There was an article at computerworld.com (where the Shark Tank blog, true tales of IT woe, is a daily must) on management this week. This passage really rings true:
Once you have the right people in place doing the things they are good at, leave them alone. Managers often don’t understand that creative thinking and intellectual curiosity are what it takes to solve complex problems. These processes function poorly under time limits and rigid schedules. Yes, we have to meet deadlines. But creative problem-solving can’t be squelched, stomped on or denied if you want to solve real problems.
I think the best management feels like no management at all, but you know they’re out there filtering you from the constant demands of others (executives, customers, etc.). My last job had such poor management at every level – it’s a good thing to remind myself every once in a while that it’s important to work in an environment where you feel like you can get things done without constant pressure.