We have seen more and more engineering teams sign up with Weekdone. It’s both a great blessing to have such wide variety of teams using our reporting tool, but it’s also a good sign that increasingly more leaders feel the need to constantly be up-to-date with everyone’s progress.
It’s not about control, but it’s about being able to spot your team’s challenges when you still have time to react. It’s about being able to understand each individual contribution and providing timely feedback.
Leading incredibly smart, opinionated engineers could be too big of a bite for every experienced manager. What is more, going through the transition from the “maker” to a “manager” can be terrifying even for the bravest.
So, we met up with Oren Ellenbogen, the man behind Software Lead Weekly newsletter and the author of Leading Snowflakes, the Engineering Manager Handbook. He has gone through such transition and can now sum up his valuable learning experience.
When talking about Oren’s experience he emphasis that the abilities that help you transform from a maker to a manager are the same things that will hinder your new position. While you might be promoted because of your ability to make incredible things, managerial position demands a shift. It demands a shift from personal productivity to amplifying your teammates. Therefore, finding the right balance between the two modes of a maker and a manager is crucial in the new role.
As it is with a lot of things in life, finding the right balance is everything but easy. Oren’s recent experience as a father of a new born baby can pack this up (congrats!). In order to find that sweet spot you need to understand interruptions. It has a lot to do with knowing which tasks to take without losing neither attention to teammates nor the management focus. Knowing how to utilize the calendar better and signaling the teammates will allow you the quiet time needed to get things done. For example, Oren recommends using 2 calendars with different colors to help capture enough time for Maker mode, while handling the endless interruptions we have wearing our Manager's hat:
(in Yellow, the Maker's mode time buffer.)
Oren adds that balancing between these two modes takes time and practice. But in his book, you can read more about actionable steps you can take to conquer the transition. It is a great resource for people who are not afraid to look deeper and challenge the way leadership is dealt with. As his lessons come from personal experience, his observations and techniques can enrich your managerial arsenal. No matter which kind of leader you are.
We have exciting news for all Weekdone blog readers. Oren has agreed to give you all a discount of 20% on his new book. You can grab it here, and start leading your development team the best possible way. Make your transition from a “maker” to a “manager” even smoother by keeping up with your team by using our team collaboration tool.