In IT (and other industries that employ knowledge workers) the staff usually knows more than the manager. This is not by accident. A smart manager should always look to hire people smarter than her. By working on the system, the employees will quickly learn how the system works and their first-hand understanding of it will quickly exceed the level of understanding the manager possesses.

Is this imbalance in expert power a threat to the manager? Not at all. The manager’s job is to help employees make things happen. She may not be able to do it directly, by writing code or setting up servers, but she can coordinate, communicate, plan, pitch and write reports. She doesn’t need to be a technical expert, since she has the technical experts willing to help her.

A manager (or any other team member) should never limit the team’s potential. Being the smartest one in the room doesn’t mean being the loudest one. You don’t always have to have all the answers. Sometimes all you need to do is connect the right people and get out of the way.