Discover more from The Manager's Guide
The Manager's Guide – #56
Used to be called “The Leadership Garden Newsletter”
New week, new name and platform – I migrated The Leadership Garden Newsletter to Substack and to a new name – The Manager’s Guide. It’s still the same old weekly curation under the hood, though I’ll occasionally write more in-depth pieces on certain topics.
It’s not that technical skills aren’t important, but that soft skills are a lot more vital.
😎 Soft skills are crucial for career advancement.
🤝 Building connections and effective communication are vital.
🚀 Leadership involves inspiring and taking calculated risks.
💪 Identifying key individuals and maintaining decorum matter.
📈 Advancement requires influencing others and improving soft skills.
🔄 Learning soft skills leads to growth and confidence.
📝 Promotions consider unquantifiable soft skills.
🤔 Perception of skills varies with leadership visions.
🧘 Balance technical and soft skill development for success.
Expressing your boundaries to others can feel daunting at first, but it’s a vital step towards establishing healthy dynamics and clear expectations.
😌 Setting boundaries can be challenging, especially for newcomers to the practice.
🛡️ Recognize and overcome challenges like guilt, fear, and negative reactions when asserting boundaries.
🧘♀️ Practice self-compassion and remember that setting boundaries is an act of self-care.
🤝 Healthy relationships thrive on mutual respect, even if some people react negatively to your boundaries.
💪 Trust yourself and your well-being; seek support from those who encourage your growth.
🗣️ Communicate boundaries clearly using “I” statements, avoiding blame or criticism.
🔄 Use the “Broken Record” technique to calmly and consistently repeat your boundaries when challenged.
☁️ Employ “Fogging” to acknowledge others' perspectives without becoming defensive.
❓ Practice “Negative Inquiry” by asking questions to gain insight into others' intentions.
⏸️ Use “The Assertive Pause” before responding, maintaining assertive body language.
How a simple metric drives a reliability culture across the Slack engineering organization.
🚀 Emphasizes reliability and customer experience.
⚙️ Shifts to proactive measures from a reactive approach.
🛠️ Incident response and service ownership foster reliability culture.
📊 SDI-R: Key metric for service reliability, including user success and uptime.
⏱️ Availability: Measured by critical user interactions, converted to 9s representation.
🤝 Collaboration: Engineering leadership, service owners, reliability engineers work together.
🕵️♂️ SDI-R Proactivity: Early issue detection and resolution.
🔄 Program Evolution: SDI originated from Security, Performance, Quality, and Reliability metrics.
🗣️ Forums: Engineering meetings and SDI-R data aid prioritization.
🔄 Continuous Improvement: Iteration on metrics and processes.
🎯 Customer Focus: Reliability and availability for enhanced customer experience.
A hot take on the “return to the office” trend – while I’m sure it’s part of the big picture, I’m not so sure if it’s the only or even the major factor.
💼 The push to return to office work is not primarily about productivity, but about preventing a potential commercial real estate crash.
🏢 Corporate landlords are facing an office real estate apocalypse due to remote work trends, with $1.2 trillion in loans on office towers at risk.
🏙️ Major cities that rely on workers for commerce and property taxes from commercial real estate are being adversely affected by the shift to remote work.
📉 A significant percentage of office space remains vacant (12-20%), worse than the 2008 recession, jeopardizing landlords' ability to repay loans.
🏛️ The Federal Reserve's interest rate policies have exacerbated the situation by motivating companies to abandon office leases.
💰 The elite's desire for workers to return to offices is driven by the need to prevent a collapse in commercial real estate value and protect their fortunes.
🌆 The focus on productivity, creativity, and health is secondary to the elite's goal of avoiding a commercial real estate crisis.
An outdated way of thinking about peak performance is: “maximum effort = maximum results.” But research shows that it doesn’t actually work that way in reality. Here’s what actually works: The 85% rule, which counterintuitively suggests that to reach maximum output, you need to refrain from giving maximum effort. Operating at 100% effort all of the time will result in burnout and ultimately less-optimal results. While the precise number 85% may just be a rule of thumb, it’s a helpful one for managers who want to create high-performance teams without burning people out.
🤝 Managers aiming to build high-performance teams should adopt the 85% rule to prevent burnout.
💼 Encouraging a “done for the day” time helps avoid decision fatigue and diminishing returns.
💪 Invite team members to work slightly below their perceived maximum capacity for better performance.
🗣️ Ask top performers how work can be made less stressful and take actions to improve their situation.
🤝 Embrace 85%-right decisions instead of demanding perfection to reduce pressure on high-performing employees.
📢 Use language that avoids excessive stress and pressure when communicating with the team.
⏰ End meetings 10 minutes early to prevent stress buildup and maintain focus.
🧠 Managers should also operate at 85% intensity to set an example for the team.
The latest layoffs across big tech, tech unicorns, and startups.
Snapshot at Aug 21, 2023:
So far in 2023, there have been 1,427 layoffs at tech companies with 334,273 people impacted (1,435 people per day).
In 2022, there were 1,557 layoffs at tech companies w/ 243,318 people impacted (667 people per day).