Do you really want to be a manager?
Suzanna Bierwirth, CCO of The Mars Agency, gave a brilliant lightning talk at PPP today. Below are my notes.
Before you go into management, consider — do you want to manage, or do you just want more cash?
How are you going to manage yourself once you are a manager?
- The work is no longer your work. Delegate or die.
- Help others succeed at the IC work.
- Find your inner circle
- People you trust
- Person who will call you on your BS
- Person who understand your vision
- Don’t change yourself — don’t think you have to be perfect or a super star. Build on your strengths. Perfect who you really are.
Managing your people
- Know your people
- Why are they there?
- Do they want money?
- Do they want to advance their career?
- What is going on in their life?
- Find your “informer” — the gossip who will keep you informed
2. Know what your people are good at
- Know what their superpower is
- Don’t put people on projects where they are set up to fail — work with their strengths
3. NEVER throw your people under the bus.
- All the work that comes out is your responsibility.
- If your team messes up — it’s your mess up
How to manage your boss (from boss’ point of view)
- Know how your boss needs to receive information
- Do they hate long emails?
- Do they prefer in person communication?
- Prefer texts?
2. Don’t let me hang there — I have a boss, too
- Don’t let me get blind-sided.
- Don’t come and dump emotion on me
- Bring me information
3. Don’t come to me in a panic. Bring me options for your problem.
- Help me give you good input
4. Have a plan when you talk to me
- Frame the problem appropriately
- For example, as a manager going to your director, don’t say “I need to hire people!” rather, frame the business problem:
“I am turning down work and we are losing money. We just can’t handle the capacity.”
- When your boss says “Maybe we should hire more people!” let them know how brilliant that is.
Do you have any tips for people transitioning into management? Please share them!