useful things

My Operating Manual

underlying principle: Hands-off as much as possible and hands-on as much as necessary.

My Leadership Philosophy

I believe in leading by helping others see more clearly what they already know, and finding the solutions and strengths that are already inside people.

When others are in the flow and performing then getting the hell out of their way including removing any other blockers.

I crave being surrounded by people who smarter than me, it is how I learn and its how I build teams.

I value open, authentic relationships. I promise to be honest and empathetic with others.

I can often be seen as short or to-the-point but I’m a big softie at heart and always care more about people than I do about deadlines.

My expectations of colleagues who report to me

Please reach out and tell me if anything, at all, feels off.

It’s so much harder to solve problems when we are guessing what they are. I will never consider pro-actively speaking up about challenges or issues as a sign of complaining. I really value hearing your honest, transparent thoughts about how we can learn and grow together.

Bonus points - Thinking about solutions/approaches to the challenges you bring up (I totally understand this isn’t always possible, and sometimes even what the challenge is can be unclear).

If you are also a manager, please invest in one-to-ones - please do regular (monthly) one-to-ones, and more frequently for new colleagues/relationships. If you’re a developer/tester, please use the time of the one-to-one as a chance to reflect on your challenges and growth and come prepared.

Please set healthy goals and boundaries for yourself, and if you’re a manager, model healthy work-life balance to your team.

Please invest in yourself and focus on self-improvement. This looks different for everyone and can be going deeper, going broader, or engaging in feedback to really listen. If you’re a manager, please build a peer network for yourself and keep learning and educating yourself about leadership.

In general, please over-communicate with me. Don’t worry about sending me too many messages or overwhelming me, it’s really valuable, and in our remote context, I’d love to be here for you, for whatever comes up, because I can’t see how you’re doing by walking around an office.

What you can expect of me as your manager

A fortnightly one-to-one (unless you specifically prefer a different cadence, or if you are new and we’ll talk more often to start with) where we’ll work on challenges, goals, and priorities to support you and play to your strengths. As part of this, I’ll do my best to get to know and understand you as a person to as much detail/depth as you feel comfortable with.

I will also share wider context and my own areas of focus or challenge. For managers, you can also expect regular “next level” one-to-ones where we’ll chat about your direct reports.

I’ll transparently share context of my own goals, challenges and priorities - you should never wonder what on earth I do all day! (If you ever do, please shout at me!)

I’ll listen and hear your feedback, because it is the biggest gift you can give me to help me, and the organisation, improve. I know that I will make mistakes, and I’m going to make decisions that are wrong. I promise you that if you come to me and you explain to me why something is wrong, I will listen, and I will fix it.

Clear, honest communication. I promise not to leave you guessing what I “really” think or expect you to read between the lines of what I’m saying. If it’s not clear, and you have a nagging feeling, let me know so I can fix it! It’s not intentional. I’ll also reply promptly to you, or let you know when you can expect a reply, if you reach out.

Encouraging and modelling a healthy work-life balance and avoiding burnout. From time to time I may ask for help, too!