Hey fellow managers and leaders,

We’re back with new content to level-up your management skills 💪

This week’s newsletter covers topics such as innovation, meeting fatigue, and the importance of owning the manager role.

Keep scrolling to learn more…

💡Innovation: Is your management style helping or hurting your team’s creative spirit? (8 min read) | Fellow Blog

TLDR: As a leader, is your management style allowing for a culture of innovation? If you’re not sure, it’s possible you’re falling into some of the classic management traps covered in this article. Here are 3 things to consider if you want to build a culture where people feel safe to take risks and innovate:

1. Stop saying “don’t come to me with problems, come to me with solutions.” The truth is, sometimes it’s important to brainstorm and problem-solve together.

2. Don’t take credit for other people’s ideas. Give credit where credit is due.

3. Avoid saying “we’ve always done it this way.” This mindset slams the door on creativity and innovation and indicates that you’re fearful of change. 

“Remember that if you want great ideas out of your people, it’s not enough to simply hire the best and the brightest. As a boss and a leader, it is your job to create a culture where everyone can bring ideas to the table, where credit is readily given, and where creative conversations about a problem – and not just their solutions  – are valued.” 

⚠️You’re not just a manager, you’re also a boss (17 min read) | LeadDev

TLDR: What does it mean to be a boss? It means you have some measure of direct power over the working conditions, career growth, and livelihood of everyone reporting to you. Here are some practical tips to help you manage that power with care:

– Be respectful of people’s work-life balance. Instead of sending messages in the middle of the night, schedule emails so they arrive during business hours, or let your direct reports know that they don’t need to reply until the next morning.

– Remember that the people who report to you are not your therapists, and they are not the right people for you to process your emotions. It’s not their job to make you feel better. 

– Acknowledge that, as you gain more power, people in your organization will take what you say more seriously. Be clear about whether you are floating an idea, making a suggestion, asking a question, or issuing an order.

“As managers, we feel we shouldn’t be issuing orders, but sometimes we will have to. Just as sometimes we may need to give difficult feedback or fire someone who isn’t working out.”

😱 Too many meetings? Here’s how to scale back (7 min read) | Fellow Blog

TLDR: Zoom fatigue. Burn out. Total exhaustion. If you’ve experienced any of these, chances are you’re hosting, joining, or leading too many meetings. This article covers 5 quick tips to make sure that every meeting you attend is a productive one. Here are the first 3:

1. “No agenda, no attenda”: Before you RSVP yes to that meeting, find out if there’s an agenda (bonus points if the agenda is built collaboratively in Fellow 📅). If there isn’t an agenda, feel free to cancel or postpone.

2. Block out “no meeting times” in your calendar or designate one day of the week as a “no meetings” day. 

3. Embrace asynchronous communication. Instead of scheduling a meeting every time you need to exchange information, consider recording a video or sharing a written document.

“If you’re getting invited to a virtual meeting and the first thing you think is ‘I don’t need to be in this’, it’s okay to RSVP ‘no’. Follow up the meeting decline with a message to the host explaining your decision and ask if there will be a roundup of talking points sent out afterward.” 

👩‍💻How can managers create a culture for women to thrive? (10 min read) | The Female Lead

TLDR: Research has identified many barriers that deter women from establishing careers in a male-dominated context. Long-hours working cultures, the exclusion of women from certain social networks, social activities taking place in pubs and sports clubs – these are just a few. This article covers 4 areas where managers can play a key role in building a gender-inclusive environment: 

1. For women who are not putting themselves forward, managers can promote career-enhancing visibility and access to higher-level networks.

2. Be proactive in making role models more visible. Empower female leaders to share their story with other women in your organization.

3. Provide specific feedback that gives your direct reports a clear sense of direction on what they need to work and improve.

4. Create an environment in which peer support is encouraged and freely given.

“A common issue for women working in STEM professions is that the career path is not always obvious. Managers can offer guidance about possible routes forward, inspire confidence, and reinforce the idea that career longevity is possible.”

🎙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 40: Simon Stanlake (SVP Engineering at Procurify) explores the concepts of fulfillment, trust, and introspection within a team.

Episode 41: Melissa and Johnathan Nightingale (founders of Raw Signal Group) explain the importance of owning the manager title and being “super f*cking clear”.

🗒Meeting Template of the Week

First team meeting agenda

Congratulations – you’re a manager now! Whether you were hired to manage an existing team or you’ve been promoted to manage people who were once your colleagues — you deserve a pat on the back! Now, it’s time to prepare for your first team meeting.

first team meeting template preview

That’s a wrap!  We hope that the content we curated inspires you to continue growing as a leader! 🌱

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Thanks for being part of our community,

Manuela & the Fellow.app team