I’ve Painted Myself Into a Corner!

I have an analogy I like to use a lot. Have you ever felt like you’ve painted yourself into a corner? Or you see someone who thinks they have? This is a well-known analogy, but I’m going to take it one step further. Frequently when I see people who are convinced they have painted themselves […]

Giving Direction and Guidance to Your Team, Effectively

When you’re in a leadership or management position, being “nice” and being pleasant to work with can be an interesting balancing act. When I have studied management theory and leadership in a formal training or classroom setting, it seems like most modern education leans towards “Beta” leadership, i.e. influence and consensus building, instead of the […]

How to Be a Team Player

As a technical manager and leader, a great deal of your responsibility is to mentor, coach, encourage, and grow people. Accomplishing tasks and moving projects forward is indeed important, but you need to make sure that you are taking care of people. But in order to do this you need to have a toolbag full […]

How to Become a Leader

Something I occasionally get asked is, “How do I promote up?  I want to be a technical leader or manager so what do I need to do to get there?” There are lots of things that spring immediately to mind: be a mentor, help others succeed, be a problem-solver instead of a complainer.  I also […]

Moving From Tech to Management?

A very common question that I see asked is: Should I make the transition from technical to management? Let’s talk about this.  Why are you even asking the question?  The answer is probably because you’re looking for a raise, or for career growth, and your company/peers/mentors/society is telling you that making this transition is the […]

Are Mission Statements Useful?

I think they are, when used properly. Many companies and organizations have wonderfully generic and blank mission statements.  “We synergize technologies to provide innovative solutions!”  Well, great.  So does everyone else.  But what do YOU do? A useful, good mission statement has to start at the top, and should be the driving strategic goal of […]

How Involved to Be as a Manager

I realized after this last blog post I had more I wanted to say, mostly to clarify some points. In that last post, I discussed the differing management approaches of more strict project and task tracking (Type A), as opposed to a laissez faire approach where staff is communicated strategic goals and then given free […]

Measuring Productivity of Engineers

I know a lot of people like to tout Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) as the future, and have all these success stories.  For those of you not in the know, ROWE is where there are no office hours or expectations of a 40-hour work week.  Instead employees are given goals to meet and as […]