Early in my career the idea of moving from an IC role to management sounded crazy. But, one thing led to another and I found myself on the management path despite my best efforts to avoid it, and it turns out it can be pretty awesome!
Let’s face it, management is not seen by many as a sexy profession. Whether you’re reading Dilbert or watching Office Space or enjoying the first act of The Matrix, managers are depicted as universally incompetent, do-nothing overhead that only get in the way of the “real work”. And even if you recognize that this is just a stereotype and that strong management brings real value to the table, anyone paying attention will notice all of the crap they have to deal with, including hiring and firing, handling performance issues, and ultimately being accountable for their team’s effectiveness.
Who would want to be that person?
During the first ten-plus years of my career, certainly not me! Just let me code, maybe lead something with a few other sharp team members. Who would want to do anything else?
But then I was presented with an offer I couldn’t refuse: the opportunity to take the lead in building a new Product Management organization. And, of course, that meant not just managing the product but building a team and managing people.
And I was terrified.
Well, it turns out, for someone like me–and let me be very clear, here, this is not a career path for everyone–it couldn’t have been a better move.Continue reading...
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