Lessons Learned from Becoming a Manager: Bridging the Gap Between People and Product


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 29, 2023

3 min read


Lessons Learned from Becoming a Manager: Bridging the Gap Between People and Product

As I transitioned into a managerial role, I quickly realized that my responsibilities shifted from solely focusing on the product to taking care of my team. This shift came with its own set of challenges, but through trial and error, I discovered effective strategies to navigate these obstacles.

Problem #1: My first responsibility shifts to the people, not the product.

One of the most significant changes I experienced was the need to prioritize my team's well-being and growth over the product itself. While this adjustment seemed daunting at first, I found that giving my team slightly more freedom than they (and I) are comfortable with yielded positive results. Allowing them to make decisions and take ownership of their work not only increased their engagement and motivation but also fostered a culture of trust and autonomy.

Problem #2: The feedback loop changes from days to months - how do I measure my own value?

As a manager, the feedback loop extends from the immediate gratification of daily results to the long-term impact on the product. It takes months to see the outcomes of the strategies I implement, making it challenging to measure my own value. However, I learned to shift my focus from personal validation to building a culture that prioritizes the best products. By creating an environment where experimentation, learning, and collaboration are encouraged, I can trust that my efforts will eventually translate into tangible outcomes.

Finding one thing at work I do for myself, not for my team.

Managing a team can sometimes feel lonely, as the dynamics of relationships change. The people I once worked alongside now expect something different from me, and this shift can be isolating. To combat this, I discovered the importance of finding my peers and celebrating wins together. By connecting with other managers who face similar challenges, I not only found a support system but also gained valuable insights and perspectives that helped me grow as a manager.

Celebrating every win.

In the fast-paced world of product management, it's easy to overlook the achievements and progress made along the way. However, I learned the significance of celebrating every win, no matter how small. Recognizing and acknowledging the efforts and accomplishments of my team not only boosts morale but also reinforces a positive and rewarding work culture. It creates a sense of camaraderie and reminds everyone that their hard work is valued and appreciated.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster a culture of trust and autonomy by giving your team more freedom to make decisions and take ownership of their work.
  • 2. Build a network of peers and fellow managers to share experiences, challenges, and celebrate wins together.
  • 3. Take the time to celebrate every win, no matter how small, to boost morale and reinforce a positive work culture.

In conclusion, becoming a manager requires a shift in focus from the product to the people. It can be a challenging transition, but by embracing the responsibilities of building a strong team and cultivating a supportive work culture, managers can effectively bridge the gap between their people and the product. By implementing the actionable advice mentioned above, managers can navigate the complexities of their role and create an environment that fosters growth, collaboration, and ultimately, success.

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