My latest in Quartz…
Something I struggled with as a new manager was finding a sense of accomplishment, and as I’ve moved on to manage managers, I’ve seen this become a challenge for them, too. It’s hard to find the right success metrics upon which to judge our work because our output is to make the team better, and so hopefully we give credit generously to them.
Without success metrics beyond the team’s improvement, though, it can be be easy to feel like you’re just riding a wave of good people doing good work without contributing anything yourself.
Some managers deal with this feeling by seeing their success metric as being available to their teams 24/7 (unsustainable), or by counting lines of code (which would be like editors focusing on the number of words they wrote themselves—absurd). Some embrace the performance of management without understanding the underlying motivations. They “perform good manager” in one-on-one meetings, team stand-up meetings, and feedback cycles, but it doesn’t really make them feel accomplished, and it’s hard to put a finger on why.
To that end, I’ve compiled a list of signs that I look for in managers on my teams that suggest they’re doing a good job.