Oh, what a scary thought: a manager must always be perfect. But, stick with me here.
Throughout my career, I’ve had some pretty great bosses that I really looked up to. These were the men and women who made the choices that affected my work life. They had great power. They had my respect.
And then, they each invariably made a mistake. I was appalled. How could my manager have made such a huge oversight? Why is my boss being so dumb? I wanted them to be perfect. I needed them to be perfect. Who wants to be lead by someone who make mistakes just like you do?
This is something you need to remember as a manager. You’re no longer the programmer who can have bugs and forget things. You’re expected to be above this. You’re expected to be perfect. Your team will now expect that you’re impossibly perfect. Keep this in mind when you make your decisions.
Now is the time to turn on spell-check. A manager can’t have spelling mistakes in his or her email. Don’t you dare jumble the letters of an acronym.
Now is the time to look up words you use but you aren’t completely certain of their meanings. Don’t fully know what the acronym SaaS means? Look it up before you use it again. Do you have a habit of using the word “indubitably” but can’t quickly define it? You just think it sounds cool? Time to look it up.
We all know that we can never be perfect but we need to keep this unreachable expectation in mind. Make all decisions and choices as if your whole world is on display. Your team definitely is watching your every move now.
Having a team that expects you to be perfect isn’t such a bad thing. This accountability can be leveraged into a good thing. Acknowledge that you’re not perfect, but share that it is your goal to be the highest quality and caliber that you can be. Remember, your team is counting on you to reach these heights, so use that to motivate yourself.
When leadership doesn’t try to be better, it is easy to for programmers to be subpar. When leaders are expecting, encouraging, and challenging, programmers develop insatiable desires to achieve greatness.
A great Dev Manager will always be perfect - or at least try to be. You are in the spotlight and are used as a measuring stick for performance.