The Making of a Manager

Finally caught up on my goal of reading 12 books in 2020! In retrospect 20 in 2020 would have had a nice ring to it, but 12 is enough of challenge given my other priorities. This might be my favorite one yet, I generally bookmark important parts or quotes I want to refer back to, maybe 3-5 per book. For The Making of a Manager, I highlighted over 40 different parts I found impactful.

The overview is that Julie Zhou worked her way up from being one of Facebook’s first interns to a VP of Product Design, this book served as a memoir and guidebook for other people managers to deconstruct what it takes to be not just a manager, but a leader. What I appreciated most is the humility and humanity she brings to the subject, recognizing that managers are still human, with all the failings, biases and anxiety that goes along with it.

Although potentially targeted at new or young in career managers, I would recommend this book for any stage of career for those that want to qualtatively review their management style and focus on the things that matter most.

My favorite part was some of the quotes I highlighted, so I will include a few more then I generally do. I hope it gives you a good sense for why this was such a great read:

Favorite Quotes:

“The purpose is the outcome your team is trying to accomplish, otherwise known as the why…The first big part of your job as a manager is to ensure that your team knows what success looks like and cares about achieving it. The next important bucket managers think about is people, otherwise known as the who. Are the members of your team set up to succeed? Do they have the right skills? Are they motivated to do great work? Finally, the last bucket is process, which describes how your team works together.” - Page 22

“Remember the well-known adage: ‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.’ You will be far more successful aspiring to be the leader you want to be and playing to your strengths than trying to live up to some other ideal.” - Page 52

“Think of the best feedback you’ve ever received. Why was it so meaningful to you? I’m willing to bet that the reason you remember it is because the feedback inspired you to change your behavior, which resulted in your life getting better. Feedback, at its best, transforms people in ways they’re proud of.” - Page 84

“When we all understand each other as human beings - when we’ve invested time to learn about our colleagues’ values, hobbies, families, life stories, etc. - then working together also becomes easier and more enjoyable.” - Page 148

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Greg Shick
Analytics / Data Science / Statistics