The following is a guide about me, how I work, my quirks and various other things. The intention if for you get better understand me so we can accelerate our working relationship. This document is a work in progress, just like me!
Things About Me
- As a manager, I believe that if the team is not happy, or performing well, then I'm not doing my job correctly. I'm a strong believer in coaching and making sure we have the right people in the right places. The people on my team are my number one priority.
- I love stats and hard facts and will often use them when making product decisions. I know that these may not always be available, when they are I prefer them to gut feelings.
- I'm a firm believer that the more eyes we get on a problem the better it becomes, so you will often see me elicit feedback and thoughts from you.
- One of my pet peeves is having meetings which provide little value, often because of either having no agenda or no defined outcome. Meetings are also expensive, and often there are other lower bandwidth options, such as chat or email, which can provide similar outcomes. Let's try those other options first.
Running a Team
- We all fail. I have had some big failures from my career, but what I found is that if I had the right support around me, it was so much better for me and my mental health. I will always be there to support you, so if you feel like things aren't going well, reach out and we will work through it together!
- We all make mistakes. Even as a manager, I don't have all the right answers and there will be occasions that I believe a particular avenue will be the correct one. However, if you feel that there is something wrong, call it out. I will do the same for you. As a team, we need to look out for each other. I have lost count of how many times in my career that someone picked up something I missed and vice versa. We all need to have each other's backs.
- Over my career, I have learnt that delegation is the key to build trust and allow people to grow in the team. If there is ever a piece of work that you would love to try out, let me know so that it can be delegated to you. However, if you ever feel overwhelmed or unsure, let me know and we will work through it together. I'll never delegate something that I don't believe you can handle.
Even though this is part of running a team, this item deserves a special mention. Over my career, one on one's are something that I have found to be highly beneficial for everyone in the team, including myself. Ideally, I would like them to happen once a week for about 30 minutes, unless there is some crisis. The purpose of the 1:1's is to understand each other on a personal level, build trust and be an opportunity to provide feedback so that we can all get better. It is no way meant to be a status update.
- A team that is well informed will have greater context on the work that they are doing so I'm a firm believer in dispersing the necessary information that I obtain from meeting/sessions to the team, so you will often see me post summaries of them in Slack/Teams, with any sensitive information removed. Likewise if there is any information that you think is relevant to the team, let everyone know as well.
- I can sometimes be quiet in meetings, but this should not be taken for a lack of interest. I sometimes like to let the information simmer in my head a bit. Within my own team, I will often allow other people the opportunity to voice their opinions first, to avoid any biases that may occur if I speak first. If there is something that I need to add, I will typically do so at the end of the conversation.
- My mind is always busy, so sometimes my thoughts are ten miles ahead of me. This may mean that on those occasions, my thoughts come out a bit rambled. If something isn't clear, ask me and I will make sure it is clearer.
- I love being efficient and optimizing things, whether it be processes or code. Our time is limited and precious. The less time we spend on the fruitless/mundane items, the more value we get to add.
- I really enjoy teaching and mentoring as I personally derive a lot of fulfilment from seeing other people grow and thrive.
- I'm a highly empathetic person and will always be willing to help anyone out, even if it means putting more pressure onto myself. I know that sometimes this isn't great for the team and I and it is an area I'm personally working at.
- When I first started managing people, I wasn't the greatest at giving direct feedback. Over the years, I have become vastly better and this is an area I will continue to improve in.
Lastly, it is important to remember that I am here to serve you, not the other way around. I will always be around to assist; a substantial portion of my job is to make you successful!