Part I: The Management Quiver

1. Don't Be a Prick

"My definition of a manager is someone with whom you can make a connection no matter where you sit in the org chart. ... It's your ability to construct an insightful opinion about a person in seconds that will help make you a phenomenal manager. ... Every single person with whom you work has a vastly different set of needs. ... You must see the people who work with you. Constructing an insightful opinion about a person in seconds will make you a phenomenal manager. It is your full-time job to listen to these people and mentally document how they are built."

2. Managers Are Not Evil

Your manager's job is not your job. Your manager is your face to the rest of the organization; give him something to say. ... Each manager, good or bad, is going to have a glaring deficiency; does he recognize he has a blind spot? A manager's job is to transform his glaring deficiency into a strength by finding the best person to fill it and trust him to do the job. ... Schedule 1:1s with direct reports, keep them on the same day and time, and never cancel them. You will always learn something in your 1:1. ... Pure delegators are slowly becoming irrelevant to their organizations. Real work is visible action managers take to support their particular vision for their organization. ... Politically active managers are informed managers. They know when change is afoot and they know what action to take to best represent their org in that change. ... Question #1: Where did I come from? (Being able to relate to those you manage comes from intimately understanding their job.) Question #2: Where am I going? (A plan for your manager's next big move is his incentive.)

3. Stables and Volatiles

4. The Rands Test

The test itself:

5. How to Run a Meeting

(Lencioni has a lot more thoughts about meetings.)

6. The Twinge

There is no way you can do it all; you need to trust and you need to delegate. You must also understand the art of evaluating a Spartan set of data, extracting the truth, and trusting your Twinges. Your day is full of stories; stories are the chosen version of reality on the part of the storyteller. Their agenda dictates what they are choosing to tell you. A Twinge is your experience speaking to you in an unexpected and possibly unstructured way.

7. The Update, the Vent, and the Disaster

Your job in a 1:1 is to give the smallest voice a chance to be heard; start with a question: "How are you?" Hold a 1:1 the same time each week. Always do it. Give it 30 minutes at least. "How are you" leads to one of three buckets:

8. The Monday Freakout

If somebody is going to freak out, it's going to be on a Monday. Don't participate in the freakout; don't jump on the bandwagon; simply listen and maintain eye contact. Give the freak the benefit of the doubt. Hammer the freak with questions; the key with a question offense is to move your freak from the emotional state into the rational one. Get the freaks to solve their own problems. You still have a problem; freakouts are a normal event in passionate engineering teams, but it's still a management failure.

9. Lost in Translation

[Understanding motivation.] When communications are down, listen hard, repeat everything, and assume nothing.

10. Agenda Detection

Agenda detection is the ability to discern (a) typical meeting roles and how meeting participants assume them; (b) explanation of what these distinct meeting roles want out of a meeting; (c) how to use this understanding to get the hell out of the meeting as quickly as possible.

11. Dissecting the Mandate

12. Information Starvation

13. Subtlety, Subterfuge, and Silence

14. Managementese

15. You're Not Listening

16. Fred Hates the Off-Site

17. A Different Kind of DNA

18. An Engineering Mindset

19. Tear It Down

20. Titles Are Toxic

21. Saying No

Part II: The Process is the Product

22. 1.0

23. The Process Myth

24. How to Start

25. Taking Time to Think

26. The Value of the Soak

27. Capturing Context

28. Trickle Theory

29. When the Sky Falls

30. Hacking is Important

31. Entropy Crushers

Part III: Versions of You

32. Bored People Quit


The Ninety-Day Interview

Managing Nerds


A Nerd in a Cave

Meeting Creatures

Incrementalists and Completionists

Organics and Mechanics

Inwards, Outwards, and Holistics

Free Electrons

Rules for the Reorg

An Unexpected Connection

Avoiding the Fez

A Glimpse and a Hook

Nailing the Phone Screen

Your Resignation Checklist

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Last modified 06 April 2022