Quoting this here because it resonated with me and I want to find it easily later:
Ideally, managers create organizations to carry out their plans, and they keep a watchful eye on their resources, especially the most valuable resource, time. Given that, a few questions arise naturally, and it is the specific responsibility of a manager to find out or figure out answers to them:From Pumas on Hoverbikes: Sysadmin Management, part of Monkeybagel.
Why are we here?
Where are we going?
What should we do?
Who should do what?
How do we balance decisions for both immediate and long-term success --or even just survival?
Most of the time, managers' jobs are defined by the rules, processes and implicit and explicit expectations of their management chain; things like doing nigh-meaningless performance evaluations and firing people who spend all their time surfing porn. And since the managers are still skilled technical professionals at heart, they also end up doing bits and pieces of their subordinates' jobs which are either too hard for the subordinate or too much fun to resist playing in. And since this takes all available time, nobody goes looking for trouble in the form of the real work -- the work described above, which is uniquely that of a manager and no one else.