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Hands-on. Hands-off. Staying a creator.

Hands-on. Hands-off. Staying a creator.

04/01/24

It's surprising that many (a lot many) managers find themselves just managing projects and people. I wrote a bit about this topic here a few days ago.

To give a bit of context, if you're hiring great folks you don't ideally need to "manage" people in the traditional way. If you're constantly polishing your thinking, aware of the broader context of the company, you can systemise, set expectations, build processes & frameworks for projects. That won't need managing beyond unblocking, course correcting, and occasional problem solving. You can read the book Gung-ho or the notes here.

Now, what do you do with all the time remaining if you don't spend time reviewing, in meetings? You create, or do things that help create). Staying hands-off for very long is not good for you as a designer, creator, leader. If not already, you'll soon become irrelevant.

Here are 8 things you can do immediately to change:

  1. Create wireframes, and create really good ones. You need pen/pencil & paper.

  2. Visit customers in-person. Start with friends, move up to friends of friends, and move up to strangers who use your product.

  3. Listen to customer helpline calls for 30 minutes every work day. You need access to the portal and blocked time on your calendar.

  4. Read a book for what you might immediately need. E.g. working on onboarding? Read up this or this. Outline key takeaways and share as insights. Working on a chatbot? Read this book and create frameworks to share with team.

  5. Contextualise inspiration. Go through products that have something your new product feature might need. Document specific portions and share with the respective groups.

  6. Give back time by recording your feedback on Loom. Moving most feedback reviews to async will help your team go through them at ease and progress faster than spending hours in back-and-forth.

  7. Create presentations. That's usually the best way to capture your thoughts, feedback, or even evangelising the work of your team in broader groups. It's surprising, most don't know how to create good (or good looking) presentations.

  8. Build relations for the team. Sit down with your peers and enable working relationships between them and your reports.

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© Copyright 2023, I guess.

© Copyright 2023, I guess.