The Making of a Manager

What to Do When Everyone Looks to You
Narrated by: Karissa Vacker, Julie Zhuo
Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (772 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Congratulations, you're a manager! After you pop the champagne, accept the shiny new title, and step into this thrilling next chapter of your career, the truth descends like a fog: You don't really know what you're doing.

That's exactly how Julie Zhuo felt when she became a rookie manager at the age of 25. She stared at a long list of logistics - from hiring to firing, from meeting to messaging, from planning to pitching - and faced a thousand questions and uncertainties. How was she supposed to spin teamwork into value? How could she be a good steward of her reports' careers? What was the secret to leading with confidence in new and unexpected situations?

Now, having managed dozens of teams spanning tens to hundreds of people, Julie knows the most important lesson of all: Great managers are made, not born. If you care enough to be reading this, then you care enough to be a great manager. 

The Making of a Manager is a modern field guide packed with everyday examples and transformative insights, including:

  • How to tell a great manager from an average manager
  • When you should look past an awkward interview and hire someone anyway
  • How to build trust with your reports through not being a boss
  • Where to look when you lose faith and lack the answers

Whether you're new to the job, a veteran leader, or looking to be promoted, this is the handbook you need to be the kind of manager you wish you had.

©2019 Julie Zhuo (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"I've seen so many people thrust into management in high-growth companies with so little guidance. From now on, I will hand them this book. Its practical wisdom is immediately useful for the newly minted manager - and us old ones." (Ev Williams, CEO of Medium and cofounder of Twitter)

“Julie Zhuo had to learn to be a manager fast, as her role kept expanding in the hyper-growth environment of a successful Silicon Valley start-up. In The Making of a Manager, she shares what she learned - often, the hard way. She combines cutting-edge analysis of how organizations work with engaging and accessible examples of how theory plays out in real life, with stories of what she did right and wrong.” (Gretchen Rubin, New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Project

“I wish I'd had this book when I started managing a team at Instagram. Julie covers the full range of becoming a manager, from your first meetings with your team to accomplishing huge goals together.” (Mike Krieger, cofounder of Instagram) 

What listeners say about The Making of a Manager

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  • Overall
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    1 out of 5 stars

Just Read Brene Brown

She references Brene Brown and others a lot. Nothing new and original.. not really helpful, more of an autobiography.

4 people found this helpful

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So grateful for this book.

I downloaded The Making of a Manager on audible on a whim. It had no reviews, but the title had me very curious. I have been a manager for a little over a year, and have been trying to read all I can about becoming a great one. Julie's book has already soared to the top 10 most helpful books I have ever read. It is chock-full of practical advice, examples of her own experiences, and lots of encouragement for new managers. I have already seen incredibly positive responses to some of the practices that I recently implemented into my management style. I am SO grateful I took a chance on this book. Absolutely worth every minute I spent listening to it.

5 people found this helpful

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Drink the Facebook Kool Aid

Content was good, sprinkled with millenials trivia in the early chapters, turning into a lot of name dropping "when I ... " , and ending with Zuckerberg worship at the church of Facebook. If you can get beyond that, her insights and message are on point.

10 people found this helpful

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Too Sappy, Too Much FB Cheerleading

There were a few bright spots, but overall the book was lacking concrete ways to improve based on quantitative metrics. Said another way, the book felt too emotional and not practical. Also, the Facebook Cheerleading got especially aggravating towards the end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Al
  • 10-28-19

Very basic information nothing new here

This is very basic information on leading a team, and nothing new here, just basic principles that one needs to do, if one has not ready any book on managing or leading then it is a good start, but covers very basic stuff, and stories mostly, but does not go into depth of how to accomplish these, just stating the fact that just do this, lot of times it is easier said than done, and one needs a map and approach how to do this.

1 person found this helpful

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Great instruction manual

Feels a much needed instruction manual that should come with being a manager. One of the first books which feels like they attempt to really define what it is (or should be) to manage and lead, rather than a bunch of hand waving and strategies once you are doing it.

As others have mentioned, they push the Facebook Koolaid a bit much, but it mostly appears towards the end and the epilogue. Perhaps I am over sensitive to this given all the strongly negative press they receive lately.

1 person found this helpful

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So helpful

Great listen with so many good points. Nice writing style with tons of personal stories to let us know we’re not alone in projects and problems.

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Great for new and seasoned managers

This will become a go to book I give new managers. For me as a seasoned, senior manager, the book provided a thorough mental checklist of the many things I should be mulling over constantly. I could see this being something I look back every year to check on my own progress and my team’s health.

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Fantastic playbook for managers

Great book with a lot of actionable takeaways. I finished in 3 days inspired to be in my new role. Did not find it too “Facebook cheerlead-y” at all as other reviews said. Highly recommend!

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really useful

I have just become a manager in my organization when my former manager unexpectedly left. I've heard this audiobook twice and I have found it very useful. I practice things but I've heard in this book and I already see positive results in my team.