Episode 01 : How To Transition From Individual Contributor To A Manager

On today’s episode of Nurture.Team, the exploration we are going to have is:

How does an Individual contributor transitions into a managerial role? How does that journey look like? What does it mean for the other team members?

In the above episode, I ask the following questions. Also towards the end we do a rapid fire round.

Questions during podcast:

  • Biggest challenge when getting into a managerial role?
  • What does it mean to Let Go approach?
  • How can a manager tie their success to their team’s success?
  • First time manager : Things they shouldn’t do and pitfalls to avoid?
  • After you transition from Individual Contributor to a manager, how do you scratch your itch of coding, learning new things?
  • Dealing with various personalities on your team as a first time manager
    • How do you deal with a non-motivated but high performing individual?
    • How do you deal with a rockstar individual but is a lone wolf, isn’t a team player?

What I learned:

  • Let go attitude
    • Let the team figure out so that they become experts
    • Don’t get in your team’s way.
    • Tie your success to team’s success
  • You can plan to become a manager/ leader but you cannot be completely prepared.
  • When you transition as a first time manager, try not be a manager from the get-go.
  • You have to share your time. Now your brain cycles are not for your own individual deliverables – your team will need time from you. Be available!
  • Look ahead, shed away your past.
  • Organizations should evaluate if an individual contributor is both IQ and EQ ready to transition into a managerial role.
  • Communicate : Don’t miss your 1:1’s, learn subtleness and art on how to ensure your team opens up and share things beyond work but which affects their work.
  • Sometimes things which seem small or minor to you are the major cause of frustration or friction for individuals on your team. Generate empathy!
  • Comp is important : Understand if they are they happy with their comp? Also ensure that they understand their comp and market dynamics
  • Check periodically that individuals on your team are challenged and feel that their contribution is important to the success of the company.
  • Do they understand why we/ company/ team is doing something in the way they are doing (e.g. using an old tech because something else needs to be prioritized)


  • Build trust – “Let go” (see above)
  • Engage but also manage expectations that change takes time
  • Communicate and be radically transparent
  • Let your team know how their work contributes to company’s success
  • Learn about their individual personalities and try to challenge them to keep them interested in their work

Recommendations by Adish for teams:


Team activities:

  • Anything done outside work
  • Company culture activity/ charitable cause activities cultivating team bonding
  • Or lunches/ bowling events are always there

About the guest on this episode:

Adish Abnave.

Adish is an Engineering leader currently working at Pinterest. In the past he has led teams at Realtor.com, BlueJeans, SAP and other Fortune 500 companies.

He lives in the Bay area, California.