I was this 19 year old kid at HubSpot trying to learn. Based on my interview I didn’t even think I would get the internship but I did.
Rebecca Corliss introduced me to the best manager I ever had: Meghan Anderson.
As my career grows I keep referring back to her as a benchmark on how to be a good manager.
What made her so good? Well a whole lot of reasons.
Being an introvert made her a great listener and observer.
She said her in post: “If you’re not the center of attention in a social situation, you have the freedom to observe people more closely. You can better assess a room, understand what motivates each person within it and what holds them back.”
Most managers want you to tell what they want to hear but Meghan heard what you wanted her to hear and also assessed hidden issues without anything being said.
I was working hard sometimes even on Friday evenings. She would look at me and say “Smit you are in college and it’s Friday. Get the hell out of here.”
She was so awesome that me and Lia would literally call her mom.
Starbucks gift cards and Christmas cards couldn’t hurt either.
Giving actionable feedback
During our 1-1 meetings, she gave me one of the most critical feedback of my life which I’ve been improving upon since.
She told me that I was so excited about things that I would talk over people without realizing it. While I wasn’t trying to be rude, it came off that way.
Now that’s real actionable feedback that I can act upon.
Telling me that I suck doesn’t help me improve. Tell me what exactly I need to improve and I will be sure to change it.
She never got mad. Once, I published a case study with grammatical errors and someone from the mentioned company pointed it out.
When I got that feedback, my heart was pounding and I rushed to edit the case study while I was sitting in class at college.
Meghan barely had any negative things to say about it and in fact told me that it’s a learning lesson.
If you’ve made a mistake before, you know exactly how rested one feels when their manager doesn’t get mad but instead helps them to get better.
If I did a great job, Meghan would appreciate it but not go overboard. If I screwed up she wouldn’t make me feel terrible.
This is a lingering issue with a lot of bad managers. The highs are really high and the lows are really low.
When you manage like that, employees are under constant stress and it results in a toxic environment to work in.
Good work should be applauded but to a certain degree and bad work shouldn’t make the employee feel worthless.
Supportive of external projects
In most cases managers don’t want to hear what you do outside of work because it takes away from you doing your job (which is the wrong mindset).
I was hustling lunches and working on side projects while working at HubSpot and Meghan always supported it.
In fact she would be asking me what my plans were for the future.
Managers make you or break you
I never hope to work for someone again but if I do I hope it’s with Meghan or a replica of her.
Since I left HubSpot, Meghan has been rising the ranks and is now the Director of Product Marketing which only proves my point :)
p.s I have to give a shoutout to Dharmesh and Brian for building a culture that I feel proud to have worked in.