Chapter 2. Answer These 10 Questions to Understand Whether You’re a Good Manager

Cate Huston

Something I struggled with as a new manager was finding a sense of accomplishment. It’s difficult to find the right success metrics upon which to judge our work because our output is to make the team better. Without success metrics beyond the team’s improvement, though, it can 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, standup meetings, and feedback cycles, but it doesn’t really make them feel accomplished, and it’s difficult 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.

Can You Take a Week Off?

There’s nothing like a week off (or more!) to show which of your activities has the most impact. When you come back, pay attention to what you find. What’s surprising to you? What comes up in your one-on-one meetings? What did people miss? ...

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