As you can probably imagine, I’ve been trying to learn about management lately. I’m now four months into my new roles as a manager and I’m starting to notice Some Things™.
- There’s a vibe shift: my relationship with the other designers is different. Now there’s a power difference and things are no longer the same between us. Previously I was the guy you could ask stuff you didn’t want to ask you manager. I’d give it to you straight but I usually didn’t have much more info than they did. That’s no longer true and people have picked up on it. Before people would ask “Hey so-and-so was let go, have you heard anything about why?” and now they ask “Hey why was so-and-so let go? Is there a layoff coming?”. Small but noticeable differences. I have to be more diplomatic now.
- When I became a manager, I was invited to a bunch of new meetings and private conversations where I was exposed to information I didn’t previously know about. It’s a weird privilege. Before, I didn’t know what I didn't know. Makes me realize that companies are not as transparent as they often say they are. This is especially hard in remote teams. When folks are in an office, at least you can see other people talking and walk past meetings in a conference room.
- I’m learning strategy faster. In the conversations mentioned above, everyone’s talking at a higher level. Conversations move quicker because folks can skip over a lot of details because the audience already understands. I’ve rather enjoyed this aspect, I feel like this is how my brain naturally likes to operate.
For seasoned managers this is probably nothing new, but as a new manager it’s eye opening.
I’m giving a talk about sustainable email design at Email Camp next month and I’m really excited about this one!
This one is more personal than my others. There’s a lot of “me” and my personal values in this one. It’s relevant to our jobs, but it’s bigger than that.
I gave a version of this talk at a meetup last month and it felt good. I was amped up, moving around the room, and using a fair amount of profanities. Now, my Email Camp version will be a Professional Talk™, but I’m tryin’ to bring that kind of energy to it.
Email Camp is a free, online conference on October 4-5. There are a bunch of talks I’m looking forward to attending. Here’s a sneak peek from what I’m working on:
Instead of a theme, this month I just want to share a few things on my mind.
“A good day to remember that the rules of the Earth system are determined by physics and biology and the rules of the economy are made up by a small group of self-interested people and could change. - Dr. Elizabeth Sawin
Is it cost effective to save the world yet?
Thanks for reading, see you in a fortnight ✌️