You Should Be Moving Faster

Surely you’ve heard of “move fast and break things,” Facebook’s old motto. The intent behind it makes sense: too many of us allow our organizations to operate at a complacent pace rather than actually do anything remarkable. Nonetheless, it misses that mark. The best teams I’ve worked with move faster and, in fact, break fewer […]

HR: Hemorrhaging Responsibility

Over the past few years, I see a trend taking shape for tech executives, and that is learning how to cooperate with their counterparts in HR (nowadays, sometimes called “VP People”). At its core, this change has a lot of positive benefits. By having partners for taking care of the company’s culture and environment, leaders […]

Deadline Language Barrier

Communication is one of the most critical skills for anyone in our industry. I always say that just because I say a word and you hear the same word, we cannot trust we both understood each other. There’s so much ambiguity involved in language, and, like with dynamic coding languages, you don’t get a compile-time […]

No Perfect Reorg

Changing your organization is always at least a bit daunting. Even if you are genuinely excited about the improvements the change will make possible, executing a reorganization is complicated and taxing. Due to that, many executives waffle for too long, fearing to make a step forward. The common fallacy here is that we try and […]

Traits of Successful VPs of Engineering

Since I talk to so many tech executives and am exposed to a lot of companies of different sizes, I often get asked what makes the best stand out. Even though this is definitely a frequently-asked-question for me, I refrained from putting this into writing earlier as I felt like this is straightforward. Recent discussions […]

Authentic Leadership: Embrace Uniqueness

When it comes to taking charge of an engineering organization, it can be daunting. It is perfectly natural and fine to seek guidance, talk to others, and collect advice. Nevertheless, I often see this taken to an extreme, resulting in a mishmash way of doing things and a culture that feels “generic,” and sometimes even […]

Controlling Your Time

Time is the one resource that we cannot readily get more of. Alan Weiss always says that you can make another dollar, but you cannot make another minute. Time is of the essence, especially for executives. There are only so many work hours in the day, and you want to make the biggest impact on […]

Forget It and Set It

Being a consultant, you won’t be surprised to hear that I am often involved in helping companies go through changes. One common aspect that I see, either as I’m working with my clients or when they tell me about their failed past attempts, is that the executives often hold a much too simplistic view on […]

Promotional Material

A few times, I’ve come across companies where managers were reluctant to engage in discussions about their employees’ growth. Leadership tried to avoid it, and the managers never initiated those sorts of conversations. Digging further, the underlying issue is often that they know a significant portion of their employees will want to discuss different promotional […]

On The Catwalk

Frequently, leaders are disappointed with their team’s behavior, the developing culture, and collective habits. They don’t get why people come to meetings unprepared, or think that talking aggressively is acceptable. As someone who often sits as a fly in the room (or Zoom) to watch firsthand how companies operate, I often see a common source: […]