Managing someone with more experience / at the same career level

Microsoft gzd1783
May 15 11 Comments

Hi Blind, what have your experiences been managing folks who are senior to you in terms of years of experience or are at the same level (say 65/L5) as you? Conversely, being managed by folks with less experience and at the same level as you?

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TOP 11 Comments
  • Microsoft alfh76
    I’ve done this. It’s hard. Best approach I found was to a) be super respectful b) listen well c) view your role as guide to point them in the right direction, link them into what they need to know and be an outside perspective and d) it can be awesome bc they are able to run on their own. So, build trust, provide guidance, let them run.
    May 150
  • Intel Act2016
    Managing is a different task/role. If you don’t understand it then spend some time on what the role is. It is not knowing what everybody on your team knows. Say that out loud and give your staff credit and develop management skills
    May 152
    • Microsoft datasc
      Intel, while I mostly agree with what you’ve said I think effective managers are those that have the technical competence and capability to step in for one of their direct reports and do their job. Slower, maybe, and a bit rustily, but competently all the same. Or at the absolute least be able to recognize/assess who can and cannot do a particular job.

      Ive had managers who gave me some spiel about how they’ve deliberately chosen to take on the management role and that they were my coach and guide, and so on. And they knew absolutely nothing about the product nor did they care to learn. They’d give me useless paintbynumbers advice and basically get in the way. I stopped going to them for help.

      I’ve also had managers who were fully on top of the product/business/goal, and were able to properly appreciate what it is I bring to the table versus what they do. they couldn’t do my job, (likely I couldn’t do theirs), which in many ways limited how they could advise me, but they still provided tons of value as mentors.
      May 15
    • Microsoft gzd1783
      OP
      Very valuable anecdotes there!
      May 15
  • Travelport / Engbuttnpushr
    I managed the CEO once. Some strife, I got fired once he realized I was not a hedge fund owner but worked out ok
    May 151
    • Bank of America Quackers
      This could make an entertaining film
      May 15
  • Microsoft datasc
    Interesting conundrum. I don’t have experience in this but of those that do, I’d be interested to ask: a) what value add did you provide them that they couldn’t have done for themselves (and yes intel I agree with your point about management being a different role; my question still stands), and relatedly b) how did you earn their trust/respect, or did you find that was unnecessary?
    May 150
  • Goldman Sachs l33tcode1
    Oh boy! I can totally relate to this question. I was placed in this situation beginning of the year. I am like an L4 with people at L6 level reporting to me. I'm in my late twenties and these folks are late 40s. Going good so far as I have established trust and technical competency with them. I was put in this unique situation cuz I am aware about the full picture of the existing system and contributed to this architecture. The L6 folks came from different teams
    May 151
    • Goldman Sachs l33tcode1
      I have 4 yoe and these folks have 15+yoe
      May 15
  • Nvidia signale
    Ask them if they wanna be co-managers.
    May 150
  • Tableau Ydobon
    I was a regular front line manager managing a Principal Engineer. Once I earned his trust, everything went fine.
    May 150

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