Categories
Career Presentation

Coachability++

Slides and commentary for a talk I gave (internally) to Qz in Q4 20202. When I think about growth, I think about drowning rats and boiling frogs. Because this is what growth often feels like – or looks like  – especially when it’s hard and not going particularly well. The rat drowning school of growth […]

Categories
management

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 […]

Categories
management

Be Less Afraid of Giving Feedback

  My friend Camille told me once that women get too much feedback, and men too little. I think about this whenever I think about feedback because it captures some of the baggage we bring to giving feedback. If you’ve got a lot of (low value) feedback you might think a lot about whether the […]

Categories
Books

Book: Thanks for the Feedback

The premise of Thanks for the Feedback (Amazon) is that we should get better at receiving feedback. I started feeling a little resentful of that because I think most feedback is bad (and quickly turns into advice). But I quickly got over it because the book is really helpful, and yes, it gave me some better […]

Categories
Career management

Learn to Take Positive Feedback Well

One of the things I found most surprising when I started my current job, is that I would ask for feedback and people would tell me concrete things that they thought I had done well, and tell me why they appreciated it, or what they thought the impact was. For comparison, a manager at the […]

Categories
management

Running a Manager Feedback Cycle

    I just ran a thorough feedback cycle for the managers (leads) in my team. This is what it looked like. Motivation: It’s hard to get feedback as a manager, the hope was that people would be more candid if they 1) submitted feedback anonymously 2) to someone else. Because we tend to amplify negative […]

Categories
management

Things to Figure Out as a New Manager: Part 4, Feedback

There are two things we should talk about before talking about feedback. First is the idea that feedback is just when you tell someone they screwed up in some way or need to do better. This makes us dread giving feedback (well, for those of us who aren’t sociopaths who enjoy tearing people down), and it […]

Categories
Books

Book: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There (Amazon) initially irked me because it fell under a class of book that I call “Advice for White Men” (my blog post on this topic). It’s about how you can be oblivious to certain characteristics, and never receive feedback on them – and of course all but […]

Categories
Education Reflections

School is Not Life

The biggest difference I see between the education system here and in the UK is grading, and that creates some interesting differences in perspective. In Canada, marks in the 90’s are commonplace. I actually got a 99 on one of my assignments – I was dying to know what caused the loss of a point, […]

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Extreme Blue Organization Presentation Reflections

Extreme Blue

One of my closest friends works at another large tech company, and all summer we’ve been having conversations that go like this: ME: I’ve had such an awesome day! I found out about this awesome thing and made some progress on my awesome project. I love my job! How was yours? HIM: Good! I finally […]