November 23, 2021

180: Improving the Foundations of Management with Rachel Pacheco

For a first time manager, it can feel like a bait-and-switch: You were told you’re now a manager but what they should have said is you now have to lead meetings, give feedback, make hard decisions, manage conflict, set deadlines and hold people accountable, and about a million other things. Even for experienced managers, it can feel like we’ve never really developed all the skills needed to succeed at this part of our job. 

Today’s guest is Rachel Pacheco. Rahel is the author of Bringing Up the Boss, a faculty member at the Wharton School in the Management Department and a Start-up advisor.

Rachel and I talk about what management actually is and then we get into some of the most common areas that managers – both new and seasoned – struggle with like setting clear expectations, giving constructive feedback, and motivating team members, and what you can do to develop these skills.

Members of the Modern Manager community get 35% off Rachel’s book Bringing Up The Boss. Get the discount code when you join the Modern Manager community.


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Read the related blog article: Management Fundamentals Every Manager Should Excel In




Key Takeaways:

  • Management is the broad term for dozens of activities managers are responsible for. These activities can be categorized as (1) managing individuals, (2) managing a team collectively, and (3) managing yourself.
  • Managers who fear micromanaging end up not giving their team enough structure. 
  • Keep goals simple and few so your team can prioritize. Don’t be too goal-focused that your team forgets other important tasks. 
  • Give clear expectations for what “good” looks like. 
  • Explain the impact of what you’re doing to increase motivation and big picture thinking. 
  • Frequent feedback is one of a manager’s most important jobs but we avoid it because it doesn’t feel “nice”. Yet, withholding feedback harms our employees’ ability to get better, hurting their future success. 
  • Employees feel anxious without feedback because they want to know how they’re doing. 
  • We need to understand what motivates each employee, what gives them a sense of satisfaction at work. 
  • We can learn individual motivations by asking what they enjoyed in their present/past job or doing a motivation survey.

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