The Power of Performance Reviews, Vulnerability, and Sponsorship

Manager TLDR: Issue 18

Accountability in the Workplace

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Hi there 👋

Welcome to Issue 18 of the Manager TLDR.

Today, we decided to try something different.

As you may know, our mission at Fellow.app is to help leaders (like you!) be more productive and build great leadership habits.

Since we practice what we preach, it’s no surprise that our team is always looking for the best content to improve our management skills. 🔍

Today’s edition is a reflection of that.

Here are some of our team’s all-time favorite leadership pieces:

Fellow Team

💪 The power of Performance Reviews: Use This System to Become a Better Manager 

(Aydin‘s pick)

TLDR: In this First Round Review article, Lenny Rachitsky (a former product lead at Airbnb) describes why performance reviews typically suck and how you can fix them with this three-step framework: 

  1. Prepare: collect peer feedback, accomplishments, and development areas.
  2. Deliver: share ratings, compensation updates, and an action plan.
  3. Follow-up: schedule a one-hour monthly career coaching meeting.

❤️ The Power of Vulnerability 

(Erin‘s pick)

TLDR: This TED Talk by Brené Brown is a great reminder to be empathetic and transparent about your weaknesses. After six years of research, Brown found that vulnerability is the core of joy, creativity, and belonging.

If you want to be a great leader, start by showing your team that it’s ok to be vulnerable and make mistakes.

⚡️ Habits of High-Functioning Teams 

(Sam‘s pick)

TLDR: A Senior Software Engineer at Github describes the characteristics of the highest-performing teams she’s been a part of: psychological safety, active redistribution of experience, and generous communication. 

“When I’ve been on those teams, I wasn’t afraid of disagreeing publicly with those more senior than me, and I felt like my voice and my work had impact.”

👥 What Does Sponsorship Look Like? 

(Alexandra‘s pick)

TLDR: To sponsor someone is to help them get more opportunities to do visible, valuable work. It’s not just giving advice. Here are three things you can do to sponsor someone at work, according to Lara Hogan:

🔄 The Product Design Team’s Process 

(Joel‘s pick)

TLDR: This article by Figma’s Design Director dives into the meeting cadences, rituals, and communication methods of productive design teams. Here are some of Noah Levin’s tips for running your own team rituals: 


What’s New on the Fellow Blog 💬


Supermanagers Podcast 🎙

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


Meeting Templates 🗒

Productive meetings start with a clear agenda. Check out our meeting template library to get some inspiration and run all your meetings like a pro!