Wick Communications

Average vs. great managers

In Management on 20 Aug 2015 at 2:30 pm

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 1.57.31 PM

Last week I stumbled upon a really profound, graceful, interesting look at management and it came in the form of a series of simple cartoons.

They are the work of Julie Zhuo. She is director of product design at Facebook. Her work is called, “Average Manager vs. Great Manager Explained in 10 Sketches.” Take a look.

The sentiments she sketched out obviously struck a nerve, and not just for me. She first posted them on Medium (and if you aren’t familiar with Ev Williams’ blogging platform, you should be) and then shared it on Facebook. Her Facebook share has been reshared another 348 times at this writing and earned 1,300 likes.

Her point, it seems to me, that the best managers treat employees with respect and seek their partnership rather than delivering edicts from on high. …

For me, the drawings that stood out the most were those dealing with performance reviews. In one panel, the manager says, “It’s time for our bi-annual performance review. Here’s feedback from the past six months.” In the next, the manager says, “Can I share some feedback for you from that meeting this morning?” Do you see the difference? Zhuo suggests – and I strongly agree – that the most effective management is ongoing and not given once a year in a performance review.

It’s also worth mentioning that these cartoons represent a type of storytelling that I wouldn’t have considered. It’s a reminder that there are many ways to deliver a message and sometimes there are more effective communication strategies than stringing words into sentences that become gray type.

Zhuo has 36,000 followers on Medium for a reason.



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