To be, or not to be a manager? 🤔
A sneak peak into the nitty-gritty of becoming a new manager at Rocketium
In the Spotlight, Rocketium’s newest Engineering Manager - Amitesh Ranjan
The most challenging part about being an Engineering Manager
Well, this would be the volume of content and context coming from diverse teams. As an Engineering Manager, I am working with teams within teams. I get to have dozens of technical discussions daily. Staying focused amidst all this contributes to my effectiveness as an Engineering Manager. The skill of context-switching is the most challenging and also the most essential component of being an Engineering Manager.
One thing you recommend budding Engineering Managers should unlearn
Finding solutions to hard problems and executing those solutions is the primary DNA of all engineers. As an Engineering Manager, one’s role becomes that of an enabler of solving problems and I won’t shy away from acknowledging that I am still in the learning phase of reaching there. If a team member is stuck with their code, the first reflex I have is to correct it myself. I am slowly learning that with the transition of role that I have made, I am going to show the right path and provide the right resources to my team, and watch them find a way out. Of course, I will be there to guide them whenever they need me, but jumping in to do it on their behalf will only restrict their growth.
Something you learned about the team’s behavioural patterns
Your team mirrors you. If they see you not putting enough trust in them, not sharing important details, not acknowledging mistakes, they will start to believe such behaviour is acceptable. Everything that you want them to exhibit has to be displayed by you first. This has to be reinforced with clear and consistent communication.
A misconception about becoming an Engineering Manager that you would have liked to learn sooner
I am a social person. On a nice day, I could be found joking around. (Laughs casually...😄). While joining, I feared this trait might not be appreciated by my team, given that as a manager, I am expected to follow a typical role model image. Questions like - “What if my team thinks I am not a good leader?”, “What if they don’t take me seriously?”, used to hover over me. Not too late that I learned my inhibitions were nothing but a myth. Holding a stern look or not cracking that silly joke that I was sure to make everyone laugh did not strengthen my positioning among my team members. Everything eventually zeroed down to how well I was able to help them unblock the hurdles, show them a clear growth path, and empathize with their challenges. My socially active personality only made it easier for me to build a bond with my new team.
Words of advice: By the founding managers for the new managers
At Rocketium, when you’re entrusted to be a manager, you start owning the success of not only the organisation but your team and yourself. But it is not all lilies and roses. As a manager at Rocketium, you are expected to share and listen to feedback that may not always be a smooth path. You make tough decisions that you may not always like at first.
In addition to all that we do to lead by example, there are a few traits we hold in high regard:-
Make the team accountable
Identify folks who raise the bar, and then do everything to keep them
Make tough decisions for the greater good
We are a ‘TEAM’ not a ‘FAMILY’
Build a growth mindset
Focus on what you can control
1:1 discussions are not supposed to feel like performance reviews
Teams are moving faster than ever. And they are collaborating more than ever. This means most managers either do not have the time for 1:1 or do not feel the need for it. This can be a big mistake. In our experience, managers and their teams share very different things even if a fixed monthly meeting feels forced.
To bring structure into the conversations and avoid missing any significant themes, we follow a standard set of questions. Of course, this is in addition to any other topics that anyone wants to bring up.
How are you doing? How has this month been for you?
What were some challenges you faced last month? How could I have helped you with them?
How are you progressing towards your goals?
How has your work-life-balance been this month? Did you have to work extra hours, often? If yes, what can we do together to improve this?
What are the upcoming month's top priorities?
Do you have any questions about the team's goals or plans?
What feedback do you have for me?
Do you have any feedback for our / another team?
Bonus beans: We’ve been brewing something big!
Rocketium hosted its first BIG virtual conference, bringing together growth and design legends from Leo Burnett, SUGAR Cosmetics, SocialBeat, Ferns N Petals, Flatheads Shoes, Isobar, Taproot Dentsu, and Madison World.
This event features a fireside chat, live teardown, hands-on lab, and a panel discussion. first-hand insights from globally positioned agencies, led by our very own advocates of creative-impact at Rocketium - Satej Sirur, Karan Rao, Kunal Sharma, Srijan Kumud.
4 Interactive Sessions
10 Expert Speakers
Look forward to our updates on the event on our LinkedIn page.