Be Productive By Not Being Productive

I’ll be honest, I had to force myself to write this blog post today. But I already skipped writing for almost two weeks, and I told myself that I could not have another sandwich today until I wrote and posted a blog post. And I have to learn to be disciplined and keep my promises […]

How Do We Clone This Person?

In most places I’ve worked, there’s always those two or three people that are superstars, that seem to know everything and get everything done. As a result, those people also tend to be the most overworked. And at these places, it seems like management always makes the same joke, “We need to figure out how […]

Communicating Vision as a Leader

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of Management by Walking Around. One time, when I was a manager, I was wandering around doing my management thing and I was sitting at a desk with an engineer who was working on a project. As they showed me what they were doing, I realized the solution they […]

Play to Your Strengths, but Don’t Ignore Your Weaknesses

I always thought it was interesting when, from a people management perspective, there’s all this focus on finding your weaknesses and fixing them. For example, let’s say I took an ability assessment and scored super-way-high 10-out-of-10 on Coding, but super low 1-out-of-10 on Giving PowerPoint Presentations. What do you think a typical manager’s response would […]

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 […]

Research? or Goofing Off?

I’m sure many of you have heard of the famous Google 20%. This is the concept that Google engineers are allowed to spend 20% of their time on whatever they want. The idea is that many of the company’s most innovative and disruptive initiatives come from such a policy, and it also helps with employee […]

Keep moving forward. Especially Today.

How can you tell if your team and organization is making forward progress?  And I don’t mean just any progress, but progress in the right direction? What I’ve noticed is, depending upon your role in the organization it can be extremely difficult to know on a day-to-day basis if you are working on the right […]