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What to demand from your manager
Few career starters (20s y/o) understand how much of an impact a great (or even just a good) manager can make in your potential / medium term opportunities. In product, this can be 10x larger because PMs are about leveraging others (and great managers teach you leverage).
A cheat-sheet on what you should demand from your manager. They should:
1. Care about your progress on a weekly basis. In depth, not “high level updates”. Talent is in the details. Every week matters.
2. Be transparent communicators. About you, the team, the company, the role, the future. Surprises are management f*ck ups.
3. Feel interested about your life, passions and anxieties outside work (if you care to share). Should be up to you, not them. You’re not a transactional asset.
4. Connect you to amazing people that can accelerate your performance (especially if they haven’t done your job).
5. Cheerlead you within the company. Unfortunately, promotions, raises, opportunities are more about your perceived performance than actual performance.
6. Give you feedback as often as Oprah gives stuff. Good and bad. They should build your resistance to a tough world.
7. Prove you why you should follow them. The title doesn’t make the manager.
8. Provide significant “teaching moments”. 1-1s are exactly for this, not project updates.
9. Give you space to fail, and privately retrospect with you.
10. Ask for feedback on what they’re not doing well + what you expect. Everyone is different and you shouldn’t get cookie cutter management.
If you’re starting your career, and your manager isn’t superpowering you with at least half of these ten things, you’re losing more than you think.
And if you’re responsible for someone’s growth and you’re not actively trying to do all ten (at least trying), you are stealing someone’s future.