Remote-team managers can learn a lot from open-source communities

My latest in Quartz… It is truly a difficult and emotionally exhausting time to be a manager. Even those who are used to managing remotely are having to navigate the shifting expectations and chaos of disrupted lives and disrupted businesses. Of course, some people deal with that level of disruption by trying to increase control. […]

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The only truthful answer to any question about management

My latest in Quartz… With a few other people, I run a Slack chat group for engineering managers. We’ve made some deliberate choices—for example, we don’t have a channel for #inclusion. Every so often this comes up, and we invoke our argument: Inclusion is central to good management, so all channels are inclusion channels. We […]

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How to fix five of the most common pain points of working from home

My latest in Quartz… Over the past couple of weeks there has been so much conversation about how to work remotely, missing the key phrase during a global pandemic, which I’m not sure any of us has the answer to. Meanwhile, a lot of people are struggling, even those who already have been working remotely for awhile. […]

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Three signs of a poor hiring process—and four ways to fix it

My latest in Quartz… When given the opportunity to establish a process, we’re all biased to advocate for one in which we would be successful ourselves. In hiring, this plays out in two main ways: “A” players build monocultures, hiring people just like them, and “B” players hire “C” players, hiring people who won’t threaten […]

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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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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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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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Does your team need to rebrand?

My latest in Quartz… Some leaders are fantastic at “team branding”—communicating about their group in ways that give the rest of the organization a good understanding of what the team is all about. Others are squarely focused on “team public relations”—telling a great story about a team that, if we looked more closely, we might […]

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