Fix your management problem now, imperfectly, rather than waiting "until I hire someone great"

In a discussion today about a good but not excellent manager, the manager’s manager wrote:

I'm not sure we even have anyone that could step in temporarily

to which I wrote the following:

I'm not convinced we need a manager for every team every minute of every day. The "we'll somebody has to occupy that M1 chair because we made that chair, and we don't have anyone better" argument is otherwise too hard to get around, and then prevents necessary change. I suggest we either just leave that chair unoccupied, or just pull a high potential IC (almost at random; see your last talent review) and put them in that chair as Interim, and see how they do. Worst case it'll not work, but likely not be substantively worse, and you'll have learned something about that high potential IC.

Leaders, like all humans, have limited attention spans. When we notice a problem, in this case with a level 1 manager (aka M1, someone who manages individual contributors), we should take some imperfect solution now rather than wait for a better solution later because there’s a high chance we’ll forget or get distracted by other pressing issues and thus the problem will linger for longer than it needs to. By the time we shine the light of our attention on it again, we’ll be like “oh no, we’re still in the same predicament we were in last time I looked here, and meanwhile a bunch of the best individual contributors have gotten discouraged and left their good-not-great manager”.