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  • The Making of a Manager

  • What to Do When Everyone Looks to You
  • Written by: Julie Zhuo
  • Narrated by: Karissa Vacker, Julie Zhuo
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (136 ratings)
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The Making of a Manager cover art

The Making of a Manager

Written by: Julie Zhuo
Narrated by: Karissa Vacker,Julie Zhuo
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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

What the critics say

"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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ok

Pretty good reminders but lots of Facebook kool-aid praising the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandburg. Some good nuggets here and there for new managers but nothing earth-shattering.

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4 people found this helpful

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Stories of managers

I liked that she were vulnerable enough to tell her side about her insecurities and shortcomings. I liked the part about values of the team and company too.

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pretty decent book

The book is direct and has clear points. Her experiences are relatable to any new manager. Overall, I liked the book.

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Great book and narration!

Great actionable advice. Would recommend for any first time manager. Tips were concise and clear with good use of examples from author’s experiences.

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Incredibly helpful insights on becoming a manager

Really enjoyed this book. I learned a lot of ideas and practices that I am currently implementing with my team.

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Back to basics for managers

This is a great read for both new managers and tenured managers. Julie provides a good perspective on the roller-coaster of a ride it is to be a manager.

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Interesting and insightful!

I love every chapter of the book. It is written in simple English language and very easy to understand by anyone. Great book for all, not just for those aspiring to become managers.

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helpful and easy to follow

I found chapters covered all the topics that I need help with as a new manager.

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Great read for an aspiring/new manager!

As someone who is looking to go into management, I found this book insightful and approachable. Zhuo offers insights into the difficult transition from co-worker to manager that I found incredibly helpful and offered a new perspective on challenges I am currently facing. I feel like this is a book I will refer to again and again.

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Great resource for any manager

Full of great ideas, processes, and tips for managers of any level. This is a book I could easily come back to again and again, as the content can easily provide different value depending on your current context.

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  • Amazon_Customer
  • 2019-03-29

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.

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  • JEN
  • 2019-08-29

Just Read Brene Brown

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

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12 people found this helpful

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  • You Got Vibes
  • 2019-03-26

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.

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11 people found this helpful

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  • Robert Bolton
  • 2019-11-17

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.

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  • Al
  • 2019-10-28

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 read 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 the depth of how to accomplish these, just stating the fact that just do this, a lot of times it is easier said than done, and one needs a map and approach how to do this. Plus the approach that is suggested by the author here is based on micromanagement, which in technology space people generally do not like. One needs to listen more and people need space to get work done.

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  • Chad F
  • 2020-10-23

if you work at Facebook, this is a good read.

I can appreciate how the author attempts to apply the principles here to other businesses. but if you don't work in a tech field, such as Facebook, the application is really poor. This seemed to me to be more of a memoirs book, then something with practical application for managers who are suffering through the position. For ideas and theories, this book is fine. For actual steps for technological engineers who have become managers, this book is woefully inadequate, IMO. We are much more literal and like lockstep instructions.

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  • Linnsey
  • 2019-04-16

Worst Management Book I’ve Read

I’ve been reading books about management and leadership for the past 6 months from various authors. This book was cliched and fails to touch on any areas that may actually be helpful for new or experienced managers. I hope I can return it.

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  • Miike Ramos
  • 2022-11-19

Struggled to relate

I deeply appreciate the vulnerability displayed in this book. As a new manager, looking for advice on how to be my best self for my reports and my company, I found this book to be a disappointment.

As a new manager, I found this book difficult to relate to. The author’s experience getting to the role was privileged and protected. I couldn’t relate to anything in her background. I persisted through the book hoping to find something I could glean from this story. Mostly, I found myself rolling my eyes as clichés and other peoples quotes and experiences are used almost as if they are personal wisdom. The author seems to have had a sheltered and privileged life, which make the words of wisdom and inspiration feel like they’re not lived in and not earned.

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  • Jenny Zhang
  • 2021-02-27

The best of management book ever read

this book is amazing it's the most practical book I have ever read on management. Genuine and helpful!

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  • Itay
  • 2020-09-05

Real, true, informative

Absolutely fantastic! Very detailed, well explained book. Great real world advice and perfect performance! For better or worse, this book does not put Facebook on a pedestal. Would recommend and will return for a second read.

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1 person found this helpful