The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You, written by Julie Zhuo, provides an insightful and practical guide to help new managers navigate the challenges they face when they first take on a managerial role. The book provides a detailed description of what it’s like to be a manager in the design industry, but its principles are applicable across different industries and sectors.
Here are a few tips to get started:
- Set clear expectations: One of the most important things you can do as a new manager is to set clear expectations with your team. This means being specific about goals, timelines, and what success looks like. When expectations are clear, it helps to ensure everyone is on the same page and can work towards the same objectives.
- Build trust: Trust is the foundation of any successful team, and as a new manager, it’s your job to build trust with your team. This means being transparent, honest, and reliable in your communication and actions. It also means being open to feedback and actively listening to your team’s concerns.
- Foster a positive team culture: A positive team culture can make all the difference in the success of your team. This means creating an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas, collaborating with one another, and taking risks. It also means recognizing and celebrating the contributions of each team member.
- Provide regular feedback: Regular feedback is essential to helping your team grow and improve. This means providing both positive and constructive feedback on a regular basis, so your team members know where they stand and what they need to work on. It also means being receptive to feedback from your team and taking action on their suggestions.
- Manage your time effectively: As a manager, your time is valuable, and you need to be able to prioritize effectively. This means being clear about your own goals and objectives, and delegating tasks to your team where appropriate. It also means being proactive about managing your time, so you can focus on the most important tasks and make the most of your day.
These are just a few tips to help new managers get started. By focusing on setting clear expectations, building trust, fostering a positive team culture, providing regular feedback, and managing time effectively, you can set yourself up for success as a manager. Remember, being a manager is a journey, and it takes time and practice to develop your skills and find your own approach.
One of the main themes of the book is the importance of celebrating successes. As Zhuo notes, when we become managers, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day challenges of the job and forget to celebrate the small victories along the way. This can lead to burnout and demotivation for both ourselves and our teams. Zhuo recommends taking the time to reflect on successes, whether it’s through a team lunch or a simple acknowledgment of a job well done, and using these moments to build momentum and morale.
However, Zhuo also warns that success can come with risks. When we experience success as managers, we may start to feel like we have everything under control and become complacent in our approach. This can lead to a lack of direction and clarity, which can be damaging to both ourselves and our teams. Additionally, success can create a power dynamic that can be difficult to navigate. Zhuo notes that managers may be torn between wanting too much attention from their team members while still trying to show them respect and guidance. The book offers practical advice on how to balance these competing priorities and build strong relationships with team members.
Overall, The Making of a Manager provides valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities that come with being a manager. By highlighting the importance of celebrating successes while also being mindful of the risks, Zhuo provides a thoughtful and practical guide for new managers. Whether you’re just starting out in your managerial career or looking for ways to improve your approach, this book is a must-read.