Management Skills

The four skills I needed most when I was managing people have all turned out to be equally important in teaching:

  1. How to intervene when people behave badly. It doesn’t come up often, but knowing how makes you more likely to do it when you should.

  2. How to run a meeting. Agenda before, minutes after, manage speaking time—none of it is magic, but without it, everything else is harder than it needs to be.

  3. How to write a two-page memo making the case for doing something so that people have something concrete to debate (and so that there is a record later of why we did something).

  4. How to set priorities and re-set them when the world changes or people fall behind. (The real purpose of a schedule is to tell you when to start cutting things from your plan…)

If I was going to add a 5th, it would be “how to make things discoverable” so that people can find what they need when they need it, but I’m still trying to figure that one out…