Good Managers Vs. Great Managers by@colivetree

Good Managers Vs. Great Managers

Carlos Oliveira HackerNoon profile picture

Carlos Oliveira

Product Manager. Ex-Farfetch, Skyscanner. Working on something new.

One of the most important aspects of building great product organisations is to design a system where builders thrive. A group of well-organized, ambitious yet humble, smart folks is an unstoppable force.

For managers, that means hiring and empowering direct reports so that they fulfil their aspirations and channel their strengths in the direction of a better product, but also of building teams that are able to discover that product that changes the course of the company, which they probably don't know yet needs to exist.

So what is it that sets great managers apart? Read on to find out.

Empowerment vs Inspiration

Good managers empower their teams to achieve their goals. Great managers inspire their teams to go beyond their self-imposed constraints.

Listening vs Empathizing

Good managers listen more than they talk. Great managers understand, resonate, empathise and are vulnerable about their own improvement opportunities.

Transparency vs Communication

Good managers are transparent, candid and clear. Great managers change people’s careers by showing them what’s possible through great communication.

Building Systems that Build Products

Good managers structure processes and practices that get work done smoothly. Great managers structure systems that build products, where people feel empowered by the boundaries and can use them to uncover 10x improvements to the current product.

Safety & meaning

Good managers make people feel safe and productive. Great managers make people feel meaning, purpose and energised about coming to work.

Turning impact into strength

Good managers care about their direct reports on a personal level. Great managers have a deep level of empathy for everyone around them and create long-lasting bonds from potential conflict.

Crafting the strategic narrative

Good managers can talk comfortably about macro strategy and minute execution details. Great managers craft a compelling narrative, where direct reports are encouraged to participate actively. Their input reframes conversations in decisive ways.

The compounding value of relationships

Good managers regularly check-in with their teams and direct reports and have a list of things they are obstacles and pains they are working through right now. Great managers ensure the value of those sessions compound over time by keeping a longer-term log of what has worked, what hasn't and what keeps coming up despite our best efforts.

Specific & Actionable Insights

Good managers help their people overcome difficulties and become better at their jobs. Great managers are specific about how people can improve, and analyse the problem through the lens of personal challenges, stories and goals.


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