8 Management Lessons I Wish I Learned Sooner

Management is a rewarding experience.

It keeps you on your toes.

It also keeps you up at night when you get it wrong.

Here are 8 lessons that help me (sometimes) get it right.

  1. Tight feedback loops. Feedback loops determine how fast you improve. If an effort failed or was successful, when will your teammate know? The sooner the better. The more closely tied effort and reward are, the faster everyone will learn.
  2. Measure what matters. What gets measured gets managed. So measure what matters, and incentivize what matters. “Show me the incentives, and I’ll show you the outcome.” – Charlie Munger
  3. Go see for yourself. Look under the hood from time to time. You might be surprised at what you find.
  4. Hiring relies on luck, training is in your control.. I’ve made great hires and bad hires. I’ve trained well and trained poorly. You can be duped in an interview, but when it comes to training you can only dupe yourself. Do your future self a favor and train well.
  5. Make your boss’ life easier. You earn goodwill and prepare yourself for the next step. This can take many forms. Taking something off their plate, improving a friction-ridden process, etc.
  6. Finish your year strong. The last 4 months of the year are going to be most memorable when going into performance reviews.
  7. Build leverage. Leverage comes from tools, media, and people. Focus on the former 2. Learn how to use tools that make you more effective in your role. Record a training video or type up an SOP once and you just saved your future self hours of time the next time you need to train someone.
  8. Practice the fundamentals: reading, writing, speaking, arithmetic. You don’t need to read Shakespeare, but you should be able to read through a manual for a new software & learn it quickly. Learn the fundamentals of copywriting and people will read more of your emails. Practice speaking in front of groups so you are comfortable presenting & running meetings. You don’t need to know calculus, but doing simple arithmetic in your head is useful.

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