Management is an art, a science, and a journey of continuous learning. Having spent over 2 years at Meta, and 8 years leading and managing at various organisations, I've gathered insights that are as surprising as they are enlightening. Here, I share 15 incredible management facts that will reshape how you view this critical role.
- Fostering Growth: As a manager, you're in the unique position to influence people's growth. Witnessing someone transform feedback into a 10x impact is not just rewarding; it's a testament to the power of effective management.
- The Perfect Altitude: Managers strike a delicate balance, staying close enough to the action to understand the nitty-gritty, yet detached enough to have a strategic viewpoint. This dual perspective is crucial for team dynamics and progress tracking.
- Community Spirit: Initially, management might feel less collaborative than other roles. However, there are many robust communities of managers ready to support each other. This network is invaluable for problem-solving and personal growth.
- Navigating Unpredictability: Management is inherently reactive, thanks to the unpredictable nature of people. This is especially true in larger teams, where interactions and complexities multiply.
- Embracing Change: In a dynamic business environment, managers must constantly adapt to new technologies, shifting market trends, and evolving team dynamics. This requires a blend of flexibility and resilience, ensuring that the team remains effective and motivated through periods of change.
- Longer Feedback Loops: As a manager, the impact of your decisions often surfaces months later, unlike the more immediate feedback loops experienced by ICs/non-managers. This can be challenging but also deeply rewarding.
- Striking the Right Balance: Like salt in a dish, managers must find the perfect balance in their approach. Too much or too little involvement can lead to issues. It's about empowering your team while maintaining the right level of guidance.
- The Shielding Effect: Managers often act as filters, shielding their teams from the chaos and noise of the organisation. This involves making sense of a barrage of information and ensuring the team remains focused and unburdened.
- The Role of Mentorship: Beyond the day-to-day tasks, a significant yet often overlooked aspect of management is mentorship. This involves guiding team members not just in their current roles but also in their long-term career development, which can be incredibly fulfilling.
- The Importance of Strong Partners: Strong partnerships are crucial. They bring stability and can help independently steer the team, which is vital given the unpredictable nature of management.
- Multifaceted Expectations: Beyond people and team impact, managers are expected to contribute across various dimensions, including organisational contributions and fostering team collaboration.
- Being a Signal Beacon: Managers are a constant source of signals about the team's main issues. Listening to them carefully can help in addressing significant challenges and scaling your own impact.
- Openness to Reach Out: Despite being conscious of their busy schedules, I learned that managers are more approachable than you might think. They are willing to support, so don't hesitate to reach out.
- The Power of Empathy: One of the most profound lessons I've learned is the importance of empathy. Understanding the personal and professional challenges that team members face allows for a more supportive and effective management style, fostering a culture of trust and respect.
- The Gift of Feedback: My time as a manager has reinforced the value of feedback. It's not just about giving feedback but also encouraging your team to engage in it actively.
This journey through the multifaceted world of management at various organisations reveals that the role is as challenging as it is rewarding.
Each point reflects my personal experiences and biases, and I encourage you to take these insights with a grain of salt. Whether you're a seasoned manager or an aspiring leader, I hope these revelations offer you a fresh perspective on the art of management.
Management is not just about overseeing a team; it's about growth, balance, and continuous learning. It's about being a shield, a beacon, and a mentor. As you reflect on these insights, I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences. Let's continue to learn from each other and evolve in our management journeys.