Manager README

The concept of a manager README doc, as an introduction of what to expect from a new manager, has become popular in technical circles because it’s what we use to introduce our software projects. For the first time in nearly five years, I’m changing company and this feels like the perfect way to let my new colleagues understand my core beliefs.



If I’m new to the team or company, I’m the newbie, and I’m here to learn. For the foreseeable future I’ll be asking questions, and specifically. I’ll ask “Why?” a lot. Not to be annoying – even though it certainly can be – but because it helps to understand root causes.



Not just trust, but psychological safety, and other hygiene factors are fundamental. There’s no shortcut to getting to know each other on a personal level. Doing so is necessary to create an environment where you feel safe, say, to call me out on not living up to the rest of this README.


Career Goals

It’s my job to help you achieve your career goals. First though, we must work together to jointly understand your career goals so I can help you achieve them. I’ll help you identify the next stage and coach/mentor you through it. Or if you’ve reached where you want to be, we can agree how to maintain that level.



This is a 100% micromanagement free zone. Success for me, is when the team delivers without me needing to be there. By aligning on what success looks like, the how can be left to you.


Show how the cake is made

From Situational Leadership, Stakeholder Management, GROW coaching, to Task Delegation… there are no end to the number of management concepts and techniques to help support direct reports. I’ll let you know what I’m using and share the idea so it doesn’t feel inauthentic or forced.


Frequent, timely feedback

Praise for doing a good job is key for letting you know you’re succeeding – and not just “Good work.” but a breakdown of why it was good. However, positive feedback is just one side of the coin. No one enjoys hearing they could have done a better job, but receiving specific, critical feedback in a timely and constructive manner, is the fastest way to improve.


Meet how and when you like

1-to-1 time is your time. It should never be about status updates, but rather making sure you’re happy, setup for success, and improving over time. You set the agenda.