Connecting the Dots
Welcome to another week. I hope you have had enough time to rest and recover.
We spent the weekend walking around town and chilling at home. Nothing too hectic!
As we start the fourth week of the year, I feel like January has lasted forever. I always think that January is the Sunday of the year. But let me know your thoughts. ;)
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As part of growing your leadership path, you'll start to represent the organization in some ways, and if you're a manager, you represent it.
One of the aspects of leadership is sharing communication with your teams.
The communication grows beyond sharing news with the team. You'll need to connect the work they do on their day-to-day to the larger corporate mission. Or you'll need to connect work your team is doing with another team that might be working on the same issue. Or you could recognize your teammates, acknowledge the effort, or reinforce a positive behavior.
How do you connect the dots?
When communicating with your teams, there's always the aspect of taking care of them first.
Understand how something will affect them; if it appears random, try to connect it to the larger picture. And understand the implications before sharing it. One aspect that helps is anticipating the questions or concerns the teams could raise.
The context for your teams can come from everywhere, and it's your job to bring order and not let the teammates feel as if they're drinking from a firehose of information.
External to your team
One of the first places to check is external to your team, with other engineering teams, and with Product Managers and Program Managers, among other teams that work closely with your team.
These relationships will allow you to find spots to get ahead of a problem or minimize risk for your team. Other times, you find optimization opportunities if another team solves the same problem.
Internal to your team
Conversely, listening to your team and what they think is missing context would be best.
That will give you clues as to what you need to improve; it might be more consistent communication, like regular updates or reiterating with separate channels (e.g., email and Slack).
One piece of advice with internal focus is not to get lost with a hyper-focus on your team and avoid creating a silo or a "us vs. them" attitude. As a leader, situational awareness is part of your skills to build!
As a leader, remember to connect the dots for your teams. Help them know the vision and that their work is part of something larger.
Work with your teams to find the appropriate channels and frequency of the communications.
Work with other teams and stakeholders to form a more complete picture of what's happening around the company.
Have you ever thought about who's connecting the dots for your team? Let me know if you've thought about that or if you notice someone doing it for you. Please send me your thoughts by replying to this email!
Things I discovered in the past week
- Lately, I've been watching Theo's videos; this one resonated with a few conversations I've had over the years. Don't Contribute to Open Source.
- Systems Thinking in Large Scale Modelling, this video is a masterclass condensed in one hour of content. It goes through the multiple strategies and processes you follow to scale your company's architecture function.