How to partner with an executive assistant.

January 28, 2020. Filed under management 111

One of the magic moments you’ll experience as a senior leader is the first time you get support from an executive assistant. Starting at that moment you’ll slowly uncover more and more possibilities that you had -- in order to preserve your sanity -- intentionally blinded yourself to. It is, you’ll gradually relearn, actually possible to reschedule large meetings, get all those one-off meeting requests scheduled in a timely fashion, and to plan good offsites that bring the team together.

Some rough notes on running learning circles.

January 18, 2020. Filed under management 111

I’m experimenting with putting together a couple of learning circles, and someone who wants to run a similar program within their company reached out for advice on structuring groups for success. I’ve organized a couple and participated in a couple others, but honestly I don’t think I have a great handle on best practices here, but I’ll jot down what I’ve learned nonetheless as a reusable, referenceable artifact.

How to build your company's engineering brand.

January 16, 2020. Filed under management 111

If you end up working in an engineering team that wants to accelerate hiring, at some point you’ll hear the dreaded statement, “We need to grow our eng brand.” The method to accomplish that aim isn’t always clear, but the goal: what can we do so that candidates enter our process thinking highly of our engineering efforts?

Your first 90 days as CTO or VP Engineering.

January 13, 2020. Filed under management 111cto 1

Whenever I transition to a new opportunity, I think about how to “start well.” How can I ramp up as effectively as possible? How do I balance the urge to “show value” immediately with making the right decisions?

How to navigate and/or survive your acquihire.

January 2, 2020. Filed under management 111acquisition 2

As I wrote up the story of SocialCode’s acquihire of the Digg team, I had to keep editing out meta-commentary about the process. It’s hard to tell a coherent story when you keep slipping into tips and observations, so I pulled them out and collected them here.