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From Manager to Director: Guide to Managing Managers
Episode 5616th February 2022 • Level-up Engineering • Coding Sans
00:00:00 00:51:52

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Interview with Mike Seavers, VP of Online Development at Epic Games about becoming a manager of managers. He talks about his hardships as a new director, he tells the story of overcoming them, and shares other stories about coaching other leaders to turn them into great directors.

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In this interview we're covering:

  • Differences between managing ICs and managing managers
  • Story of transitioning from manager to director
  • Necessary skills to managing managers
  • Common mistakes of new directors
  • Warning signs for new directors
  • Choosing from director candidates
  • Support from executive leaders to new directors
  • Story of coaching a director new to managing managers
  • Bonus advice to managing managers

Excerpt from the interview:

"I first became a director and started managing managers about 17 years ago. My team consisted of five sub-teams, about 50 people combined, and I had six or seven managers reporting to me. We were going through an Agile transformation.

I spent all my time focusing internally, working with my team. I attended stand-ups, we were teaching Scrum and we were introducing new tooling to manage the Agile process. We changed our release method and other internal processes.

I was proud of what we managed to accomplish, but when it came time for performance reviews, I received the worst review of my career. My peers and everyone around me outside my team said in their feedback that they had no relationship with me. They didn’t know what I was doing, they just saw me making changes in engineering without involving the leaders of the project management team, the release management team, or the QA team."

Click here to read the full interview!