3 Non-Obvious Early Signs of a Failing Manager - Lu's Newsletter - Issue #15



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3 Non-Obvious Early Signs of a Failing Manager - Lu's Newsletter - Issue #15
By lucianohgo • Issue #15 • View online
Managing is hard. We often fail and don’t notice it. This issue is on early signs we can keep tabs on and act before problems spiral out of control. If you liked this and want to hear more on dealing with these leadership shortcomings, let me know on Twitter or LinkedIn by sharing it or sending a DM :) If you haven’t already, you can also subscribe to the newsletter and never miss another article. I frequently write about Leadership, Product, and Building a Career in Tech 🤘🏾

3 Early signs of a Failing Manager
Most managers I’ve talked to describe their transition into management this way: “I got promoted, and nobody told me anything about what I was supposed to do or how I was supposed to do it. They just gave me a team and wished me luck.” The feeling we have that others know what they’re doing, but we don’t, is wrong. Almost everyone else doesn’t know either.
Even if we develop the skills, transitioning from managing only yourself to managing others requires a shift in values. We need to learn how to value different work and dedicate our time to other activities. The fact that shame and impostor syndrome drives us to waste time trying to prove we deserve that promotion makes it even harder to get help. New managers have it hard, but they’re not the only ones. Experienced managers also start getting visibility in the company, receiving more responsibilities. Usually, at some point, you’re asked to manage multiple teams and projects, and life gets that much harder.
Not having transitioned successfully into the role and being swamped with responsibilities are two of the many situations that stress-test a manager and sometimes make them fail. No one is above this. We can’t be on the top of our game all the time. So knowing early signs of a failing manager allows us to act swiftly, adjust course and prevent any significant damage. These are the ones that help me:
3 Early Signs of a Failing Manager
This Podcast episode is a quick and great conversation with Claire Lew where she outlines several things that make most managers bad and offers great advice on avoiding being a part of the statistic:
Work Minus Bad Managers with Claire Lew - The Digital Workplace Podcast | Podcast on Spotify
Listening well is one the first skills we need to learn as managers. This requires us to be vulnerable. We can’t really grow as leaders if we don’t. This is a great podcast episode on that subject:
Diagnose the Question: Why Listening Is More Important Than Giving Advice with Sarah Milstein, Senior Director of Engineering at Mailchimp - Supermanagers | Podcast on Spotify
When we’re working with a bad manager, there are things we can do to help us Manage Up and achieve great results regardless. This is a great Q&A on the subject:
Horrible Bosses and Managing Up: Q&A with Marty and Em | No Bullsh!t Leadership on Acast
John Cutler
Operational efficiency isn’t always effective

Operational efficacy can (almost) be made more efficient

Aka “nail it before you scale it”
Shreyas Doshi
Listening—really listening—is an important prerequisite for clear product thinking. A thread on how to listen better:
Thanks for reaching this far 🤗
If you have any feedbacks &/or ideas for the next issues please send it to me and I’ll make sure to read and act on it.
If you liked this content, share it with others who might like it too, and thanks a lot for reading it :)
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Weekly, I write and explore topics on Building a Career in Tech, Leadership, and Creating awesome User Experiences. I'm a Senior Software Engineering Manager at QuintoAndar a (very) fast-growing Startup in Brazil. I was a partner in a Software House in the past, worked at AWS, and learned a lot from great leaders and peers along the way. I tap on that experience to decide topics, research them weekly and compile what I've learned so you can avoid making some of the mistakes that I did.

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