Discover more from The Manager's Guide
The Manager's Guide – #64
Weekly Summary Edition
The six types of developers, categorized by their ideal workday.
🧑💻 The study categorizes software developers into six types based on their ideal workday perceptions: social, lone, focused, balanced, leading, and goal-oriented.
📊 Researchers used a survey with 413 Microsoft developers to understand their views on productive and unproductive workdays, influencing factors, and productivity measures.
🤝 Social developers feel productive in collaborative environments like helping coworkers and doing code reviews.
🚫 Lone developers prefer minimal social interaction and focus on problem-solving, bug fixing, and coding without disruptions.
🎯 Focused developers are most productive when concentrating on a single task at a time.
⚖️ Balanced developers are adaptable, less affected by disruptions, and don't typically work extra hours.
🗓️ Leading developers are comfortable with meetings and emails, productive in afternoons, and prefer writing and designing tasks.
🏁 Goal-oriented developers feel productive when completing tasks and less so when multitasking or without clear goals.
🌟 The study highlights differences in productivity perceptions, especially between social and lone developers.
🔄 Self-reflection measures like time spent coding and uninterrupted focus time are valuable for most developer types.
📝 The findings suggest tailoring team communication and task assignments based on individual productivity preferences.
📈 Regular self-reflection on work habits, like tracking interruptions and tasks, can lead to productive behavior changes in developers.
Read a short summary of each in the article.
Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
First, Break All The Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Gallup Organization
The New One Minute Manager by Kenneth H. Blanchard and Spencer Johnson
High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
The First-Time Manager by Jim McCormick
Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard E. Boyatzis, and Annie McKee
Developing the Leader Within You 2.0 by John C. Maxwell
Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Alan Eagle
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute
I remember back when being on one of those gigantic, long-lived software projects when I was a wee programmer. Professional project managers had laid out the entire thing before we started coding. Enlightened professional project managers—they only assumed 4.2 hours of coding per programmer per day.
Read Kent Beck’s notes to learn how it went 😉
🌐 Psychological safety is crucial in modern workplaces for fostering innovation, inclusion, and allowing employees to be their authentic selves.
🗣️ It involves feeling secure enough to voice opinions, take risks, and engage in open dialogue, contributing to high-performing teams and organizational progress.
🚀 INSEAD research outlines practical strategies to enhance psychological safety, especially important in times of uncertainty and risk-averse environments.
📈 Leaders should focus on clarifying the rationale for speaking up, inviting participation, avoiding punitive measures, and acknowledging employee contributions.
🧪 Creativity and flexibility are essential in today’s business landscape, making psychological safety vital for harnessing the full potential of the workforce.
🤝 Short-term interventions like strategic one-on-one meetings can effectively increase psychological safety within teams.
🎯 Different strategies may be required depending on the existing level of psychological safety in a team.
⚖️ Balancing psychological safety with intellectual honesty is crucial for healthy debate and high-performance team culture.
🌟 Emotional intelligence, hiring proactive employees, and promoting open discourse are key to maintaining this balance.
🌈 In diverse teams, psychological safety enhances performance and well-being, with framing, inquiry, and bridging boundaries as effective approaches.
📚 The research offers insights for adapting workplace dynamics and creating an environment where diverse perspectives are appreciated and encouraged.
🧐 Micromanagement issues: Micromanager CEOs are frustrating as they often don't understand the tradeoffs in the work and lack trust in their employees' decisions.
🤝 Desire for autonomy: A preference emerges for CEOs who set clear processes and trust employees to work independently, acknowledging their competence.
🏢 Different CEO styles: Some CEOs are distant from daily execution, but this can lead to frustration in executive teams due to stalled decision-making.
🔄 Variety in leadership styles: Effective executives possess multiple leadership styles, adapting them to various challenges and organizational levels.
📈 Importance of policy: Good policy enables efficient organization operation, but executives often handle exceptions, requiring adaptive leadership styles.
🤲 Leading with policy: This involves creating documented, predictable decision-making processes, useful for consistent, recurring decisions in an organization.
