, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
"People leave bad managers, not bad jobs" -- really? @kninki deconstructs this maxim from the perspective of her own time as a manager, and finds reality is much more complicated.

... Oops, got interrupted. What I was going to say is: a truly good manager will be honest with you and tell you when it's probably time for you to leave for your own sake.

Even if they desperately would like you to stay.
This is somewhat controversial, and I accept that. I'm not sure how right I am. But.

A tech lead's ultimate priority is the success of the tech. A people manager's ultimate loyalty is to the growth and development of the people on their team.
It's your job as a manager to carve out individual opportunities for growth in synchrony with the organization and its needs. A good manager can run this game a long way. Everyone wins.

Until they don't.
One of my hardest moments as a manager came near the end of my time at Parse/FB.

One of my reports, a powerhouse engineer who was easygoing and a dream to manage, suddenly seemed oddly bothered in our normal 1x1.
I pushed a bit, and eventually he stumbled out that he wasn't really seeing the next big thing he should work on, or couldn't make himself care like usual. Then he asked me:

"do you think I should start looking for something new?"

and without hesitation, I said "yes."
I could have gotten him stoked about some of the cool new shit we had lined up. This wasn't a lost cause, by any means. He trusted me implicitly; I could have turned it around.

But he fucking *trusted me*. You know?
As managers we get really good at finessing and massaging priorities to make them align. We have to, it's the lube that keeps the wheels spinning. Zero sum games should be rare, fortunately.
As it turned out, this was the beginning of the end for me at Parse too. The fact that my gut had said the best thing for one of my beloved team was to move on really, really bothered me.

I started noticing how many things people were telling me weren't adding up.
I started realizing how many people were looking to me as a sign that things were ok. Because I wasn't saying they weren't, and they trusted me not to deceive or conceal reality.

I left, it crumbled, Parse got shut down as it inevitably was going to be. Etc.
I was pissed that nobody had the bones to answer me straight up when I asked hard questions about the business. I was pissed at myself for believing them.

I stuck around way too long because I accepted it, and thus many people poured their life's blood into a doomed project.
So yeah. It's a manager's duty to do what's in the best interest of the lives and careers that are entrusted to them, for as long as those careers intersect beneficially with what the company needs.
We talk a lot about layoffs and letting people go, so lots of people have never considered that

✨sometimes you need to leave a company because you are actually too awesome for them✨ or on a trajectory too steep to comfortably align✨
I made the mistake of innocently confessing what I'd told the engineer, and I got in huge trouble at FB. So the final moral of the story is, lie to shitty bureaucracies when necessary. The end.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Charity Majors
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls (>4 tweets) are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!