How to fail as a New Engineering Manager
As a newer engineering leader or manager, it can take time to judge what success should look like and what things you can avoid. Let's review a few mistakes that newer engineering leaders make,
Don't promote themselves 🪜
It's essential to promote yourself first mentally and start taking on the responsibilities of this new role. If you continue to act like an IC, you will burn yourself out and won't deliver results. You got this job because you deserved it, but it's important to keep learning to get better at this new job.
Don't delegate 👉
This is a common mistake. It would be best to delegate as much as possible, as you will only have time to complete some tasks. You can take on the easy tasks and let your team handle the rest. Delegating is important and should not be skipped.
Will push code like an IC (Individual Contributor) 👩🏽💻
You probably were very good at being an IC, hence why you got promoted. You knew what it takes to be a good IC, but now, as a leader, your priorities and focus should shift. You won't be able to ship code like an IC, but that is not to say you shouldn't. You can assess your priorities and allocate time accordingly.
Wait to give feedback until performance reviews 👀
Feedback should be given frequently. Your job is to make your team the best it can be. Feedback will allow you to do this. Don't wait until performance reviews for this.
Nothing should come off as a surprise during performance reviews.
Don't partner with Product, Design, or Data Science 🤝
Identify who you should collaborate with and partner with them to make the decisions. Your expertise is in one area, and working closely with your squad will allow you to make the best decisions for your team and product.
Micromanaging your team members can quickly lead to resentment and a lack of trust. It also limits your team's ability to work autonomously and take ownership of their work. Instead, focus on delegating tasks and providing clear expectations and guidelines.
Avoiding conflict can lead to a toxic work environment. As an engineering manager, it is your responsibility to address conflict and ensure a positive work environment for your team. Avoiding conflict can lead to resentment, unproductive work, and a negative culture.
It's important to understand and empathize with your team members. Failing to show empathy can lead to a lack of trust and a negative work environment. Make sure to show understanding and empathy towards your team members' concerns and challenges.
Leadership is a never-ending journey 🚗
One day you will think you know everything, but you may feel the opposite the next, so don't be too hard on yourself and keep learning. Lean on your friends and family, and take care of yourself 💖.
If you plan to use any of these techniques or have more to share, please comment below and would love to know your thoughts! 💬
FREE Engineering Manager's Mind Map ✨
Download a FREE Visual representation for Navigating the Engineering Manager's Mind
‣ Covers key areas, concepts, and tasks that an Engineering manager needs to be aware of ‣ Gives you a solid foundation to start building your intuition.
If you are interested in a FREE mindmap, you can get it for free here
If you plan to use any of these techniques or have more to share, please tweet about this to share your thoughts! 🐥