A field guide for First-Time Managers

I will write a book. About managing people. But before I tell you more, let me give you a little bit of background.

Since I am writing, I thought it would be cool to hold a book with my name on the cover in my hands. Plus, I think I have something to share.

I have already attempted to write a book twice.

The first time it was about a command line tool called Tmux. I was so excited about the book that I didn’t notice my book was irrelevant. When I was done, a new version was released and my book was outdated already.

The second time, I wanted to write about “Productivity”. You may already guess why it failed. The scope is too big. For whom is the book, and what is it really about? That I didn’t know myself. It was during NaNoWriMo 2019, and a few chapters in I got frustrated about the missing scope and didn’t know how to resolve these issues.

Now that I know how to not write a book, I thought I should get some help. At the start of 2022 I read the wonderful book Write Useful Books by Rob Fitzpatrick. It’s a blueprint on how to write a book in an iterative way with multiple feedback loops to produce a recommendable, useful book.

I rarely have had so many a-ha moments in one book. The process Rob describes in the book made me understand why I (and many other writers) failed to deliver.

So, I decided to follow his blueprint. In public. I won’t be sitting in the streets with a typewriter and collect donations. Instead, I will post weekly updates. I hope to gather some early feedback and also some people who are interested in the book.

A field guide for new managers

Now, about the content.

When I started my journey as a manager, I made countless mistakes. Mistakes that costed me quite a while to correct. Mistakes that would have been avoidable.

Over time and while training new managers, I saw the same issues over and over again. How to deal with people? How to speak with your manager? How to stay on top of everything? How to stay sane?

There are many books and courses on management. Sadly, most of it is either misleading, didn’t age well or it’s far too deep.

I want to provide guidance for people that start in a management role and want to do it the right way, without making all the mistakes myself and many others made.

What’s next?

As I mentioned, the process will be public. On a weekly basis, I will let you know what I am up to in the form of a short video and a newsletter.

Everything else I still have to figure out.