Are You an Employee or a Founder?

If you search on the differences between a “founder” and an “employee”, you will see a lot of articles on start-ups, shares of stock, being an entrepreneur, etc.  And if we look at the definition of a founder, it is someone who establishes or creates.  Ironically, the verb form of the word means to fill…

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7 Mistakes New Managers Should Avoid

When you move into a people manager role, it’s usually because you are doing a great job as an individual contributor.  Being a manager is quite different than being an individual contributor. Instead of only being concerned with getting your own work done, you are now responsible for a whole team of people getting their…

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How Many Days Away Are You?

Here is how a career as people manager typically plays out.  You are an engineer and really good at what you do.  You are an expert in a technology or a specific domain.  Then you become the boss.  Your main responsibility isn’t to be the expert anymore.  It’s to manage and grow experts on your…

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Sometimes At Work, We Act Like Dogs

You can only buy loyalty if you buy a dog; otherwise loyalty has to be earned.  One of the best things an engineering manager can receive from their team members is loyalty.  It’s not something that you should ever ask of them, but they may just give it to you anyway.  When you have people…

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Don't Show Me Your Ugly Duck Feet!

Picture this, it’s a nice warm summer day and you are relaxing next to a lake.  There is no breeze in the air so the surface of the water is very still and you see a duck.  It floats by, calm and quiet, with just a small V-shaped ripple in the water behind it.  You…

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Are You Aware That You Lack Awareness?

Recently I took a very interesting training class.  As part of that class, we had to sit still in the room for 8 minutes with our eyes closed and become aware of sensations in our body.  How hard can that be right?  Yep, it was easy.  I was hungry, maybe a bit tired, and eventually…

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It Doesn't Take Muscles to Use Your Strengths

But it does take a manager that understands how to leverage strengths.  Many managers say they do this, but I’d question if they really think this way, if “leveraging peoples’ strengths” is really part of their DNA.  The reason I question this is because many companies have defined roles for people to do.  They are…

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Experienced to the Level of Obsolete

Some days I just amaze myself.  I can be tired, even exhausted, and not very focused on work.  Still I can go into a work meeting, make a few comments and add a ton of value.  And I can do this again and again and again until I really don’t need to pay much attention…

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Superheroes Don't Work at Corporations

This message is for the workaholics out there, and not for those of you who barely want to get your work done, who aren’t interested in doing more than just what is asked at work, or who have a balanced lifestyle so that you are seeing many years of success within your career.  This blog won’t help you…

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