can solve the problem. This is how you
This is a big shift in mindset: how you
think about yourself and how you define
Measurements of success become
lagging indicators. Unfortunately,
there are not the same accolades for
making that shift as there were in your
previous role as an IC. Streamlining
processes and mentoring your team are
essential tasks but less immediately re-
warding; it can sometimes take a while
for the effects of your work to be truly
felt and appreciated.
Understanding your impact can be
elusive when the work is being done by
others. And when you have a strong team,
the value that you, as a leader, are bring-
ing to the table can be hard to judge or
see (this becomes more and more true
as you go further up the ladder).
It is up to you to define what success
means to you and your team. You achieve
this by being the connection between the
parent organization and your team.
Communication becomes a prized
skill. Leadership is based on two-way
communication (between you and
your leaders, and then between you
and your team), whereas before com-
munication was more of a one-way
street between your manager and you.
You must be in frequent commu-
nication with your own manager and
leadership in order to understand the
bigger vision for the organization, and
then you can drill down on what your
team needs to accomplish and why.
You must work closely with your staff
to make sure the best possible work
gets done by the best possible people; a
large part of this is helping them to un-
derstand the big-picture impact of what
they are doing.
You must look further into the fu-
ture than you have probably ever be-
fore to see not just the project your
team is working on today, but how it
will connect to projects that will be
done one to two years in the future.
In summary, these are the biggest
transitions that occur when moving
from IC to entry-level manager:
˲ Let go of the immediate/quick sense
of gratification that comes from doing/
˲ Accolades and recognition become
less frequent as you move up.
˲ You derive your sense of accom-
plishment from mentoring, growing,
and furthering the work of your team
and those around you.
˲ Add value by removing roadblocks,
streamlining processes, and helping
others be productive.
˲ Think one to two years out for your
project and roadmap.
˲ Help people connect their work to
the parent organization or company,
and help them see their individual impact and value.
to Manager of Managers
By the time you are promoted to become a manager of managers, you have
some established management skills