Software Engineering at Google Chapter #5 How to Lead a Team (3 of 3)

  • Set clear priorities and check in to ensure they are being followed
  • Define the team’s direction and goals, then step back and give them autonomy, re-aligning ad iterating when necessary
  • If a team member asks you about information you cannot share, tell them so. Don’t lie and say you don’t know about it.
  • Be kind and empathetic when delivering constructive criticism
  • Don’t use a “compliment sandwich”, the real message gets lost
  • Feedback needs to be clear - don’t beat around the bush, be direct yet respectful and kind
  • Track happiness, give recognition
  • During a 1 on 1 ask how their lives are on a scale of 1 to 10 both inside and outside the office
  • During a 1 on 1, consider starting with tech talk to break the ice
  • Delegate but get your hands dirty
  • Seek to replace yourself, hire and train people to do your job
  • Know when to make waves, don’t hope things “work themselves out”
  • Shield your teams from chaos (or bullshit)
  • Share information with your team, but don’t share unnecessary information that doesn’t affect them and would sap their emotional energy
  • It’s easy to say “yes” to things that are easy to undo
  • Tell the team and individuals that they are doing good work
  • People are plants: Some need more light, some need more water
  • Pay attention to the velocity, focus, and direction of your team
  • “Mastery” means giving people the opportunity to improve existing and learn new skills
  • Autonomy is when one can act without being micromanaged
  • Overall workers want mastery and autonomy
  • Pass positive customer feedback along to the team so they are aware of the direct impact of their work
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