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About to move into more a more managerial role. CDs and other managers: what makes a successful leader/manager? What pitfalls do I need to be mindful of? Any books impact your style or approach?

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I keep in mind all the shit CDs did that I hated and all the stuff I loved and just try to do the latter as much as possible and the former as seldom as I can. Don't ever forget what it feels like to be in the position you're in now.

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Being a manager means not being afraid to tell a direct report how they can improve in real time or during weekly check ins. Don't wait until review periods. Also, give your direct report weekly goals if they're junior (ie: meet with someone outside our department for coffee, write a post about something timely for our company blog, etc)

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I've had 3 amazing CDs in my life and lots of shitty ones. I've learned from both types. Also Radical Candor - it doesn't help the people who you work for you if you are not direct and constructive. But never be mean. Always make it about the work. Help them believe in themselves; you'll get better work. The more empowered you make people, the better it reflects on you. Practice giving real feedback. Not just "keep pushing" or "I'm not feeling it." Show them how to push a brief if it's not right. Recognize that people have different styles and different solutions and while it might not be how you would solve it, it could be great. When you have an open req, hire people better than you and support them. Learn how to sell a great idea. There are too many egotistical shit heads in this business overseeing careers and it's a nightmare. The fact that you are even asking this question means you are a decent human. You will be great.

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Learning what motivates others to do well is probably an obvious strength in good leaders. Being authentic is also key, do what you say your going to do. Pitfalls... Don't let gossips and constant victims manipulate you. And always work on minimizing your ego. A few books I read and re-read:. Spiral Dynamics, love is the killer app, and it's your ship

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Somehow I Manage by Michael G Scott is what I thought was a great book as a leader

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It's not a super great book, but I still managed to get a lot out of a book called Rise. Basically find the strengths of your team, let them do what they're great at. Try to help them grow where they need work. Remember you're their manager now, so don't try to do all the work, delegate creative to your teams. Don't step on their accomplishments. Make them famous, not you.

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@LB1 I would think that's a book by Michael Scott from Dunder Mifflin.

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Thanks for all the replies, guys! I love that we're all jaded fucks, but at least we're jaded together.

@GCD1: Spot on. I've tried to become everything I liked about my best CDs, and actively stop myself from becoming anything like the ones who've led me astray. But this is going to be a conscious effort for — well, ever it seems.

@DS1: This is some thought leadership kinda' shit right here, and I'm living for it. Thank you. An entirely different perspective than I had thought of.

@SAD1: "Make them famous, not you." I'm carving this into my laptop. This goes hand-in-hand with what GCD1 said. My best CDs have helped me become a better me, not a cheaper version of themselves. Which is something I hope the youngins will say about me....

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Realize there is a difference between a manager and a leader. Which one do you want to be? Develop a leadership philosophy with core values and stick to them. Realize you don't know everything and be willing to seek out guidance. Cultivate relationships with other leaders you admire. Be willing to listen actively. Understand that not everyone works the same way you do. Learn from your team. You are an example to your team and they are always watching to see how react to tough situations and you lead your team to success. Lastly, be humble, drop the ego and be a leader who you can be proud of when looking in the mirror every morning.

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Not a CD here... but the CDs I have come to love and respect are the ones who didn't forget where they came from. They know my goals, and and want to help me achieve them. They give me positive reinforcement to get me through shitty work, and stay late with me to help me on the book pieces. They also say hi and ask me how I'm doing every day.

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Don't fall into the trap of thinking your going to change the CD game and be best buds with your team. Set some boundaries. Learn to lean in the right people and DELEGATE. You hear me? Be a leader. Let them know your fighting for them. Let them put it the sweat and taste a little glory to keep them motivated.

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Really great advice. Thanks, SR1!

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I just witnessed a sr move up to CD who promptly BOMBED in the most epic way. He's no longer here after less than a year. Be wary, guys, it wasn't a pretty sight.

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Possibly one of the most challenging tasks as a manager is to manage expectations. It's great to play on your team's strengths, keep them motivated and dedicated to the cause but sometimes the job required is outside of those strengths and motivations so how do you get the best work? Clarity is key. Clearly outline what the desired results should be, not the process to get there.

Definitely agree that, as a manager, you must drop the ego. You're in that position for a reason, there's no need to toot your own horn. Defend your team, speak in "we", listen actively and get your hands dirty once in a while.

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