Lessons I Learned from Becoming a Manager: 10 Rules of Philosophy to Live By


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 03, 2023

4 min read


Lessons I Learned from Becoming a Manager: 10 Rules of Philosophy to Live By

As a manager, I quickly learned that my responsibilities shifted from focusing solely on the product to focusing on the people. It was a significant adjustment for me, but one that I knew was necessary for the success of my team. Giving my team slightly more freedom than they and I were comfortable with turned out to be a strategy that worked. By allowing them to take ownership of their work and make decisions, it fostered a sense of autonomy and empowerment.

One of the challenges I faced as a manager was the change in the feedback loop. Instead of receiving feedback on my work within days, it now took months to see the results of anything I might do. This made it difficult to measure my own value and impact. However, I realized that as a manager, my focus should be on building a culture that results in the best products. The long-term effects of my efforts may not be immediate, but creating an environment conducive to success is invaluable.

Managing people can be a lonely experience. The relationships I had with my colleagues who were now my team had changed, and it often felt isolating. To combat this, I made it a point to find my peers and celebrate wins together. Recognizing and acknowledging the accomplishments of my team not only helped me feel less alone but also fostered a positive and supportive work environment.

In my journey as a manager, I also found valuable lessons from philosophy that can be applied to both personal and professional life. Here are 10 rules of philosophy to live by:

  • 1. Be sincere: In debates and discussions, the aim should be truth, not victory. Sincerity requires overcoming the ego and admitting when we are wrong.
  • 2. Be charitable: Instead of assuming the worst in others' arguments, consider the best, strongest version of their perspective. This principle of charity promotes understanding and effective communication.
  • 3. Be humble: Recognize that we are not always as clever as we think we are. Embrace humility and acknowledge that confidence and conviction are not always virtues.
  • 4. Keep it simple, but not simplistic: Complexity does not always equate to depth. Sometimes, the most profound ideas can be expressed in simple terms.
  • 5. Watch your language: Language shapes our understanding of the world. It is important to use accurate and precise language to ensure effective communication and avoid misunderstandings.
  • 6. Be eclectic: Important issues often require diverse expertise. Embrace breadth of thought and seek input from various disciplines to gain a well-rounded perspective.
  • 7. Think for yourself, not by yourself: Wisdom can be found in various cultures and traditions. Be open to learning from others and engage in dialogue to expand your understanding.
  • 8. Seek clarity, not certainty: Certainty can lead to dogmatism and close-mindedness. Instead, strive for clarity in your thinking and be open to considering alternative perspectives.
  • 9. Pay attention: Close attention and observation are essential for deep thinking. By being fully present and attentive, we can gain a better understanding of reality and improve our reasoning.
  • 10. Follow the mean: Virtue lies in finding the balance between excess and deficiency. Aristotle's doctrine of the mean teaches us to seek moderation and avoid extremes.

In conclusion, being a manager comes with its own set of challenges and lessons. By focusing on the people, embracing sincerity and humility, and incorporating philosophical principles into our approach, we can navigate the complexities of management more effectively. Here are three actionable pieces of advice to apply in your managerial role:

  • 1. Foster a culture of autonomy and empowerment by giving your team the freedom to make decisions and take ownership of their work.
  • 2. Celebrate wins together with your peers to combat the loneliness that can come with managing people.
  • 3. Embrace the principles of sincerity, charity, and humility in your interactions and decision-making to promote understanding and effective communication.

By combining the lessons learned from becoming a manager and the rules of philosophy to live by, we can become more effective leaders and create a positive and productive work environment.

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