Nerd Journey Podcast Knowledge Graph


Search IconIcon to open search

Speaker Notes - People Management Career

Last updated Sep 4, 2022 Edit Source

# Speaker Notes - People Management Career

# Managing People is a Different Skill Set Than Being an Individual Contributor

Ethan Banks is co-founder of Packet Pushers Interactive; Host or co-hosts podcasts about IT for architects and engineers on shows such as Heavy Networking and Day Two Cloud. He thought getting into managment would be like a technical lead, but found out it was resource management and coordination meetings. It was a step removed from technology. It required a different skill set, almost unrelated to the individual contributor role, other than being able to conceptually understand what the ICs were doing. Episode 42

Don Jones was a VP at Pluralsight when we talked to him, VP of Content at Karat, and mentioned that managers are dependent on their team for their success, not themselves. They’re also removed from whether any particular day went well (and might not find out for weeks or months!). It’s a different job with different skills. Episode 137

When we originally talked to Charlie Nichol, he was a Senior Manager of Solution Engineering at VMware. He’s currently a Regional VP for Americas Channel Sales Engineering at Rubrik. He knew how to motivate top performers because he was one but lacked the ability to motivate those not performing well at first (i.e. not everyone is motivated by the same thing). Managers take care of many things that happen, but we might not see that they did it (i.e. making sure someone gets paid for coming to work on their first day). Charlie took the aspects of every good manager he had met and developed his own methodology. Management is like parenting in that way (take all the good you see from others and create your own, cannot know what it is like until you do it). You are no longer an expert on technology. Episode 51

When we talked to Brad Christian, he was a Solution Engineering Manager in the Networking and Security Business Unit at VMware. He’s currently a Product Marketing Manager at DataStax. He realized with a team you can widen the impact and scope of what you can accomplish, especially with a high performance team. Brad learns from his team and considers himself a servant leader. Management is also a path to more money. Brad’s goal is to remove impediments from the team and help them do their job better. If you can do that and enjoy it and hold onto your technical skills a little, you can be successful. Episode 114

Jeff Eberhard was a Solution Engineering Leader at VMware when we spoke to him. He’s currently a Cloud Sales and Engineering Leader at Oracle. He had to learn how to manage people significantly older than him. “How do I lead someone who has been doing this since before I was born?” Episode 115

# Management vs. Leadership

Brad Pinkston is a Director of Partnerships at Decisionlink, though he was a Director of Global Solutions Consulting at VMware when we spoke to him.says, “You don’t have to be a manager to be a leader.” Leadership is inspiring, teaching, mentoring, coaching, and supporting your colleagues. Management adds the tasks of hiring, firing, performance management and excercise of role power to support the team. A leader might have power from networking and relatinoships, but not role power. A manager may have role power but lack a network and relationships. Episode 58

Don Jones also says that mangement and leadership are two separate things. You can lead as a peer, without being the boss. Managers handle resource allocation, measurement, etc. Episode 137

Scott Lowe also re-states the point about leadership being different than management. Part of the leadership task is helping others be more effective in their roles without being their manager. Episode 152

Dreaming in Bands It’s probably worth mentioning our general career advice that kept popping up about dreaming in bands, or a spectrum of possibilities, instead of focusing on a single company or role. Going through a process of deconstructing the parts of the role and/or company that appeal to you is a really important step. There might be more roles or companies than you know of. Stephanie Wong is a great example of someone who wouldn’t have been able to articulate her current Developer Advocacy role out of college, because it didn’t exist yet. Maybe your dream role or dream company doesn’t exist yet!

# Characteristics of Good Managers

Kelly Schroeder mentioned that a manager he replaced very clearly cared about the wellbeing of the team and it’s memebers, both personally and professionally. That concept of caring for the people on your team is something that Kelly still carries with him. Episode 59

Paul Green mentions that a key task a manager should do is to help reports think through how to solve a problem rather than solving it for them. Additionally, it’s critical to connect how employee responsibilities help the company accomplish it’s goals. Coaching vs. Directing Episode 93

Jeff Eberhard observations on a good manager: someone interested in personal connection with their reports, an interest in helping them develop their strong points as well as their weaknesses, and an understanding of the individual’s abilities as a contributor are (a high flyer with the potential to move up, a solid contributor who wants to stay put, or someone struggling who needs support to improve to the team standard).

Evan Oldford was encouraged to come work at a startup by a manager that liked him and originally took a chance on him at a company called Whistle. Great managers remember great talent and want to bring you with them. Episode 172

# MOC - Communicating With Your Management About Becoming A Manager

# Management Interviews