Professionals often ascend or get promoted into new roles, from junior positions to intermediate roles, or even into leadership or management positions.
In the past, I’ve been promoted multiple times. Surprisingly, despite being considered a good coder, I always end up in leadership or management positions.
During my early experiences as a manager, I made mistakes and became more cautious. Human nature is fascinating; there is this feeling of repeating past errors or stress that pushed me against things I didn’t like or thought were a waste of time.
I would be dismissive, radical, and even irrational, despite contrary advice. I was convinced I would prove my point sooner rather than later.
I constantly questioned existing processes, meetings, and work methodologies. Over time, I developed my own approach by combining what I learned with industry standards.
Communication is the most important skill in both life and business for success. Clear communication is required to get your point across, regardless of how you view others.
At our job, we are expected to provide proof of our work, as it demonstrates that we are fulfilling the role for which we were hired.
When I tried to lead without previous training and with an inflated ego, I found myself mired in chaos of my own creation. My experience was lacking, my proof of work was not clear, and talking my way out was no longer an option.
Mentorship and feedback can guide you, but ultimately, it’s your own effort that matters. If you find yourself repeatedly resisting feedback, try reflecting on why you directly dismiss it rather than attempting to accept and develop from constructive criticism.
As a manager, your primary proof of work lies in ensuring your team performs effectively. You’re responsible for the team’s well-being, the quality of their work, and how your team is perceived by the rest of the company.
Being able to answer questions about both work scope and team progress is crucial. You cannot act as a boss all the time; you must also be a peer, as your team is your ally and you are part of it.
Both employees and managers have different proofs of work and value, but they both depend on each other to be successful. Clear expectations, timely delegation, involving the team in decision-making, and trusting them are all essential components to being successful.
Constant learning, seeking inspiration from other managers or peers, addressing team concerns, distinguishing between jokes and serious matters, and building trust can go a long way in fostering loyalty. After all, loyalty cannot be assumed simply because someone is being paid.
If this text resonates with you, I advise slowing down, taking a step back, and seeking help, feedback, or advice. Identify your proof of work, align expectations with your manager and team, organize yourself, so that your team too, and last but not least delegate tasks you can’t do and let them go.
Ego-driven management kills teams and even entire companies. Embrace your ignorance, question everything, understand the reasons and results, and ask yourself why things exist as they do. Without processes or meetings, something may be lost—even if it seems insignificant, it can come back to haunt you in the long run.
If you think there’s nothing to improve upon or that you’ve mastered management, my advice remains the same: take a step back and strive for improvement.