Managers Have To Be In Different Mindsets at Different Times

If you’re a manger, you have to be in different mindsets at different times:

Doer: As a doer, you work in an individual capacity: If you’re an engineering manager, code. If you’re a design manager, design something. If you’re a sales manager, make some sales calls. Unless you’re down in the trenches doing the day-to-day work at least one day a week, you can’t manage well, and will become a pointy-haired boss.

Coach: As a coach, you observe what people are doing, identify problems, and suggest how they can do better. You find out what people want to achieve and help them get there.

Tie-breaker: As a tie-breaker, you pick one option [1] when different people are advocating different directions, and the team can’t go in all directions at once.

Enforcer: You enforce standards of behavior, working style of the team, process (“Why didn’t you do a QA before launching the new version of our product?”)… This is a mindset you should take up only when needed.

As a manager, you have to play these different roles, and be in these different mindsets from time to time.

[1] Try to take good aspects of rejected options and see how you can put them into effect.

On-demand Leader. Earlier: IIT | Google | Solopreneur | Founder | CTO | Advisor