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Manage Your Manager (With This Email Template)
Use this simple tactic to build trust with your leaders.
I can’t believe it’s August already. A reminder that the seasons are short and summer is fleeting. Whatever you have left on your summer bucket list: Go do it now.
My inbox was blitzed with close to a thousand messages this week after I was dubbed “The Gatsby of Silicon Alley” on Business Insider - a flattering piece written by Darius Rafieyan. It was a top Insider story of the week, with feature on the home page and a personal note from the Editor-in-Chief.
I suppose people are more in need than ever of connection and parties. We’ll fix that.
Aside from that, I’m currently on my way to Mexico for a few days off with the sun, beach, and good friends from school.
The months of August and September will be jam-packed with events and programming in NYC, and I have a feeling you’ll love what’s coming.
Let’s dig in.
I’ve been doing the corporate job thing for about six years now, with stints at companies ranging from $100M to $100B in size, like Meta, Nike, Bell, and now Google.
In all cases except for one (story for another time), I’ve been a high performer in my role, often receiving a rating of Greatly Exceeds Expectations or alike, which comes with an accelerated promotion, larger projects, and so forth.
Most people think you have to:
Come up with new, innovative, and groundbreaking ideas
Be naturally charismatic and charming
Work 25 hours a day
It couldn’t be further from the truth (I’ve done none of those things).
In reality, you just have to do one thing well:
Manage Your Manager.
What does that mean?
It means you should understand their expectations of you
Deliver on those expectations (and ideally, exceed them!)
And ultimately: build a trusting relationship with them
One of the tools in my arsenal I’ve used to accomplish this is the Weekly Recap Email.
It’s an exercise that takes ~30 minutes of work every week that results in a disproportionate amount of impact, and is a proven tactic that I’ve used in every job I’ve ever worked.
The Weekly Recap Email
Every week (I recommend Fridays at 4 pm), send your manager an email with the topics outlined below.
Impact and Accomplishments This Week
The goal of this section should be to inform your manager of your accomplishments and hard work.
What impact did you have this week? Detail and quantify them.
Use the format: Accomplished (Outcome) by doing (Activity).
Highlight challenges and obstacles you overcame - as well as important decision points your manager should be aware of.
Include 3-5 items.
Priorities for Next Week
This goal of this section is to align with your manager; to ensure that you’re focused on the right things.
What goals and tasks do you plan to accomplish next week?
What challenges do you anticipate you will overcome?
Include 2-3 items
Asks for Support
The goal of this section is to ask your manager for help - and set expectations. Use it to share upcoming concerns, escalations, and risks with your manager.
What do you need help from your manager on?
This is especially useful to highlight anticipated roadblocks or risks - it’s often good to peek around corners!
Include 1-2 items
Obviously, there is a lot more to managing your manager than to send an email every week. But the Weekly Recap Email is a great starting point, and with enough consistency you’ll start to build trust with your leadership team - to prove that you’re a trusted, high performing employee. And one email isn’t much - but doing this every week for a year is 52 emails!
Beyond your manager, it works with other stakeholders too, like mentors, investors, advisors. You might have to tweak the cadence of email delivery, but the idea and intention is the same.
Best of luck. Let me how it goes!
📌 Andrew’s Picks
Fascinating internet things I’ve come across:
0.1% of ideas this week — A thread full of insight on lagging measurements, the scale of the US, and more this week by George Mack.
How to Pick Your Life Partner — Tim Urban strikes again. A piece on perhaps the most important decision you’ll make on your life.
The pivot to events — After 3 long years of a remote-driven, URL-first world, we’re finally seeing the pivot back to IRL. A piece on why events are a critical pillar of your branding strategy.
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🖼️ Behind the Scenes
Someone brought a wolf to my last tech x fashion party… Why does each party get more crazy than the last?