It’s performance review season! Which also means it’s an excellent time to reread Camille Fournier’sHow do Individual Contributors Get Stuck?, which朱莉娅suggested as a framework for giving feedback.
Following in its tradition, I was thinking about the parallels for engineering managers. Managers work more indirectly, so when we get stuck it isn’t always quite as obvious, but we absolutely do get stuck, both on individual projects and in our careers.
Newer managers, often in their first couple of years:
- Only managing down.This often manifests in building something your team wants to build, but which the company and your customers aren’t interested in.
- Only managing up.In Pearl Buck’sThe Good Earth, “All power comes from the Earth,” and in management all power comes from a healthy team. Some managers focus so much on following their management’s wishes that their team evaporates beneath them.
- Never managing up.Your team’s success and recognition depends significantly on your relationship with your management chain. It’s common for excellent work to go unnoticed because it was never shared upwards.
- Optimizing locally.Picking technologies which the company can’t support, or building a product which puts you in competition with another team.
- Assuming hiring never solves any problems.When you’re behind, it can be tempting to spend all of your time firefighting and neglect hiring, but if your business is growing quickly, then eventually you hire or burn out.
- Not spending time building relationships.你的团队的影响depends largely on doing something that other teams or customers want, and getting it shipped out the door. This is extraordinarily hard without a supportive social network within the company.
- Defining your role too narrowly.Effective managers tend to become the glue on their team, filling any gaps. Sometimes that means doing things you don’t really want to, in order to set a good example.
More experienced managers:
- 做在你以前的公司工作的事情。When you start a new job or new role, it’s important to pause for listening and fostering awareness before you start “fixing” everything. Otherwise, you’re fixing problems that may not exist, and with tools that may not be appropriate.
- Spending too much time building relationships.这在来自较大公司的管理人员中尤为普遍，进入较小的公司，并创造了经理没有贡献价值的任何东西的看法。这往往是因为较小的公司预计比与经理的关系管理焦点更多的执行重点。
- Assuming more hiring can solve every problem.将一些美好的人添加到团队可以解决很多问题，但添加了太多人可以稀释你的文化，并导致人们的角色和责任的责任。
- Absconding rather than delegating.Delegation is important, but it’s easy to go too far and ignore the critical responsibilities that you’ve asked others to take on, only to discover an easily averted disaster later on.
- Becoming disconnected from ground truth.Particularly at larger companies, it can become frequent for decisions to get made which appear to be fundamentally disconnected from reality.
Any and all levels of experience:
- 把团队规模的影响。Managing a larger team is not a better job, it’s adifferentjob. It also won’t make you important or make you happier. It’s hard to unlearn team size fixation, but if you can, it’ll change your career for the better.
- Mistaking title for impact.Titles are arbitrary social constructs that only make sense in the context they’re given. Titles don’t translate across companies meaningfully, and they’re a deeply flawed way to judge yourself or others: don’t let them become your goal.
- 与真理混乱。Authority lets you get away with weak arguments and poor justifications, but it’s pretty expensive way to work with people, because they’ll eventually turn off their minds and simply follow orders (if they’re in a complicated compensation or life situation, or just leave).
- Not trusting team enough to delegate.You can’t scale your impact or engage your team if you don’t give them enough room to do things differently than you would. Many organizations become bottlenecked on approvals, which is a sure proxy for lack of trust.
- Letting other people manage your time.大多数管理人员都有明显的工作，他们可以做到这一点而不是他们能做的事情。这可能是您职业生涯的其余职业的现状，并且重要的是优先考虑您在重要事物上的时间，而且不仅仅是最终发生的日历。
- Only seeing the problems.只有看到出现问题可能很容易，忘记庆祝好东西。这条道路沮丧和疯狂。