Manager-in-training

Collecting tips and tricks from podcasts and blog posts
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  • Standups should be about steering, not a status meeting.
  • Automate status reports for standups, since they’re not inspiring. 
  • Instead have meetings with everyone everyday to ask, what is the best day that we can possibly have? 
  • You should be pumped after your standup. 
  • There’s a human element of syncing everyday.
  • If you had a bad day, this is where you lean on the team. 
  • It’s not a status or policing session. 
  • I know you’ve been working on CSS for weeks, and you’re going to continue doing it.
  • As a manager, you are coaching. 
  • Gauge the energy. Make adjustments accordingly.
  • Example team
  • Morning: status meeting
  • Afternoon: product standup
  • PM asks: what new toys do I have to play with today?
  • What about standup bots?
  • Use it for asynchronous status updates.
  • Manager can notice if people are working on similar areas. Get them together.
  • Team Drift: Delay in feedback.
  • How do we get rid of this uncertainty?



Google's career conversation worksheet.


Run something like this quarterly


Google's `One Simple Thing`. Seems like a unique way to mitigate potential burnout.


Jeff Weiner quote on compassionate management


  • Managing is setting a mission and strategy. Provide guidance, and coaching. Everyone else does the rest on their own.
  • Your team is smarter than you, don't try to do it on your own.
  • Team needs the space and trust to make mistakes, sometimes those turn into unexpected wins.
  • Younger managers are still centralizing decision making. Will loosen up over time.
  • Company DNA is incredibly hard to change. Early hires are core part of company, and were likely hired for their similarities.
  • In a high growth company, your playbooks will likely be irrelevant in a matter of months. Don't count on autopilot reusage.


  • Direct Managers who don’t say hi in the hallway? Yikes.


  • Trust but verify, don’t be too easy or hard on your reports


  • Corporate world
  • Sometimes hard to get into meetings
  • Lack of transparency
  • With transparency, people can make the best decisions with available data. People can work in tandem without coordination 


  • Radical Candor
  • If people are complaining or gossiping behind backs, aim to approach others directly 


  • Temper your reactions, otherwise others won’t come to you anymore


  • Don’t underestimate others mimicking others in a group setting
  • People even start dressing the same
  • Happens involuntarily 
  • This is even more reason to hold yourself to a high standard


  • Experimenting with different approaches?
  • Split the team into groups and try different things in parallel
  • Benefit: Friendly competition
  • Keep your team close to customers


  • Career goals:
  • Titles and tiers are purely company retention tools 


  • In general, double down in your strengths, and not mitigating weaknesses


  • Books:
  • Culture Code


  • Find your reports’ motivations, which are different, and base your actions on those


  • Focus on making sure you’re paying attention when switching context between your teams


  • Block Friday off entirely to think and reset


  • New team and new project
  • Start with high frequency meetings upfront to clarify goals. Twice a week. Then step out when the team gels. Less cadence? More frequent when rolling out.


  • Start all hands meetings with digestible familiar metrics to think about how to impact them.


  • Follow great teams like you follow great job postings 


  • Giving feedback
  • Try to give feedback close to the moment, rather than waiting


  • Books
  • Tribal Leadership?


  • Write a manager readme guide
  • It will help accelerate familiarity between reports and manager, especially on growing teams


  • Servant leadership is harder and takes longer to execute than top-down, but builds a better team and team experience


  • Refer to rituals instead of meetings if they are repeating. More inviting


  • 1on1
  • Some backup topics if you have nothing else to chat about:
  • Report's growth
  • Manager's current disaster
  • Write a manager readme 
  • You ideally have 7 +/- 3 number of reports, (4 min, 10 max)
  • If you get the "twinge" (aka your spidey sense goes off), you can ask to clarify on the subject or "hmm..." to poke at it
  • You have the option of using longer, borderline uncomfortable pauses to grab conversation and change it as you need
  • If there’s 2-3 things you believe matters to being an effective manager, then go out and pursue diligently them 100 times, 1000 times.
  • Having 1on1s
  • Being on time. If people are late, kindly make the point at the beginning of the meeting that it's important to you and the team.


  • Note to self (not actual podcast content): In manager readme add list of topics you would love to talk about in one on one like what are you bored with. 


  • 1on1
  • Some backup topics if you have nothing else to chat about:
  • Report's growth
  • Manager's current disaster
  • Write a manager readme 
  • You ideally have 7 +/- 3 number of reports, (4 min, 10 max)
  • If you get the "twinge" (aka your spidey sense goes off), you can ask to clarify on the subject or "hmm..." to poke at it
  • You have the option of using longer, borderline uncomfortable pauses to grab conversation and change it as you need
  • If there’s 2-3 things you believe matters to being an effective manager, then go out and pursue diligently them 100 times, 1000 times.
  • Having 1on1s
  • Being on time. If people are late, kindly make the point at the beginning of the meeting that it's important to you and the team.


  • Note to self (not actual podcast content): In manager readme add list of topics you would love to talk about in one on one like what are you bored with.