Leading Snowflakes – Oren Ellenbogen

These are my notes from an awesome and more importantly practical book Leading Snowflakes by Oren Ellenbogen. I've reviewed this one with five stars on my Goodreads account.

Switch between Manager and Maker models

  • Never stop coding!
  • Understand the details of what you gave someone to do
  • Ask for feedback and advice

"It would be good for us to..." vs "I would like to..."
Be nice
Don't micromanage

Code Review Your management decisions

  • discuss these dilemmas with your boss and see how he would have handled it
  • discuss dilemmas with another engineering manager and review each other decisions
  • do a retrospection every day for ten mins
  • do a retrospection once a month for 1 hour

Confront and challenge your teammates

  • email summaries of your 1on1's
  • care deeply about your team but don't care about what they think of you
  • The Asshole Checklist: a) Did I show empathy (not sympathy) b) Did I clarify my expectations c) Did I practice what I just preached
  • share harsh feedback if needed no matter what
  • don't go helping others on their tasks

Teach how to get things done

  • show how something is done
  • your job is to help someone else succeed
  • small increments (1-3hrs per task)
  • write docs after the feature is finished
  • see if you can have someone teach others

Delegate tasks without losing quality or visibility

  • make a list of things you're doing today and see which ones you can start delegating
  • use the spreadsheet from the book
  • use the one-page template from the book

Build trust with other teams in the organization

  • in the priority meetings list three priorities that are most important for you in the next week, but acknowledge that you know what is expected of you
  • TEAM is a group of people that TRUST each other
  • There is no I in TEAM
  • Thank you email (or public praise) for a feature well done
  • Internal tech talks
  • Cross-team exchange program
  • Pizzability

Optimize for business learning

  • Acquisition
  • Activation
  • Retention
  • Referals
  • Revenue

Spend 80% on tweaking features and 20% on developing new features.

^ I would tweak this a bit: spend 80% on tweaking features that bring in the 80% of $$.

Use inbound recruiting to attract better talent

  • Answer questions on StackOverflow for 1hr/week
  • Guest blog posts or repost your posts on Medium
  • Have hackathons
  • Birthday pics to Instagram, Facebook, Blog. Also do a video maybe
  • Give talks
  • Have side projects

Build a scalable team

  • Vision
  • Core values
  • Self-balanced
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Who is putting down fires? - get him to distribute knowledge and mentor others to get the job done
  • Who is an expertise bottleneck - same as above
  • Who is not building trust?
  • On your 1on1's ask "What is the worst thing about working here?"

Written by Nikola Brežnjak