☑️ Leading from consensus: This style is effective for complex decisions involving multiple stakeholders, each holding a critical subset of the necessary context.
💪 Leading with conviction: This is necessary for decisions lacking a clear proposal, involving conflicting views, or having long-term impacts on the organization.
🚫 Misconception of micromanagement: Being informed and questioning team decisions isn't micromanagement; it's part of empowering the team.
📝 Development advice: Executives should practice and develop leadership styles they're less comfortable with to become more versatile and effective.
⚖️ Balancing styles: Executives must recognize when to use different styles and avoid over-reliance on a preferred style, especially during significant organizational changes.
📅 Transitioning from a developer to an engineering manager (EM) brings new challenges in organizing time and priorities.
🌟 Each EM's weekly calendar will vary based on company culture, team size, responsibilities, and personal work style.
🔄 Consistency, time management, and stress reduction are key benefits of establishing routines for an EM.
🏃♂️ Warm-up routines at the start of the day help set the right mindset and prepare for daily tasks.
🌙 Cool-down routines at day's end are crucial for reflecting on accomplishments and planning the next day.
⏳ Taking regular breaks throughout the day helps prevent burnout and improves productivity and team connections.
🤝 Meetings are a crucial part of an EM's role and should be approached with clear goals and strategies.
Questions For Assessing Leadership Style
What Are 1-2 Questions You Always Ask Your Team Members In One-On-One Meetings, And Why?
If I Asked Someone On Your Team About Your Leadership Style, What Would They Say?
Tell Me About A Time When You Delved Into Significant Detail And Got Your Hands Dirty.
What Ritual Or Practice Have You Found To Be Most Effective For Helping Your Team Connect And Collaborate?
Why Did You Leave Ic Work?
How Do You Balance Being A Manager And A Coach?
What Do Your Direct Reports Like About You? What Does Leadership Like About You?
Walk Me Through The Most Significant Change You’ve Made As A Manager In Response To Feedback You’ve Received About Your Leadership.
When Two Team Members Disagree, How Do You Help Solve The Disagreement?
What’s Something New You’ve Learned Recently?
Questions About How Managerial Candidates Set Goals And Communicate Strategy
What processes have you put in place to ensure that each person on your team has a clear idea of the team's goals and each individual's role and responsibilities?
Can you share the vision for your org at your last company?
What dashboard do you open up every morning?
Let's say you have to make a challenging announcement, like sharing news of a re-org or even a layoff. How would you prepare? What would you say to your team on the day of?
Describe a time when you felt your team wasn’t shipping frequently enough. What did you do about it?
Tell me about a time when you made a meaningful impact on revenue / market cap / cost savings.
Tell me about a time when you had to make a strategically important decision with limited data.
Questions About Managing High And Low Performers
Who is the worst performing person on your team and how are you working to make them better?
How do you evaluate performance on your team?
Can you tell me about the last time you helped a star on your team find their dream job?
When new positions have opened up on your team, did you promote from within or hire externally? What is your philosophy on this?
Tell me about someone you manage who’s been really successful at your company, and what made them so successful.
Can you tell me about one of your direct reports’ accomplishments that you’re most proud of?
Questions For Testing The Candidate’s Chops As A Hiring Manager
Who on your team would you be happy to work for?
Tell me about a time when you had to hire for a challenging role.
What are the qualities that you look for when you’re hiring and do you exude them yourself?
Walk me through your end-to-end hiring process.
How do you help new team members ramp-to-impact quickly?
How do you keep track of the careers of the folks you’ve worked with previously?
Questions For Evaluating How They Work With Other Teams
Can you tell me about a time when you helped guide your team into better alignment with another team?
Which organizations have typically been your most important partners?
Which organizations have you encountered the most friction with?
Tell me about a time when you influenced another team in the company that had a diametrically opposed point of view.
When you’ve worked as part of a successful team, explain the secret sauce that helped those activities go well.
Describe a shitty system at your last company. What did you do about it?