The Manager's Handbook
2 min read

The Manager's Handbook

The Manager's Handbook

I've been writing a book on management for the last two years. Today it's getting released! The paperback and Kindle versions are now available on Amazon (along with the free web version).

If you've read and enjoyed it, please Tweet about how it's helped you (or upvote on Product Hunt).

Both newly-minted and seasoned managers should find this handbook useful.  This is the companion guide I wish I had from day one as a founding engineer, to CEO of a 100+ person company. Covering sourcing, evaluating and hiring candidates, one-on-ones, zone-of-genius, planning OKRs, systems for sharing information, resolving conflicts, and so much more.

Why did I decide to write this book? Two reasons.

Firstly, I knew the best way I could learn management was to teach it. Teaching and learning in public have been highly effective techniques in my career (more on this later).

Secondly, management is just about the biggest source of leverage we have in the world to improve human collaboration. Collaboration is fundamental to our species success so far, and critical for solving the problems we have looming in the future.

I find that every manager I meet aspires to be a 'good manager'. But they're often expected to learn on the job and hit the ground running from the day they're 'promoted' into management. But a move into management isn't a promotion, it's a career change - and a drastic change at that. Every company needs to recognize this and provide specific training.

It may sound mundane, but improving the effectiveness of something like one-on-one meetings, at a large enough scale, might just change the world. That's why I'm on a mission to create a dent, however big or small, in the discipline of management.

With that in mind, there will always be a free online version of the book. I want as many people as possible to read it, try it, and then report back. Let's figure this out together.

Working in public

It's worth elaborating on how this book was written as I believe it's quite unique.

When I first set out to write the handbook I enlisted the support of a few hundred Twitter followers to markup each draft. The process worked like this:

  • I wrote each chapter in a dedicated Notion org
  • As soon as the first draft of each chapter was finished, it got copied into a Google Doc and distributed to the 300 strong beta group. They had two weeks to comment and markup the document.
  • Then I incorporated their feedback, revised each chapter for a week, then sent it off to our copy editor.
  • Finally the finished Google Doc was copied back into Notion. And also into Git (for the website).

You might think it sounds like absolute chaos having hundreds of people giving input, and it certainly required a lot of opinionated curation, but the book is vastly better for it. Many of the reviewers were veteran managers and CEOs who have many years of experience on me.

Anyway, I'm immensely grateful to everyone who was involved, especially Matt Sornson and Nathalie Arbel, who were instrumental in making this book happen. I hope you find it useful!

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