I remember the day I was first promoted to manager. It only took me a week or so to realize that I didn’t have a clue about management! Here are some lessons I learned early on that I still use today. Do any of these sound familiar?
I remember the day I was first promoted to manager. At the time, I was a Senior Software Engineer and Architect at a systems integration consultancy. I had always wanted to try my hand at managing people and leading projects, and was very excited to finally get the opportunity. It only took me a week or so to realize that I didn’t have a clue about management!
I found myself in management meetings discussing numbers, utilization, revenue, hiring plans and many other things I didn’t understand. Where’s the technical stuff?! I was out of my comfort zone.
Fortunately, I had a great manager who took me under his wing. Cesar guided me in learning about software management and how a business is run. I learned the importance of caring for your people, coaching them and helping them get to the next level. I learned about hiring…and unfortunately about letting people go. That was a very humbling experience.
I have to admit, delegation was the hardest managerial skill to learn. As a single contributor, you are directly responsible for every single action item on your list. As a manager though, you have options. You are still accountable for the results, but you can leverage your team. In doing so, you alleviate your load and you give your team an opportunity to grow. “Delegate to the point of insanity,” Cesar would tell me. Wise words. Even today, Cesar continues to be my mentor and my friend. I owe him a lot of what I know today.
This is the first post of TechProductManagement.com!. As I write it, it makes me reflect on how complex technical management is, but how rewarding a path it can be. It’s been a great ride, and I’m only getting started!
What about you? Do you remember the day you were promoted to manager?