The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhou

Today I finished The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You by Julie Zhou. This is a recent management book target to new managers or those who are mostly in line management level as opposed to mid-level management or executive leadership. The book brings personal experiences of Julie starting as an intern into growing through a new manager and eventually riding the ladder to executive leadership at Facebook. I recommend this book for people who are in Manager, Senior Manager, Tech Lead roles.


Some of the learnings from this book are given below.

  • Your job as a manager is to get better outcomes from a group of people working together. Here are 3 areas to focus on –
    • Purpose: “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.”
    • People: “To manage people well, you must develop trusting relationships with them, understand their strengths and weaknesses (as well as your own), make good decisions about who should do what (including hiring and firing when necessary), and coach individuals to do their best.”
    • Process: “For managers, important processes to master include running effective meetings, future-proofing against past mistakes, planning for tomorrow, and nurturing a healthy culture.”
  • In your first few months, your primary job is to listen, ask questions, and learn
  • Trust is the most important ingredient to develop a healthy manager-report relationship
  • Preparation is the key to productive meetings
  • Feedback is a gift — and one of the most fundamental aspects of your job as a manager
    • Set expectations at the beginning
    • Give task-specific feedback as frequently as you can
    • Share behavioral feedback thoughtfully and regularly
    • Collect 360-degree feedback for maximum objectivity
  • Great managers are self-aware. Develop a growth mindset
  • Design your team intentionally and make hiring great people one of your priorities
  • Mastering the art of delegation empowers both yourself and your direct reports
  • Invest in a healthy and positive team culture
  • Every manager feels like an imposter sometimes. Don’t let that stop you from learning and helping your employees



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