Learning to manage effectively

It’s been a silent goal of mine this year to develop skills & habits to make myself a more effective executive, of course without being an executive this year.

Taking the lead of alumni at Startup Institute NY, lead of recruitment at Global Shapers NY and managing an Associate that’s transitioning from college into the workforce gave me 3 easy opportunities to practice. (I’m not considering MIG’s remote-contract team for this.)

I’d say the road has been rocky. Organization, preparedness, thoughtfulness, empowerment-these are all themes that I’ve had learnings around.

More pointedly, here are some post-mortem take-aways:

  • Be prepared– so much of leadership is about facilitation. Organize the disparate puzzle pieces to set the foundation. Make things really easy to build upon. That’s you working on strategy. That makes their execution that much easier.
  • Manage expectations– level set on expectations upfront. Get an understanding of what they want, express what you want and define success. Try and limit the amount of variables and surprises. Particularly around delivery.  Regular check-in’s are good.
  • Understand Behavior/Incentives/Logic– some people want to feel like the savior. some people want public recognition. you’ll be most capable if you can be just focused on getting the job done. keep yourself away from the politics. do not take things personal.
  • Embrace failure as learning– there’s a hockey stick curve on talent. the more time you spend with them the more exponentially they should adapt, learn and create. it’s like automating a process..in the beginning it takes time, but over time that process you’ve automated might in-turn handle multiple other processes that you hadn’t considered.

My greatest learnings came from watching both shitty & excellent managers. Learn from those around you. Ask questions. Be bold enough to ask and humble enough to listen.

There are just some lessons I picked up. I’d be curious to hear more of your thoughts.


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