First Time Manager Fundamentals

Everything you need to start on the right foot, and crush the next two years

The Program


A Complete Introduction to Leading a Team

A broad introduction to the leadership and management toolkit.

Covers essential management skills (meetings, one on ones, time management), and the deeper, "human" work of relationships and Emotional Intelligence.


Eight-Ten Weeks of Instruction and Practice 

Each unit is based on video content backed up with reading requirements and exercises, submitted online. 

Each week culminates in an hour of online, interactive group instruction, and practice for the week ahead.


Coaching and Support

Group coaching integrated regularly into the program, responding to students' issues.

Online community support through a Slack channel (or similar).

Direct access to me via email.

What’s Covered in the Course?

1. What's My New Job?

2. Managing Your Time & Attention

3. Delegation and Accountability: Your New Superpower

  • making your team successful
  • growing your team members
  • management and leadership: both are necessary
  • emotional skills and rational skills
  • "leaving" your peers, "being a manager"
  • your time and attention = your most important resource
  • manager time (diffuse) vs maker/planner time (focussed)
  • a tool for prioritizing (the Eisenhower matrix)
  • what is "important"? what is "urgent" (hint: not everything).
  • you can't do everything yourself!
  • the pitfalls of micro-management
  • delegation 101: what, by when
  • fears of being direct
  • fears of holding people accountable

4. Your Emotions: A Users Guide

5. One on Ones: Introduction to Connected Conversations

6. Meetings

  • Understanding and managing your, and others' emotions is a core leadership skill
  • EQ: the classic model
  • Self-awareness exercise: emotions, thoughts and the body. Practical examples.
  • Self-management: emotions, thoughts and the body. Practical examples.
  • The organization as a web of relationships
  • What are one on ones for? (Information, yes, but also connection, relationships)
  • Suggested cadence
  • Suggested agendas
  • Useful questions: introduction to "open" (what?) questions vs "closed" (why?) questions
  • The Art of Listening: Patience and Curiosity
  • What are meetings for? Three possibilities, and only three.
  • How to prepare
  • How to run a meeting
  • How to close a meeting
  • How to remove, cancel and otherwise get rid of, unhelpful meetings
  • The Art of Listening, reprise

7. Communication I: Giving Feedback

8. Communication II: Difficult Conversations

9. You and the Organization

  • What's the purpose of feedback?
  • Being direct, without being mean (introduction to Radical Candor)
  • Positive feedback: do it. A lot.
  • Feedback in person, and with remote team members
  • Feedback at the right time: don't leave it, don't do it angry
  • Debugging your fear: they'll quit! they'll dislike me! morale will suffer!
  • What we communicate: facts, opinions, emotions. A framework.
  • What we are talking about: the "It" (the subject), the "me/you/us" (the relationship). One is "hot", one isn't.
  • Getting to a shared pool of truth.
  • Preparing: some, but not too much.
  • Debugging: what to do if you feel it's off the rails.
  • Managing up: one simple rule!
  • Managing up: your boss is a human. What's it like in their shoes?
  • Managing across: building and maintaining relationships
  • Protecting your team: when, and how

Who's It For?

Anyone Managing for the First Time in the Tech Industry

IC to lead, lead to manager in engineering, product, sales, marketing.

Managers in their first year or two who want to deepen their understanding and skills.

This is in development. I would value your feedback!