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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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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Good News!

Today I was recognized on another website that focuses specifically on Engineering Management.  I’m happy to be listed as one of the top 25 Engineering Management blogs of 2012.  Check it out here: www.engineering-management.net/top-engineering-management-blogs-2012.  I really enjoy writing my blog entries.  I experience many different things at work and find that at times I can…

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The toughest question you can ask, isn't tough enough

One skill all engineers need to have in order to ship high quality software is the ability to ask hard questions.  No matter if you are a developer, a tester, or a project manager, you need to look at each situation, line of code, architecture/design, or user scenario and determine if you and your project…

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Integrity With a Dose of Confidence

Ok, I’ll say it because I know others have thought it, but I’m not sure anyone has ever admitted it.  Having integrity in your role at work can be tough, very tough!  Especially if you are really ambitious.  First, let’s make sure we are talking about the same thing here.  What I mean by integrity…

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