“The Making of a Manager” Julie Zhou

Rating: 4/5

New managers and team leaders often ask me for book recommendations so when I first picked up this book, my intention was to read it on behalf of said new managers and team leaders in my organization. I thought that if I liked it, I would recommend it. And I have. It’s a great read.

This book is practical, current, and acknowledges what it means to lead a small team and lead your first team. Although Zhou has progressed in her career at Facebook, she is not so far removed from the time when she first became a manager. She remembers it well and I think that many new managers will be able to relate to her struggles, fears, and misconceptions.

I love the angle in this book that, “Great managers are made, not born.” I think that so many new people managers look at more experienced managers and think that they are natural born leaders. Maybe they are but in my experience, most great bosses work at the skills required to be a great boss.

Ultimately, this book is for anyone leading a team. If you’re new to managing people, I’d say it is a must read. But even if you’re not new to managing people, the learning journey is never over. We can always find ways to be better and more purposeful at what we are doing. My biggest takeaway was the reminder of how new managers are just that; they are NEW at their jobs. This will influence how I support and coach managers going forward. My second biggest takeaway (maybe it should be my first) is that I can be better at running meetings.

So, read it this book from beginning to end, or read whichever chapter resonates with you in this moment. If you’re a people manager, there is something in here for everyone.