Evaluating Your Success as a New Manager

Henry Hsu

Head of Engineering at Trade Coffee



"There are many difficult aspects of becoming a new manager. For me, one of the hardest parts of the transition was knowing if I was doing a good job. I was doing a lot of things but I didn't really know which things were working and which things weren't. For a long time I didn't know how to evaluate that so I felt like I was in the dark."

Actions taken

"It was a two-year process for me to build awareness around how well of a job I was doing. I narrowed it down to two conditions. First, the ways in which I have helped the team solve problems; and second, the development and growth of my direct reports."

  • "How am I helping the team solve problems?" "I check in on a weekly basis and identify the different types of interactions I have compared to the previous weeks. I make a note stating when I was most effective in solving a particular problem and the specific time versus when this problem came up the last time."

  • "How are people on my team growing?" "I use one-on-ones to gauge how I am doing in this area. Additionally, the most visible metric is when people are getting promoted. For example, when my first direct report was promoted I thought that he absolutely deserved it, but I also acknowledged that I created the environment in which it happened."

Lessons learned

  • "To evaluate myself, I now use a framework for observing situations. I look at the people, the process, and the environment in order to fully comprehend the scope I have with helping and improving my team. I draw from these three areas to understand where I am and where I need to be more effective."

  • "I generally don't evaluate how well I am doing based on team productivity. This is because the team establishes their own norms. Overtime this changes as well as the skill sets of people. So, in fact, productivity is a sliding scale."

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Henry Hsu

Head of Engineering at Trade Coffee

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyCulture DevelopmentEngineering ManagementPerformance MetricsLeadership TrainingPerformance ReviewsFeedback TechniquesCareer Growth

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