Bosses used to be called “administrators”

I was talking to my father over Christmas and he said that in his career, job titles of bosses had been various things, such as "leader of", "head of", etc. But he said when he started, they were called administrators.

I think that's a great name for a boss. It emphasises that the job of the boss is to get out of the way of the employees and let them get on with their jobs. It also emphasises the positive aspects of a boss from the perspective of the employee, i.e. certain things which do not directly relate to the job, yet have to be done—such as coordinating holidays, managing pay, managing the office—should be done by the boss, to let the employee focus even more solely on their area of competence.

Imagine "administrator of software development" rather than "head of software development". That sounds to me much more like how it should be!

P.S. I recently created a nerdy privacy-respecting tool called When Will I Run Out Of Money? It's available for free if you want to check it out.

This article is © Adrian Smith.
It was originally published on 17 Jan 2008
More on: Project Management | Words & Language