Manager TL;DR Newsletter 📩

Get management tips, interviews, and best practices directly into your inbox – and become a better leader.


Hey fellow managers and leaders,

We need to talk.

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself if your management style is working? 

Are you connecting your team’s work to the company values and goals… or are you just assigning tasks without explaining their purpose? 

In today’s issue, we’ll talk about the art of delegation and choosing a management style. We’ll also cover tips to build caring teams and plan for Q3 of this year.

😳  Let’s talk about the D-word: DELEGATING (10 min read) | Fellow Blog

TLDR: As a Manager, at some point in your career, you’ve likely received the following feedback from your boss: “You’re doing great, but you need to delegate more!” Sound familiar? If you answered yes, here are three things you need to start doing in order to become a delegation pro:

  1. Give clear direction, a reason, and a deadline: Employees are more engaged when they understand how their work connects to the overall company goals. Explain the overall purpose of the task and give clear direction about your expectations for completing it.
  2. Follow up: One-on-ones and regular team meetings are good times to check-in and see how everything is going. If it’s a larger or a longer project, ask for touch-base meetings to be scheduled once they have had a chance to dig in.
  3. Review, coach, and support: When you review the work, you must also give specific and direct feedback, explaining your suggested changes or additions to help your direct report learn and improve over time. 

“Remember: Your job as a manager isn’t about barking orders, commanding a room, and getting people to do the stuff you hate doing. Your main job as a Manager is to help your people grow and perform well so that your company can also grow and perform well.  So, the next time you’re delegating a task or activity, stop for a moment, reflect a bit, and make sure your approach is just right” 

🚙 We need to talk about your Q3 roadmap (10 min read) | Lara Hogan

TLDR: As people complete their vaccination schedule, as the world around us continues to burn, and as the product roadmap chugs along, something’s gotta give. What can we do, as leaders, to prepare for Q3 of 2021?

  1. Adjust the roadmap: Late Q2/Q3 timelines will need to have LOTS of breathing room, because you’re probably going to see a lot of vacation requests for Summer 2021. It’s not a bad time to make sure your oncall rotations can handle multiple people on vacation at once. 
  2. Give mandatory days off: If you choose to try out company-wide mandatory time off days, follow Jean Hsu’s advice: “it’s been a ridiculously hard year for folks, so try not to message it as ‘so everyone can come back rejuvenated and restored.”
  3. Team fun days: Give your team a “fun day” and ask them to share back their adventures with the team (in a slideshow or by posting pictures in a designated channel).

“Managers, I know you have a ton of plates in the air right now. I’m hopeful that by recognizing that the humans that work for and with you are about to be taking care of themselves by being off or away from work, you can get ahead and plan for this. Start by preparing for major adjustments to your roadmap, company leave policies, and other support you can offer your teammates.” 

🤔 10 leadership styles in management (and how to find yours) (7 min read) | Fellow Blog

TLDR: Ever wonder what kind of leadership style you’ve adopted, or which one would be best-suited for you and your team? There are several leadership styles that you should familiarize yourself with, in order to find what resonates you and to better understand your team member’s styles of leadership as well. Here are 3 (out of 10) examples mentioned in this post:

  1. Coaching style: This style focuses on recognizing the different strengths and weaknesses or each team member. This includes identifying motivations and focusing on strategies that use individual skill sets to promote collaboration amongst the team. 
  2. Visionary style: A visionary leader is often planning the next greatest thing for the company and someone who has an eye for improvement, whether it be employee development or process improvement from a corporate perspective. 
  3. Laissez-faire style: Laissez-faire leadership means that you have good relationships with your employees and trust them to make their own decisions because they don’t need much supervision. Laissez-faire leadership instills trust and further empowers your team to make the right calls on their own terms. 

“Here’s a plot twist that you probably saw coming: You are likely to have and to acquire qualities from several different leadership styles in management – and that’s a positive thing! In order to choose and develop your leadership style, consider which leadership style in management resonates with you the most, and which you think might be the most effective, specific to you and your team.”

❤️ 3 rules for building a more caring culture (26 min read) | First Round Review

TLDR: According to Mark Frein, Chief People Officer at Lambda School (formerly at InVision), there are three fundamental pillars to the People function in any company: creating a great employee experience, enabling a workforce that feels seen and heard, and fostering an environment where people feel developed. 

  1. Make employees feel connected to the company mission and values: One way to do this is to connect your company values to every employee development and evaluation touchpoint. Instead of just having the values up on the wall (or in an online document), make sure to talk about them frequently and use them to evaluate performance.
  2. Build your empathy muscles: Some ways to become an empathetic leader include choosing curiosity before judgment, listening before developing an action plan, and being self-reflective about your own failures and areas of improvement.
  3. Make sure people are growing: One practical way to foster career growth in your team is to use one-on-one meetings for career advice, and not to assign tasks. You have to create an environment where it’s okay for someone to say to you as a manager, “I’m struggling because right now I’m increasingly bored with my role, but is there anything else I could do?”

“I know it sounds kind of silly, but it’s about how do we just be good to each other? Work is very stressful. It puts us into weird situations where we feel competitive, where we might have politics creep in. If we’re going to develop each other, let’s do development in a way that injects decency, caring and generosity back into teammates and workplaces. And on that basis, you can make magic happen.” 

🎙New on the Supermanagers podcast

We interview leaders from all walks of life to tease out the habits, thought patterns, and experiences that help them be extraordinary at the fine craft of management.

Episode 45: Russ Laraway, Employee Experience Evangelist at Qualtrics, shares how you can build a coaching culture, lead by example. and welcome dissent.

Episode 46: David Hoang, Product Design Director at Webflow, shares how you can develop your own leadership tree and why everyone needs a Hype Doc.

Bonus episode (video): Aydin Mirzaee, CEO at, shares 9 book recommendations for managers and leaders!

🗒Meeting Template of the Week

You don’t have to start from scratch. We’ve distilled everything you need to know about meetings into ready-to-use templates.

David Sacks: SaaS Board Meeting Template

Run effective board meetings with this template by David Sacks (general partner of Craft Ventures and former COO at PayPal).

*NEW* Get featured as a meeting expert 😎

Got a meeting agenda template that you love? We’ll add it to the expert-approved section of our library!

Just reply to this email with the word “interested” and we’ll follow up with next steps. 

Stay tuned for lots of new templates coming soon 🚀