New Managers: Avoid Becoming a Micromanager and Things We Wish We Knew

Manager TLDR - Issue 51

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Hey fellow managers and leaders 😁

In today’s newsletter, we’re covering… 

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🔟 Things I Wish I Knew as a New Manager (8 min read), Fellow Blog

TLDR: A study examining 17,000 leaders found that most managers did not receive any form of management training until 10 years into the job. That’s 10 years being in charge of other people’s contributions and overall career trajectory while relatively untrained. Imagine instead that you were practicing medicine or law without proper training – yep, disaster. Looking back now, here are 3 (out of 10) things that Samantha Rae Ayoub, opinion writer at Fellow, wishes that she knew as a newbie manager: 

  1. Not everyone will like you: You’re not aiming to please everyone or to rule with an iron fist either – you’re aiming to inspire, motivate, and do what’s right for your people and the company overall.   
  2. You’re measured on your team’s performance: Get comfortable with setting the strategy and the direction for your team, monitoring progress, giving feedback and when necessary, staying the heck out of the way. 
  3. Part of the job is to deal with “people problems”: Don’t be afraid to tackle people’s problems head-on. Get to know your employees and understand what makes them tick and what’s important to them. When there is a conflict, listen to your employees, understand, and process the problem before suggesting a solution. 

“Being a manager certainly gets easier over time and with practice, but like any skill, you do need to work at it. You will make mistakes, all good managers do – but failure is not to be feared. Instead, humbly learn from your failures, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on going.”


How New Managers Fail Individual Contributors (5 min read), Camille Fournier

TLDR: Many people still believe that you can’t get ahead without becoming a manager, and many companies who want more senior individual contributors struggle to promote people on this path. To be a great manager, you can’t afford to let the ICs on your team feel that they have no career path, so it’s up to you to manage this well. Here are some common pitfalls that you should work to avoid.

  1. Doing all the project management yourself: Delegating big projects and teaching ICs the skills to run them is one of the best things you can do for their future promotion prospects! Besides, by successfully coaching someone on project management, you’ll create the bandwidth to take on more and expand your own scope. 
  2. Hoarding information: When you don’t give your team the context for the work and just pass on tasks and work items to them, you make it clear that they are simply “doers” and your job is the job of “decider.” Your growth challenge is to learn the balance of providing information to the team and inviting them along to get that information, while not overwhelming them with meetings.
  3. Focusing too much on your personal output: When you turn your focus to the work you can do to improve the team’s output, by training them to do these tasks, ensuring that they work well as a team, and giving them the context they need to make decisions themselves, you now start to create multiplicative value.

“New managers, remember that your job is now about generating leverage by developing your team, which means delegating the technical work to them while helping them identify other skills they will need to successfully grow.”


11 Tips to Avoid Micromanaging Your Team (9 min read), Fellow Blog

TLDR: Believe it or not, research in change management shows that 70% of all projects that seek to bring about some kind of change inside an organization fail. 70%! That’s a lot of time and money being wasted! So, what’s the solution? Before initiating any kind of change – no matter how big or small – work to ensure you have solid buy-in first, that you understand all perspectives, and that you’ve created an environment for real change to take place and last over the long term. Here are 3 practical tips to make change happen 

  1. Secure a change sponsor: As the ResultsMap change management process teaches, long-term and sustained change inside a company requires someone at the top to “sponsor” the change, not just be its cheerleader. A sponsor is someone inside the company, usually a manager or executive, who helps communicate, manage, and be accountable for the change.
  2. Have an implementation plan: Remember the old adage: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. At the very least, you should be thinking about the following components and asking the following questions: Who do I need to tell about this? What are the precise details of the rollout? What are the intended results? How will we measure success?
  3. Seek feedback and measure results: If you start down the path of changing work tools, spaces, teams or processes, it is vital to collect feedback and measure results fairly continuously. Depending on the change you are trying to implement, this can be done in a multitude of ways including employee satisfaction surveys or even just good ol’ face-to-face feedback!  

“If you take away one thing from this article, make sure it’s this: The problem you are trying to solve needs to be a real problem, felt by many people inside your organization in order for your suggested solution to h” It may feel realistic to get hyper-involved if your team is composed of two or three people, but when you get 10, 20, 25, or more people working under your supervision, being this involved becomes downright impossible. Helicopter-bossing, so to speak, just isn’t sustainable as your team grows in size. Standard management approaches are much more scalable.”ave any legs. In the words of one of my favourite change management leaders and my former professor, Caroline Kealey: Everyone needs to feel the pain to buy into the solution.”


📅[Free Template] Pattern Identification 1-on-1 Meeting Template

A great template for identifying patterns in your 1-on-1s by comparing them to previous 1-on-1 meeting notes.


🎬 New on The Art of the Meeting (YouTube Show)

In episode 2 of “The Art of the Meeting”, Tuan Nguyen (Founder of HealthGenie) takes us out of this world with his Weekly Astronaut Meeting, or in other words, a meeting to get a high-level overview of the company and its operations.

Watch this video to learn more about the Deeds, Bleeds, Weeds, Feeds, Needs, and Exceeds of this WAM. 🤯


🎙 New on the Supermanagers podcast

Episode 70: Colin Bryar (former VP at Amazon) shares how Amazon improved their hiring process with Bar Raisers and why they ditched Powerpoint during decision-making meetings.

Episode 71: Jerry Colonna (CEO at Reboot.io) shares his insight about asking questions as a leader and how to examine reasons and choices in a unique way.


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

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Manuela & the Fellow.app team

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