In a great thread on Twitter, Kieran Snyder shares some great management insights:
The second mistake: Getting the balance wrong between managing up (working w your managers), managing down (working w your team), and managing over (working w your peers).
Most managers do one of these very well. Some do 2 out of the 3. Few get all 3 right with equal facility.
But all 3 of these working modes (managing up, down, and over) are important to achieving your main accountability as a manager: Delivering high-impact work on time and growing people in the process.
If you don’t spend enough time with your team, you fail to set accountabilities and priorities properly and you miss coaching opportunities.
If you don’t spend enough time with your management, you fail to set priorities properly, and you are likely missing context that can help your team. You also miss chances to be coached.
If you don’t spend enough time with your peers, your execution will suffer. You won’t know how your team is performing or perceived. You will lack organizational support for initiatives that matter to you.
At most stages of my early management career, I spent plenty of time with my team and with my management, but I didn’t spend enough time with my peers. That was an Achilles heel that I was only able to see after the fact.
This is really insightful. I’ve talked with folks before about managers usually only being good at one, maybe two of “politics, product, process, or people”, but I think the look at managing up, down, and across is a great one.
In my last role, I nailed the “working with your team” piece, and did a really good job with the “peers” bit as well. In hindsight, that “managing up” piece was one I should have paid more attention to. Something learned for next time.