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Can you be a supervisor if you don't supervise people?

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  • Jun 17th, 2018 2:41 am
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Aug 4, 2006
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Can you be a supervisor if you don't supervise people?

Wanted to see everyone's thought's on if you can have a supervisor title if you don't supervise people? The role is more to supervise new projects and once they are in production, you are the main person involved making important decisions, but you're not exactly a project manager.
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Member
Aug 1, 2014
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Consulting companies tend to have lots of “leads” who are not managing people but rather a point of contact for certain items. It’s just a way for them to sell them to clients easier and at higher cost.
Deal Guru
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Jul 12, 2003
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Not an issue, for some it is even better to have a good title without having to deal with people that they report to you.

A lot of managers out there have no one under them. Even the Senior managers or some VP have no one report to them. It is just a fancy title and looks better when they have to deal with external clients.
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Dec 3, 2009
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Hahaha I interpreted the thread title the other way....

Hell yeah, Ive known a bunch of supervisors that just aren't good at "supervising" their out-of-control staff. And yes, some remained with that title.
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Newbie
Jun 2, 2018
17 posts
I think you may well be a supervisor without having supervising abilities as most of the supervisors I've seen haven't had them... But the question is, do you think the position is good for you? I mean, you may work as a supervisor but do you think you'll be happy?
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Nov 6, 2015
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clseea wrote: Job titles can be whatever the company wants them to be.
This exactly. What matters is how vital your job is, not what label is put on it.
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Mar 10, 2005
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JoeBlack23 wrote: This exactly. What matters is how vital your job is, not what label is put on it.
so true.
"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." - Epictetus
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Khichdi wrote: Consulting companies tend to have lots of “leads” who are not managing people but rather a point of contact for certain items. It’s just a way for them to sell them to clients easier and at higher cost.
The City of Toronto has quite a bit of this. They have supervisors with only 1 or 2 direct reports and sometimes none. I have noticed that in the staff directory they place names of people that aren't actually reporting to the supervisor to mask this.

They have a lot of cronyism and nepotism too so this is not an earth-shattering finding.

The Auditor General's Office has many complaints about the cronyism and nepotism. They provide lip service that they are looking into it and it's a top priority but I have been hearing the same messaging for a few years now.
Jr. Member
Jan 11, 2017
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I consider myself a working supervisor LOL, I'm lead hand but plenty of times I'm the only person in my dept so I do all the work, esp if everyones called in sick or booked that day off
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desm0nd wrote: Wanted to see everyone's thought's on if you can have a supervisor title if you don't supervise people? The role is more to supervise new projects and once they are in production, you are the main person involved making important decisions, but you're not exactly a project manager.
Short answer yes. What you describe sounds more like an Application/Technical Manager
"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." - Epictetus
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Mar 13, 2018
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DrunkenStupor wrote: The City of Toronto has quite a bit of this. They have supervisors with only 1 or 2 direct reports and sometimes none. I have noticed that in the staff directory they place names of people that aren't actually reporting to the supervisor to mask this.

They have a lot of cronyism and nepotism too so this is not an earth-shattering finding.

The Auditor General's Office has many complaints about the cronyism and nepotism. They provide lip service that they are looking into it and it's a top priority but I have been hearing the same messaging for a few years now.
City of Toronto isn't a consulting company

But glad to hear they run like one though

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