5 Tips for New Managers: Things I Wish I Had Known

All of the things that I wish I had known when I was becoming a first-time manager.


This post was originally published at https://www.peterfraedrich.com/5-tips-for-new-managers-things-i-wish-i-had-known/

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko / Unsplash

My brother called me out of the blue the other day. “Hey, I got something I want to run by you real quick,” he said, “I’m applying for a manager position and could use your perspective on some stuff.” In all honesty, I was a little surprised. We had talked before about management positions, the transition from individual contributor (IC) to management, and a few other related topics, but he had been pretty adamant about staying as a regular engineer in more of a Tech Lead position. So to hear that my brother had decided to take a step into people management was certainly a surprise, but at the same time, I felt that as someone who had made that transition myself a number of years ago that I was in a good position to help him. I started thinking about all of the things that I wish I had known when I was becoming a first-time manager and distilled it down to a few points that I hope will help my brother and everyone else making or thinking of making the career move from engineer to manager.

Being a Manager and Being a Leader Are Two Different Things

To be an effective manager you need to be both a manager and a leader. While being a manager and being a leader certainly do have some overlap, they are wholly different concepts, and only by understanding how they are different and how to embody each one can you be effective.


An effective manager is one that can accomplish the organization’s goals and organize a team of people toward a common goal. Think of effective management as completing deadlines, staying on budget, paying attention to details, etc. Managers are technically proficient at the job function; at organization, task management, and the like.


In contrast to management, leaders are focused on people. Leaders are people that other people want to follow because they know the leader has their best interests in mind. Leadership…



Peter Christian Fraedrich

Entrepreneur, software developer, writer, musician, amateur luthier, husband, dad. All opinions are my own.