“Managing people is hard, and I don't have time to get better at it.”

Most startups are badly managed. And of course they are.

An illustration of a calendar exploding.

When you're in a startup, you're working in an environment where things are always breaking, where you never have enough resources, and where managers won't have much time to improve.

Most management advice aren't written for people in startups. Instead, they're written for managers in big, stable companies. They talk about managing politics, not preventing politics. They talk about tweaking department processes, not throwing out and writing a new playbook every six months or so.

If you:

  • find yourself overwhelmed in a small but rapidly growing company,
  • worry that you're not doing right by your people,
  • fear losing the people you do have ...

Then, well, MFS is for you.

Let's get started:


Book cover of The Starter Manager Guide

The Starter Manager Guide

The Starter Manager Guide is the bare minimum you need to know to be an adequate manager. Short enough to finish in 3 hours. Contains ideas that'll take 6-8 months to master.

Read for free →

Book cover of Keep Your People

Keep Your People: The Startup Manager's Guide to Retention

Keep Your People is a book about employee retention, written with the startup manager in mind. You spend a great deal of time hiring and training your subordinates. You shouldn't fear losing them.

Learn more →

Latest Articles

Keep Your People Is Out!

I'm really happy to announce that the Keep Your People — The Startup Manager's Guide to Retention is available for purchase today.

The Hard Thing About Disagree and Commit

Jeff Bezos popularised the concept of 'disagree and commit'. But what do you do when your boss decides to do something that your entire team disagrees with, and you have to do it anyway?

Being the Shit Shield For Your Team: How Much To Tell Your Subordinates

Part of being the manager is protecting your team from the randomness of your organisation. But this begs an important question: how much should you tell them? How much should you keep from them? In this post, we find out.

Copy Your Boss's Information Sources

Say you're new to a team, and you need to build up your toolbox of leading indicators as manager. One trick you have available to you is to watch your boss — because the likelihood is high that they're better at it than you are.

Understanding Your Boss's True Motivations

Everyone you work with has 'shallow' motivations and 'deep' motivations. Understanding your boss's true motivations is the first step to managing up.

Latest Podcast Episodes

#31 Beware Idea Bombs

Why constantly sharing new ideas and techniques and 'things we should do!' with your team is a bad idea, and what to do to fix this.

#30 Mission is Overrated?

Why mission is an overrated tool for employee retention: you either have it or you don't.

#29 An Overview of Keep Your People

An overview of my newly launch book Keep Your People, and an apology for not updating MFS for so long.

#28 Executive Intent: Let Them Read Your Mind

We look at techniques, drawn from the US Army, that help us to give better, clearer instructions.

#27 People Judgment: Beware the Simple Narrative

When we judge people, it's important to resist the first narrative our brains generate. Here's why.