Like many modern companies, Meta employs a very service oriented approach to management. We hire great people and a big part of our job as managers is to just give them the space to apply their expertise creatively. Even our language around management suggests this, as we describe our teams as “people we support” rather than “people who work for us.” In my experience we do take our responsibilities around helping people perform better very seriously which is great. And giving people so much space to operate is a sound way to avoid value add disease. On balance I think this is a good approach and makes our company a great place to work.

But this management philosophy can have negative consequences if taken too far. I see managers who insist that every person speak on behalf of their own work. While at first blush this sounds great, I assert that it is not the empowering gesture it might seem. Having every person speak for themselves in every situation leaves a cacophony of voices competing for attention with no mechanism to focus it which can lead to wasted time and diluted messages. It is far more powerful for a manager to represent the work of their team while giving them full credit. This is also much more practical as you can have smaller, more efficient meetings.

As a manager it isn’t enough to give your team performance feedback and get out of their way. You also need to be a direct advocate for the resulting work. Anything less is an abdication of your responsibility.