Management tips, stories, and interviews to help navigate the challenges of managing creative and technical teams.
Moving Past "Hero Culture"
58:35Nick, Travis, and Brandon talk "hero culture" and how that affects teams. What are the drawbacks of encouraging hero culture? How do you draw the distinction between necessary heroism and chronic hero culture? What's the difference between heroism and professionalism? They also discuss common pitfalls of trying to overcome hero culture, and what it means to set a sustainable example.Show Notes:Do Hard Things by Steve Magnesshttps://www.amazon.com/Hard-Things-Resilience-Surprising-Toughness/dp/006309861X/Navy Seals "Hell Week"https://navyseals.com/nsw/hell-week-0/Radar Chartshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radar_chartKevin Goldsmith's Lead Dev talk on combining ingredients for the perfect engineering teamhttps://leaddev.com/team/finding-right-ingredients-perfect-engineering-team
Actually Managing Up
1:02:20OK, fine, y'all win. We finally did the episode of "Managing Up" about managing up. In it, Nick, Travis, and Brandon talk about techniques for managing up, how they're similar to managing your own team members, and how it is sometimes very different. They share books and resources that helped them and talk about how communication, being crisp, and (gasp) _feelings_ play into managing your upward relationships.Show Notes:Managing Up article by Stephen Gossett from Built Inhttps://builtin.com/people-management/managing-upConnect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends, and Colleagues by Dr. David Bradford, Ph.D & Dr. Carole Robin, Ph.D https://www.amazon.com/Connect-Building-Exceptional-Relationships-Colleagues/dp/0593237099Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan Davidhttps://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Agility-Unstuck-Embrace-Change/dp/1592409490Ted Lasso: Darts scene ("Be curious, not judgmental")https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S16b-x5mRA
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How We've Changed the Way We Manage in the Pandemic, with Estella Gonzalez Madison
1:02:59The Managing Up Crew is joined by Estella Gonzalez Madison (@chicagoing) to discuss how they've changed the way they manage since the start of the pandemic 2+ years ago. They discuss tactical changes and how they've changed philosophically during this time, and how they square their own humanity and that of their teams during the last 2 years, as well as how this affects how they plan to manage in the future.Show Notes:Estella Gonzalez Madisonhttps://twitter.com/chicagoingTalking to your past self (humor)https://mymodernmet.com/julie-nolke-funny-viral-video/Rethinking Remote Standupshttps://www.honeycomb.io/blog/standup-meetings-are-dead/Lara Hogan's Manager Voltronhttps://larahogan.me/blog/manager-voltron/
Pain, Learning Organizations, and Trainwrecks
1:05:01Nick, pondering the Texas electric grid and the 2021 power crisis posits the question to Travis and Brandon: What role does pain play in leading teams? What is the role of a manager in managing and reacting to pain on our teams? What are the dangers of hiding or deflecting this pain? This leads to a discussion of processing feedback, helping teams learn from pain, and yes, launching trains at meteors. What roles do curiosity and fear play in managing organizational pain? What role do retrospectives play in this? How do you pronounce "gigawatt"?Show notes:2021 Texas Power Crisishttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_Texas_power_crisisThe lottery factor (AKA bus factor)https://towardsdatascience.com/maintaining-a-good-lottery-factor-1eeb2b2f52a6Ted Lasso: "The shower pressure is rubbish: make a note of that"https://www.getyarn.io/yarn-clip/cff607e3-f79e-4a84-a38c-ab6124c596c6
Accountability & Trust in a Distributed World
1:02:23Travis, Nick, and Brandon discuss the word "accountability". What does it mean? Why has it developed a negative connotation? What's the connection between "trust" and "accountability"? They discuss the sometimes uncomfortable conversations that must take in place before a conversation about accountability can bring real results. They also talk about how remote culture changes the shape of this conversation by removing shortcuts some leaders have leaned on in offices. Show Notes:The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencionihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Five_Dysfunctions_of_a_TeamStart with Why by Simon Sinekhttps://simonsinek.com/product/start-with-why/Radical Focus by Christina Wodtkehttps://www.amazon.com/Radical-Focus-SECOND-Achieving-Objectives-ebook/dp/B091ZL2SRLRemote by Jason Fried and DHHhttps://basecamp.com/books/remote
One on Ones: Beyond the Basics
59:00Nick, Travis, and Brandon revisit the one-on-ones topic from several years ago and go beyond "1:1s 101". The hosts dive past the scripts and formulas to discuss challenges with regular one-on-one meetings with your team. How do you discern "gripe sessions" from a genuine request to intervene? When do you share context vs. listen? How do you get people to shift past surface-level concerns to the most important topics? What are some 1:1 antipatterns? Also: The group restrains themselves to only one Ted Lasso reference.Show Notes:Episode 5: "One on Ones: The Basics" (Oct. 2018)https://www.managingup.show/episodes/54705bedTed Lassohttps://www.imdb.com/title/tt10986410/https://twitter.com/TedLasso
"Marketing" Your Team as a Manager
42:55Nick, Brandon, and Travis discuss the term "Marketing" and the myth that doing good work will speak for itself. How can you advocate for your team's work authentically without feeling like you're bragging? They talk about using tracking documents to track and showcase team accomplishments, and why it's important to demonstrate your team's impact, and not just their efforts. Episode links:Get your work recognized: write a brag documenthttps://jvns.ca/blog/brag-documents/
Inviting Feedback and Creating Psychological Safety
53:41Nick, Travis, and Brandon talk about how they increase psychological safety on teams to create space for a variety of voices, starting by debating the value of "strong opinions, weakly held". They explore the questions: How do you bootstrap trust and safety when joining a team? How can you make space for less vocal team members? What are things managers do that reduce trust within their teams? How can you encourage and receive important and valuable feedback?Episode links:Strong Opinions Loosely Held Might be the Worst Idea in Techhttps://blog.glowforge.com/strong-opinions-loosely-held-might-be-the-worst-idea-in-tech/How to Get Your Team to Challenge Your Ideashttps://medium.dave-bailey.com/how-to-get-your-team-to-speak-up-4d403bfc10c9
Is "Resources" a Dirty Word?
56:29In this episode, Nick, Travis, and Brandon talk about the word "resources", thinking of humans versus abstract notions of people, and balancing company needs with individual needs. What changes as your role moves further from managing individual contributors?Show NotesGE's "Up or out" environmenthttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitality_curveEpisode 1: OKRshttps://managingup.simplecast.com/episodes/podcast-episode-1-measure-what-mattersThe Passionate Programmer by Chad Fowlerhttps://pragprog.com/titles/cfcar2/the-passionate-programmer-2nd-edition/
Just Culture, Blame, and Accountability
43:50In the last episode we recorded in the "before times", Nick and Brandon discuss the connection between blameless culture, systems thinking, and just culture. Nick explains how blame robs learning, and how to foster an environment that allows the system to learn and improve. They talk about how accountability fits into a blameless culture, and Nick introduces Sidney Decker's idea of Forward Accountability and shifting behavior rather than assigning blame.Show notes:Just culturehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_cultureNick's talk on Three Mile Islandhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMk6rF4TzsgField guide to understanding human errorhttps://www.amazon.com/Field-Guide-Understanding-Human-Error/dp/0754648257Sidney Decker: Forward accountabilityhttps://sidneydekker.com/just-culture/