Patrick as a manager

June 2018

This is a living document intended to give you a better idea of me as a manager and what I value. I'll refine it over time as I learn and grow.

A little bit about me

I grew up in Sothern California, cut my teeth in San Francisco but most recently moved to Sydney, Australia. I enjoy sailing ⛵️, photography 📷, a good microbrew 🍺 and prefer my food wrapped in a tortilla. I’m a former college football player but now keep in shape by doing yoga 🧘‍. I consider myself a lifelong learner, and I’m continually trying to develop and grow. I’m a maker, tinkerer and problem solver.

What you can expect from me

My job is to attract, retain and help grow world-class talent. I connect the dots between our teams strategy and how you want to grow as an individual. I try my best to remove blockers that are in your way while pushing you into growth opportunities, if it is easy then you likely are not growing.

My goal as a leader is to help our team be successful by giving everyone the opportunity to do their best work so that we can deliver amazing customer experiences.

There are many ways of working. I don’t expect you to adopt my approach to working but instead have some insight into how I prefer to work. I am very conscious of how I spend my time and if I’m achieving the results that I expected. Ideally, on any given week I would like to spend my time as follows:

  • 40% working with the team. This could be collaborating on a design project, facilitating one of our rituals, or generally just getting to know each other better.
  • 20% talking to customers. I want to intimitely know the problems that they are facing, how they are using our products and any gaps that they are experiencing.
  • 20% working on product strategy. Working with my triad to ensure that our strategy has alignment within the organization and that the goals of the team are clear.
  • 20% on personal growth areas. I am focusing on growing the skills that I need to be successful as a team lead while still maintaining my craft.

I’m an INTJ and have an affinity for having things well planned, organized, and thought out. I sometimes struggle when working with others who do not share these traits. Some things that are helpful for you to know about me:

  • I view my role as a facilitator. I try to treat most situations like a design challenge, the more information I have the easier I can facilitate us towards a successful outcome.
  • I value headspace. We are creatives, not factory workers producing widgets, at the end of the day we are judged by our impact regardless of the amount of time we put in. I work better when I have a well-rested mind, have exercised and eat healthily.
  • I have strong opinions, loosely held. This helps me make decisions quickly even when I don’t have all of the information. I’m constantly evolving my opinion as more information comes in, often this means that I make the wrong decision initially or it evolves over time.
  • I think before I speak. It takes me a while to gather my thoughts and inform an opinion. I try not to talk often; I want other people to have the opportunity to speak. When I do speak, it’s usually something that I care strongly about.
  • I value timeliness. I was taught from an early age that if you are early you are on time, if you are on time you are late, and if you are late that is unacceptable. I will do my best to be on time if I make a habit of being late call me out on it.
  • I value open and transparent communication. I am confident, and my passion shows through on the work I do. I will not take it personally if you disagree with me but make sure that it is done openly so that we can discuss it.
  • I ❤️ feedback. If there is something that I can improve on, please let me know. I try my best to give others feedback immediately in context as I find it most relevant.

What I expect from you

Don’t call me boss, manager or anything of the sort, I work for you not the other way around. I trust you with the work; we hire smart people to solve complex problems. And there is more than one way to solve a problem, I will give you feedback and push you, but you need to own the solution. When in doubt ask me if my feedback is my opinion or the direction I want you to go. I very seldom give direction but when I do there is usually a reason behind it, if I am not transparent call me out on it. I expect you to own the work, to build relationships with your team and to come to work with a positive attitude.

  • Balance. If you are sick or unwell, seek help and stay at home. I’m not a workaholic. I do not expect you to be. I try to avoid sending messages in the evening or on weekends if I do don’t feel like you need to respond.
  • Deep work. Feel free to work at your desk or not, from the office or from home, with or without headphones. Do what works best for you but make sure it is not disturbing the harmony of the team.
  • Ask questions. If you don’t know something ask. This is the best way for us to come to a shared understanding as a team.
  • Keep it simple. Avoid jargon and make things easy to follow. Provide a TLDR when applicable but make it easy to dig into the details.
  • Make decisions. If you are stuck figure out what you need to unblock yourself. When you make a decision communicate your thinking and rational to the broader team.
  • Make the work visible. Make sure there is a shared understanding of the problem that we are solving, any key deliverables have due dates, and you are communicating the progress of the work. Capture feedback from stakeholders on the page and close the loop.
  • Meeting etiquette. There should always be someone leading the meeting and taking notes. Show respect to the person speaking by keeping your laptop closed and putting your phone away. If we can avoid yet another meeting and handle it asynchronously, let’s do it.
  • 1:1s. The most important thing that I can do is spend time with the team. To be clear, you own the agenda for 1:1s so come prepared. 1:1s should not be a status update but a time for us to work together on craft or career growth.

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