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An Elegant Puzzle (Part 2)

I’m continuing to read an Elegant Puzzle and chapter 3 had some good considerations regarding defining teams and groups during a reorg that I think are good guidelines for building teams more generally:

  • Consider team sizes and management spread.
  • Can you write a crisp mission statement for each team?
  • Can you define clear interfaces for each team?
  • Can you list the areas of ownership for each team?
  • Is each responsibility owned by a team?
  • Would you personally be excited to be a member of each team, as well as to be the manager?
  • Put teams that work together close. Especially if they work poorly. This minimizes distance for escalation, and reduces info gaps.
  • Are there compelling candidate pitches for each team?
  • Are you over-optimizing on individuals, vs establishing a sensible structure?

And, 5 minute media training:

  • Answer the question you want to be asked - re-frame a difficult or challenging question into one you’re comfortable answering. Don’t accept a question’s implicit framing, take the opportunity to frame it yourself.
  • Stay positive - especially when it comes to competitors and controversy.
  • Speak in threes - three concise points, continue to refer back to them.

Chapter 4 - philosophy for management. This is the author’s philosophy:

  • The golden rule makes a lot of sense
  • Give everyone an explicit area of ownership they are responsible for
  • Reward and status should derive from finishing high-quality work
  • Lead from the front, never ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t

And later:

  • Management is an ethical profession, so remember that your actions have a profound impact on those around you
  • Strong relationships are greater than any problem
  • People over process - “with the right people any process works, with the wrong people no process works”
  • Do the hard thing now - double down on the hard parts, don’t avoid them
  • Do the right thing for your company, your team, yourself - in that order
  • Think for yourself

These are pretty reasonable personal philosophies of leadership.