Image for post
Image for post
The boss who taught me about psychological safety, coaching, and talent whispering, Cece Morken

The journey from individual contributor to manager, for me, was an enlightening one. In several of my previous companies, I was promoted into managerial roles with very little training — or even rationale. In many cases, the only path up in those companies was a managerial path. Promoting me as a manager was a reflection of my strength as an individual contributor and perhaps an acknowledgment of my potential. In nearly every case, I was asked to “keep doing what I was doing” — just do it while in charge of others. A player-coach model, I suppose.

I’ve learned that managing people effectively requires an entirely different set of muscles than contributing, individually, or even collaboratively. Maybe that's why, for a long time, I felt like a failure as a manager despite the fact that I was being pushed in that direction. …


james helms

Design Leader, Advisor, Speaker, Student, Advocate, Enabler.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store