Nursing. The team leader for this other team makes a full $20/hr more than me!

The BigWig team was created about a year ago. I applied to be the leader of the bigwig team, but I was denied. The BigWig team meets once every 2 weeks, and I just read the minutes from their last few meetings. The minutes were often 2 paragraphs long!.. I have already chaired one meeting with my team and I had to take 2 pages of notes.

So now they have created an alternative team that is an exact replica of “the BigWig team”, put me in charge, asked me to do the dirty work, yet the person who really is in charge of all these departments makes $20/hr more than me.

So what do you think? I am capable of leading this team, but am I right to say I am drastically underpaid to take on this leadership role? Would you ever think of putting a staff member in such a position of authority over managers?

I am looking for advice. I am tempted to say several things:

  1. “Yea right. I applied for this job, but you didn’t give it to me. The BigWig Team, lead by a guy making $20/hr more than me should be doing this.”
  2. I can do this. But I will not lead a team with members who make more money than me. (or I will not lead a team that has any member that makes more than (for example) $5/hr more than me.)
  3. I am not paid enough for this level of responsibility. My job description and payscale do not fit this role. If you with to offer me a new job and payrate, I will consider it.
  4. I could do the job and hope someday to be rewarded, but I don’t believe in this disfunctional organization that day of reward would ever arrive.

What do you think?

My thoughts on this:

  • Take the job and use it to pad your resume, knowing full well that this job isn’t your final career destination.
  • Decline the job on the basis of not being management, and not wanting a job that is all responsibility and no pay or power.
  • Take the job and run with it, laughing at how silly your company is. Turn it into an even bigger joke, by trying to make it even sillier and seeing how far you can push it.

hhmmm… I think it might be a good job experience. I avoided at all costs leadership and that doesn’t bother me too much… but the price is lower salaries. So how greedy/ambitious are you ? How willing to try new things ? I think it depends on your comfort levels.

Part of me regrets not having been a more active person… now that I’m less introverted I feel that if I had had some experience in leadership I’d be better off… or in a more interesting job.

You might end up an expert in institutional fuckups… but you will learn something. Be aware of being abused needlessly though.

I’ll say it’s dysfunctional, if only because you know everyone’s salary!! :eek:

I guess I can see them having a lower-paid person as the leader, in the sense of coordinator. You know what needs to be done and coordinate these folks to do it; they may not officially be answerable to you but they know something needs to be done and will follow your recommendations. It wouldn’t hurt for you to say that you are happy to take on the responsibility but would appreciate them considering an adjustment in salary commensurate with the added duties.

If your job in general has materially changed since you took it, ask for a position audit which would involve rewriting your job description and recasting your salary.

Featherlou you really made me lol.

I was going to say to take the position and learn from it because it’s a valuable skill to be able to lead people who don’t report to you and are often your superiors. I have to do that all the time.

However, I can’t understand the structure of your team and it does seem like it’s going to be difficult for you to get this team going. Do the other members of your team have any accountabilty for it’s success or failure? Or is it all on you?

I suggest you consider looking for a new employer.

You said the organization is highly disfunctional. If it really is highly disfunctional, you shouldn’t be a part of it. And if it isn’t highly disfunctional, you have misjudged the situation and you shouldn’t be a part of it.

As far as telling a superior you aren’t making enougn money for a particular assignment, one of two likely results. Either your superior will give you the raise or he/she will not and label you a troublemaker.

Take it. It is a great opportunity. As a junior guy, you basically can’t fail at this. But you can win big.

People get promoted after doing the job at the next level, not before. If you come anywhere near succeeding at this, which means a good plan for a solution in six weeks, not a solution, you’ll have a rocket up your ass. (Which is a good thing. :slight_smile: )

Some suggestions. Keep really good minutes and lists of action items, and publish them to the next higher level of manager. Do it from the beginning, so if things go sour you aren’t spreading blame, just keeping management informed. Make the managers go to meetings, but if they have to do something outside of meetings, suggest that they get someone in their groups involved to do the real work. Ordering a manager to do something won’t work, but getting a manager to order someone else to do it will.

One more thing - congratulations. No one puts someone in a position like this if they think the person is stupid. You’ve got a lot of credibility, now use it to get more money.

It sounds like you are being assigned a role of “facilitator” not team leader. Your job is to create a forum where the actual decision makers can get together and discuss issues.

As with any team, it’s success depends on each team member understanding their role and responsibilities and taking appropriate ownership.

As I said, you are there to facilitate discussion between the managers. Not be the manager. Basically organizing, documenting and providing channels of communication.

I would hesitate listening to many people on this board when it comes to career matters. Many of them seem to have a slant against “wealthy elites”, “capitalists”, “management”, “the man” and god knows who else. You don’t want to take management advice from people who have a permenant “worker bee” mindset. Focus less on what people are making and more on the job. Demonstrating management skills and leadership come first, then the position and salary. Not the other way around.

I understand this angle. The consultants we hired are somewhat in this role of “facilitator”…yet…the consultants are also making wads more money than me…

Don’t facilitator’s make lots of money typically? Much more then ordinary staff…