Manager's Struggles


Managers face a variety of challenges in their roles, as discussed by multiple experts across different contexts:

  1. Promotion and Feedback Challenges:

    • Many managers struggle because they are promoted based on past performance in non-managerial roles, and not necessarily for their managerial skills. The slow feedback cycles in management, where subordinates may hesitate to give honest feedback, compound this issue. Offering trial periods for managerial roles can help assess suitability before a full promotion is committed 1.
  2. Technical and Organizational Understanding:

    • Technical teams often face difficulties not with the technology itself but with organizational challenges like unstable requirements and shifting deadlines. Promoting someone who has a strong technical background to managerial positions can help bridge the comprehension gap between non-technical managers and technical teams 2.
  3. Scale and Execution:

    • Scaling operations and managing larger teams pose significant challenges, especially in how managers adapt their strategies and handle more complex situations without clear, formulaic solutions 3.

      The Manager Challenge

      Jeff Seibert discusses the challenges of promoting managers and shares his approach of implementing trial periods to assess their suitability for the role. He emphasizes that being a manager is not necessarily better than being an individual contributor and highlights the importance of appropriate compensation for exceptional ICs.


      20VC: Why OpenAI Will Become an Infrastructure Play, Why Apple Will Win in an AI World, Why Google is the Most Vulnerable Incumbent, Will LLMs Be Commoditised, Which Startups Are Thin vs Thick Wrappers on Top of LLMs with Jeff Seibert, Founder @ Digits
  4. Employee Potential and Management Philosophy:

    • A fundamental aspect of management is fostering an environment where employees can realize their potential. This involves moving beyond traditional management tactics focused on control and risk aversion to ones that encourage purpose, autonomy, and mastery 4.

These insights highlight how diverse the challenges for managers can be, from dealing with promotions and feedback to scaling operations and fostering employee growth.