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The Correct Reason To Become A Manager

Ethan Evans is a retired Amazon VP who now coaches managers to break into executive levels.

Ethan believes the "correct" answer for someone's motivation to becoming a manager should be based on a genuine desire to help and grow other people, rather than on external factors like money or power. People who are motivated by these external factors tend to make poor managers.

The management job is very different from the individual contributor (IC) role. You may be used to learning different technology stacks, but management is about learning an orthogonal "stack" altogether, focused on soft skills and people.

Reflect on your own experiences with good and bad managers -- it's important for managers to have a cohesive style that has a clear set of opinions. This style will not be suitable for everyone, but that's ok. Ethan made the analogy of ice cream flavors. There's no correct ice cream, people will have different preferences in the same way that people will prefer different types of managers.

Ask yourself (and ideally, test drive) the activities you would do as a manager, things like organizing people's work and holding them accountable.

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