A coworker shared this post from LinkedIn, 11 Promises of a Manager. I try to follow all of these, mainly because I’ve been lucky enough that most of my managers followed them too.

  1. We’ll have a weekly 1:1. I’ll never cancel this meeting, but you can cancel it whenever you like. It’s your time.

  2. Our 1:1 agenda will be in the meeting invite so we remember important topics. But you’re always free to use the time for whatever’s on your mind

  3. When I schedule a meeting with you, I’ll always say when I schedule it what it’s meant to be about. I will not schedule meetings without an agenda.

  4. When I drop into your DM’s, I’ll always say “hi and why.” No suspense, no small talk while you are wondering what I want.

  5. News or announcements that significantly impact you, your work, or your team will come from me directly in a 1:1, not revealed in a big meeting.

  6. You’ll get feedback from me when it’s fresh. There will be no feedback in your performance review that you’re hearing for the first time.

  7. I trust you to manage your own time. You don’t need to clear with me in advance your time AFK or 000

  8. Your work gets done your way. My focus is on outcomes, not output. Once we’re clear on where we need to go, how to get there is up to you. If I ever find it necessary to suggest a specific approach, I will supply an example.

  9. A team is strongest when it’s working together, looking after one another, and taking care of each other. Please look to your left and to your right for opportunities to help your colleagues. Please ask for help when you need it. Nobody works alone.

  10. I trust you to skip level and talk to my manager or other senior management about anything you feel is relevant. You don’t need to clear it with me, and I’m not going to get weird about it when you do

  11. I will attribute credit appropriately to you and your team. I will never exaggerate my own role or minimize your contribution. I’Il be especially certain to nail down attribution when senior management are hearing of our accomplishments.

If all of this sounds good to you, I hope you can reciprocate by giving me the one thing I need most: The truth.

I want to hear your feedback, to know when you think I’m wrong, and your ideas for how we can do better.

I’ll always welcome your thoughts, listen patiently, and never respond defensively.

If we trust each other, we can learn and grow together. That’s how I want to work with you.

If there’s only one you follow yourself, fellow manager, pick #4. I’m not sure I’ll ever stop thinking it’s bad news when a boss messages me like that…