I attended this talk at the Google IO conference. The speakers delivered a very insightful and even entertaining talk to a packed room.
See the live wave discussion here.
- Serve people
- Mutual respect
- Motivations (not carrot/stick)
Speakers build subversion SCC.
Leaders naturally emerge. Plus, it has to be done and people give them that role.
Manager –> leader. Management is left over from 19th century industrial revolution. The wrong model for creative environments.
Not desirable for engineers – you feel like you do nothing. Human router – just talk to people.
So what is a ‘leader’? Is there to serve. Element of trust. Promote technical and social health – need to balance both. But you can have more impact through the people you lead.
Be everyone’s friend.
Be involved, be social, have lunch with the team. You also have to deliver bad news and push in another direction.
Treat reports like children
People will behave like you treat them. IT departments often treat people like they cage them – as if they have to prevent them from doing wrong.
Is basically about distrust. People will get used to it and expect to be told every detail, and otherwise do nothing.
You need a team that can pull itself.
Compromise when hiring
Ignore low performers
Nothing more aggravating. It will cause the best people in the team to leave. Don’t wait too long. If you step in early you can manage them up – or out.
Ignore human problems
People problems are the hardest. Compilers are so much more consistent. Simple empathy sometimes all that’ s needed. Pay attention to happiness level of your team. Are they working too much, successful.
"The complement sandwich": it’s a lie. Give constructive feedback, but be tactful.
Temporary lapse of integrity – means you have no integrity.
Be a wise zen master
Sometimes don’t want to hear your solution. Get them emotionally more focused.
Loose the ego.
Don’t be egotistical. Trust your team. Listen.
If someone is questioning what you do – listen. Answer. They are probably not questioning your abilities but are just interested.
Be human – we make mistakes. It increases respect. But don’t be a doormat. It’s a fine line.
Get your hands dirty
Ask people to help you.
Seek to replace yourself
Automate. Empower the team, make yourself unnecessary.
Sometimes you think that it will just go away. Sometimes if you ignore this it is unproductive.
Shield your team
Allow them to focus on what they need to get done.
Succeed and fail as a team
Don’t blame Joe – take it as a team. If someone messes up you know, the team knows, you talk about it in private and prevent it in the future. Public praise and privately criticize. Tactful.
Be a catalyst
Make things happen. Know when to take risks, and be there to take responsibility for failures.
Be a teacher and a mentor
Don’t do it for them. Failure is an option, just not over and over again. Example managers looses $10m CEO says – just spend $10m training you…
Set clear goals
Focus the mind. You’ll find out that people think different things. Write up a mission statement. Have the conversation. Helps to handle distractions.
Track happiness and careers
Ask employees if they are – they might just tell you. "What do you need from me?"
Your job is to find out what people need. Water, sunlight and bullshit.
Dan Pink – carrot/stick vs intrinsic motivation. Get them to care what they are working about.
Autonomy: flexibility, let them get their work done. e.g Google 20% time.
Mastery: opportunity to learn and grow. The same thing over and over is frustrating. Don’t burn people out by having them do the same thing over and over.
Sense of purpose: sense of ownership, stake. Let them have a voice.
Managing your manager – help me help you. How to make yourself easier to manager.
Act like a grownup – don’t expect to be micro-managed. Get work done on time. Don’t expect to be nagged to get your work done.
Persue responsibility – step out of your confort zone.
Allow mistakes – write post-mortem, learn. Move on.
Talk – let people know what you think. Don’t go away and be frustrated in your cube.
Point out obstacles – tell mgr about problems you see.
Argue! Find what the problems are. Don’t be a yes man.