The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You
Instant Wall Street Journal Bestseller!
The Making of a Manager – Congratulations, you’re a manager! After you pop the champagne, accept the shiny new title, and step into this thrilling next chapter of your career, the truth descends like a fog: you don’t really know what you’re doing.
That’s exactly how Julie Zhuo felt when she became a rookie manager at the age of 25. She stared at a long list of logistics–from hiring to firing, from meeting to messaging, from planning to pitching–and faced a thousand questions and uncertainties. How was she supposed to spin teamwork into value? How could she be a good steward of her reports’ careers? What was the secret to leading with confidence in new and unexpected situations?
Now, having managed dozens of teams spanning tens to hundreds of people, Julie knows the most important lesson of all: great managers are made, not born. If you care enough to be reading this, then you care enough to be a great manager.
The Making of a Manager is a modern field guide packed everyday examples and transformative insights, including:
* How to tell a great manager from an average manager (illustrations included)
* When you should look past an awkward interview and hire someone anyway
* How to build trust with your reports through not being a boss
* Where to look when you lose faith and lack the answers
Whether you’re new to the job, a veteran leader, or looking to be promoted, this is the handbook you need to be the kind of manager you wish you had.
Book Review by Wayne
This is hands-down the book I wished I’d had when I began managing 8 years ago. It definitely would have saved me from making countless & costly mistakes during my first few years of management, and I will benefit from it greatly as a manager even now!
What sets this book apart from other books about management is unlike other management books written by folks at the end of their careers, Julie still remembers her own ramp-up into management (due to her meteoric rise from intern to VP at Facebook in less than a decade). Julie’s complete honesty about all her fears, insecurities, and mistakes at the time (and how she continued to experience them throughout her career) makes her the reader’s relatable management confidant and her lessons far more potent.
Julie is a masterful storyteller and effective teacher, seamlessly weaving together her own management war stories to illustrate core principles, combined with practical & easy-to-remember frameworks for managers to use. Each chapter opens with an illustration cementing a key idea from the management topic to be discussed. While most of the book focuses on topics that will help first-time managers, later chapters touch upon topics that will help even seasoned managers, such as hiring and managing managers yourself and setting the culture of your organization.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about making the plunge into management, in their first few years of management, or even to experienced managers looking for a refreshing take on management. The Making of a Manager is the new gold standard for books on management.
Rated Amazon’s #1 Best Business Book of the Year So Far!
“I’ve seen so many people thrust into management in high-growth companies with so little guidance. From now on, I will hand them this book. Its practical wisdom is immediately useful for the newly minted manager—and us old ones.”
—Ev Williams, CEO of Medium and co-founder of Twitter
“Julie Zhuo had to learn to be a manager fast, as her role kept expanding in the hyper-growth environment of a successful Silicon Valley start-up. In The Making of a Manager, she shares what she learned—often, the hard way. She combines cutting-edge analysis of how organizations work with engaging and accessible examples of how theory plays out in real life, with stories of what she did right and wrong.”—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
“I wish I’d had this book when I started managing a team at Instagram. Julie covers the full range of becoming a manager, from your first meetings with your team to accomplishing huge goals together.”—Mike Krieger, co-founder of Instagram
“Every business book I read as a consultant and later a CEO was written by a man. Julie brings an entirely fresh perspective on leadership as a brilliant hacker, first-generation American, and young mother. This book is everything Silicon Valley appreciates in Julie: humble, inspiring, and whip-smart.”
—Leila Janah, CEO and founder of Samasource and LXMI and author of Give Work
“At startups, individuals asked to manage are rarely set-up for success. Julie Zhuo gives new managers the tools they need to help their people and company win.”
—Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator and co-chairman of OpenAI
“Are you a new manager? Are you a little scared? Fear not. Julie Zhuo is here to help. She took on a manager position at one of the biggest start-ups of our generation before she felt quite ready, but she grew into the job. And now she’s here to guide you as you grow into the job. This book will get you on the right track and keep you there.”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive
“As an entrepreneur and CEO, I’ve read all of the business books, but this is one I’ll be turning to again and again as a reference for how to help my team thrive. It’s a leadership manifesto for a startup, global mega-company, or anything in between.”
—Brit Morin, founder and CEO of Brit + Co
“Julie is like that friend giving you some much-needed tips over coffee—her style cuts through industry jargon and gets at the heart of how to lead with confidence and help your team do their best work.”
—Nir Eyal, author of Hooked
“The Making of a Manager is an excellent, approachable and comprehensive guide for those making the transition into management. This is something we’d give out to new managers at Slack and it could very well set a new standard for new managers.”
—Stewart Butterfield, CEO and co-founder of Slack
“Julie does an incredible job simplifying the role of a manager. She pulls you in with all the awkward, funny and tough moments of being a first time manager, and then takes you on an engaging journey. She sets forth a crystal clear playbook of how to drive impact and get the most out of your teams. If you’re a first time manager, you’ll learn how to hit the ground running, and experienced managers will level-up their game!”
—Logan Green, CEO and co-founder of Lyft
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- How to Write Effective Business English by Fiona Talbot
- How to Write a Business Plan by Mike McKeever
- Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader by Herminia Ibarra
- Business Strategy by Brian Tracy
- Time Power by Brian Tracy
- Company of One by Paul Jarvis
- The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo
About the Author
Julie Zhuo is one of Silicon Valley’s top product design executives. She leads the teams behind some of the world’s most popular mobile and web services used by billions of people every day. She writes about technology, design, and leadership on her popular blog The Year of the Looking Glass and in publications like the New York Times and Fast Company. She graduated with a computer science degree from Stanford University and lives with her husband and two children in California.
Originally published: 2019