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Max Katz
Max Katz

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“The Making of a Manager”, a book I highly recommend and some of my favorite parts

There are thousands of books on how to be a manager and I’m sure many of them are very good. I just finished reading The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhou. I loved the book and highly recommend to new managers, not so new managers and people who might want to be managers one day.


Many management books out there give you a lot of theoretical advice on how to be a manager or just advice that’s not applicable to real world. What I loved about Julie’s book is that it’s full of very practical advice and tips. You can take it and use today. I liked that Julie wasn’t afraid to share that she was scared many times, that she wasn’t sure if she made the right decision and that’s it’s OK (and actually beneficial as that’s how we grow) to make mistakes because we are all humans. Reading the book I said many times “oh yes, that’s how I felt” and “oh, and I was in exact the same situation”. This kind of connection makes this an excellent book that I highly encourage to read. Seeing how the Julie dealt with various challenges and grew to be VP of Design at Facebook, is a great learning experience.

I want to share some of my favorite parts/quotes from the The Making of a Manager book.

Your job, as a manager, is to get better outcomes from a group of people working together.

A great quote explaining any manager’s job.

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.

It’s not uncommon for teams not to know or understand what success looks like. Without a clear understanding of how success looks, it’s likely a team will do work that’s not important.

Your role as a manager is not to do the work yourself, even if you are the best at it, because that will only take you so far. Your role is to improve the purpose, people, and process of your team to get as high a multiplier effect on your collective outcome as you can.

As a new manager you might be hesitant to let go of some of your work. You might think if you let go of your work, why would they need you? Your goal as a manager is to grow the people on your team. Once you give work, you can take on new challenges and continue growing yourself. It’s very unlikely that you won’t find another project to do – there is always more work and bigger challenges you can tackle. This leads very nicely into the next quote.

The best managers I know all agree on one thing: growing great teams means that you are constantly looking for ways to replace yourself in the job you are currently doing.

I feel that this is one of the core competencies of a good manager.

Today, my job looks very different than when I started. Every time I’ve given a piece of it away, I’ve discovered that there was ever more to take on. As long as you continue to be motivated by your purpose, as long as your aspirations extend beyond what your team is currently capable of, as long as you can see new challenges on the horizon, then there’s opportunity for you to have more impact. Often, this means doing new things that you’re not very good at yet.

Another component of growing your team and taking on new challenges yourself.

But the point of being a manager is not to satisfy your ego; it’s to improve the outcomes of your team

I wonder how many managers out there understand this.

Leadership is a quality, not a job

Simple but so true.

If you take nothing else away from today,” he told us, “remember this: managing is caring.

You have to believe and care about your team. There is no way to fake it.

Your job as a manager isn’t to dole out advice or “save the day”—it’s to empower your report to find the answer herself.

That’s how you empower and grow your team (and avoid micromanaging).

A MANAGER’S JOB IS TO . . . build a team that works well together, support members in reaching their career goals, and create processes to get work done smoothly and efficiently.

A superb way to define manager’s job.

This is the crux of management: It is the belief that a team of people can achieve more than a single person going it alone. It is the realization that you don’t have to do everything yourself, be the best at everything yourself, or even know how to do everything

As a manager, you want to be able to learn from your team as well, because as said above, you don’t know how to do everything.

the best outcomes come from inspiring people to action, not telling them what to do.

And the best for last.

This is just a very small sample. The book is simply very good so I again highly recommend you read it. This is a great book if you are a new manager, been a manager for some time and for people who are today Individual Contributors, one day want to become managers or just to learn what’s a good manger and leader is.

Top comments (2)

geekychristine profile image
Christine Martino

Reading this one now — it’s great!!

maxkatz profile image
Max Katz