Mastering New Leadership Styles

“The best leaders master multiple leadership styles”, blithely comments some post on leadership. OK, including one written by me. But how? Many leaders are overly reliant on a style and this can hold them back. Generally leadership styles are a function of emotional intelligence, and working on emotional intelligence, such as working on becoming more […]

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A good onboarding experience for new hires requires two key things

My latest in Quartz… In my time as a manger, I’ve encountered quite a few people who were badly onboarded. As a rule it takes as long a time or longer to fix it as it took to poorly onboard them. Sometimes we’re able to re-onboard people and make them successful… and sometimes it’s too […]

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Every manager needs the magic of a work BFF

Recent piece in Quartz… One of the few pieces of advice I feel good about giving to everyone is this: When your job gets harder, the best thing you can do is make a friend. This is also backed by the data. Gallup research has consistently shown that having a best friend at work leads to better […]

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Sharing the Data: How Technical Women Navigate Their Career

In May, Automattic’s engineering hiring team launched a user research study to better understand how our approach to tech hiring resonates with women and non-binary folks who may experience similar gender discrimination in the workplace and are experienced developers. We asked participants questions about how they saw their careers and next opportunities, as well as specifically asking […]

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How to build—and manage—a self-improving team

My latest in Quartz… A lot of things in management become clearer when you realize it’s much easier to measure a team’s progress than its state. A team produces 30 units of “x” in a week. Is this good? Well, we could start by asking what the value of each unit is, or by looking […]

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The firm with 900 staff and no office

I did an interview with the BBC on remote working, and how we operate without an office [full article]. Cate Huston believes fully remote working can actually be good for communication. “Remote work makes the problems of work more explicit and then we can set out deliberately to address them. “If you work in the […]

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The best thing you can do for your career is learn to be more coachable

My latest in Quartz… I really hate the “Peter principle“—the idea that people get promoted up to their level of incompetence. The very concept suggests there is a limit to people’s growth. It assumes a fixed mindset on the part of the person stuck in a role they’re not immediately equipped to handle, and a […]

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Why a good boss likes it when people complain

My latest in Quartz… I know some managers say “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions,” but personally I don’t subscribe to it. I love when people complain to me. Of course, complaining is a national past time for the British, and we don’t just limit ourselves to complaining about the weather, or the poor […]

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As a leader, your job should change every six months even if you stay put

My latest in Quartz… Leadership roles evolve, especially through periods of transition. As a leader, I have found my own role changing as challenges on the team change—around every four months I realize everything is fundamentally different, and the way I need to spend my time changes, too. Recently the number of my direct reports more […]

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