Your leadership style needs a user manual — here’s how you do it


A few years ago, I read an article that recommended managers create their own user manual to share with their new team or colleagues.

This struck me as a great idea considering how much time we spend trying to understand each other when we first work together. The manual would provide a more meaningful description of your character, your personal values, and how you enjoy working with other people. The idea would be for you to share it when you start working with new team members to help shorten the learning curve of having to decipher ‘you’.

I have reviewed several user manuals that I found online and put together the best ideas in a user manual on my own. I have created two versions: a text version below and a more visual slide presentation for which you can download the keynote or PDF file here.

Please feel free to copy my structure to create your own personalized manual.

If you need help deciding which personality traits to list in your textbook, consider taking an online DISC-type test for feedback. I asked my network to share their favorite suggestions and, in order of votes, here are the top 5 recommendations:

But without further ado, here is what my leadership manual looks like. Hope this provides you with the inspiration you need to create your own!


Hey my name is Wytze and I wrote this user guide to give you a better idea of ​​myself and my unique personality, my communication style and how my character is wired. Think of it as a shortcut to help us develop the most effective working relationship.

I am 30 years old and currently live in a village called Oegstgeest after leaving Amsterdam in 2018. I live there with my wife Lotte, 18 month old son Vince and we are expecting a second son in March 2021..

I am just as ambitious about the job as I am spending time with my family. I love to work hard, deliver quality and push my brain to the limit. Having worked in events, I am used to working under pressure for tight deadlines.

My character in the chips:

  • I am calm and collected. I only speak if I have something to say and usually I don’t let my emotions stop me from making the most rational decision.
  • I appreciate the relationships and results. They are neither / nor with me. I care deeply about the people I work with, but also about the results I want to achieve.
  • Trust and commitment are essential for me. I expect people to respect when information is shared privately and to always give 110% of their effort.

My style

  • I believe that the best managers work in the service of their team. I will always adapt my leadership style to what fits your specific needs or what the situation demands.
  • I am more energetic when I have the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty working with you on strategy, writing or sales.
  • I believe in giving people freedom, flexibility and extensive tasks, and giving them the tools they need to develop their potential.

What i like

  • As a manager, I appreciate being kept up to date on the status of the projects you are working on. A short paragraph with bulleted updates is usually all I need.
  • I appreciate ingenuity and proactivity. Be smart, move fast, and rotate fast. Ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Make mistakes and learn from them.
  • I appreciate coworkers who treat others the way they want to be treated.
Credit: Wytze de Haan