Communication Breakdown

A few weeks ago, I talked about the general structure I’ve found helpful when having individual conversations. Hopefully, I’ve also stressed the importance of good communication on more than one occasion. However, to date I haven’t talked about the overall framework of communication that I think is important to have in a healthy, functional team.

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Own your hiring process Pt. 2

If you’re going to do something, make it right and make it as good as you can. Don’t waste anybody’s time, especially your own. – Debra Wilson

As I discussed last week, I feel like there are a lot of issues with standard hiring practices. This week, I’m going to talk about what I’ve personally found to be more effective at identifying great hires, creating a healthy culture, and creating a good reputation in the industry.

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Own your hiring process Pt. 1

This week and next week, I want to talk about hiring. Originally this started life as a single post, but it kept growing and growing so I figured it was best to split it up. 😉 This week, I’m going to talk about typical hiring practices and the issues I have with them. Next week, I’ll talk about the specific practices that I use instead, and why.

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Team Responsibilities

I’m very good at delegating – people work much better when they have a real sense of responsibility. But at the same time, I don’t like surprises. I don’t pore over every shoot, but I do like to be aware at all times of what’s going on. – Anna Wintour

Responsibilities, we all have them. But is everyone aware of what they are? As I mentioned last week, I evaluate engineers on 3 things. I didn’t go into a lot of detail because, well, there’s a lot of detail and the post was already quite long. However, that detail is really, really important, so here’s the followup with a lot more detail.

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Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein

As I mentioned at the end of last week’s post, there’s an important complementary policy that you must have if you want a strong ownership culture. You can probably guess what it is by now – it’s fostering a culture where it’s safe to make mistakes. This week, I’m going to talk about why that’s important and what that looks like.

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I trust you

He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted. – Lao Tzu

In my opinion one of the single most important things you can give and receive in a professional environment is trust. As a manager, you have to trust your team members, and as a team member, you need to be trusted by your boss. This week I’m going to talk about the approach I use to enable trust while still maintaining productivity and accountability.

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Just don’t do it

Let’s face it. Technical people rarely make great managers. For most of us, Mr. Scott’s quote above rings very true. We love solving problems, and we love making or building things. But being in charge, being responsible for other people, having to talk to people in tense situations just isn’t our cup of tea. Actually, it isn’t for most people, and for those of us “on the spectrum”, it’s doubly challenging. Yet every day, lots of really talented people make the decision to go from just making the things they love making to being the one in charge. We do it for all sorts of reasons. We think it’s the only career path forward. We want to be able to tell people what to do because we know the One True Way ™. Or we simply think it is the best way to have a seat and/or a voice at the table. But are those the right reasons?

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