December 17, 2020

My Management Philosophy and Working Preferences

For my direct reports

  • I see the main responsibilities of a manager being to:

    • Shield their direct reports from nonsense
    • Champion them and their work
    • Help ruthlessly prioritize based on organizational, team, and personal goals
  • I like to use the Manager Tools techniques for management. The most salient things here are:

    • Weekly 1-1s (30-60mins as needed)
    • Regular, frequent feedback
    • However, I’m happy to adapt this based on your preferences!
  • I’d prefer you to over-communicate rather than under-communicate - you should never feel like you might bother me if you copy me in to emails or ask for clarifications etc (in the unlikely event that it got too much, I would tell you that as feedback)

  • I encourage my team to provide daily standup’ bullet points in Slack about what we are each working on that day. I think it’s great for visibility and for feeling like a team.

  • If at any point you notice something I can do to be a better manager for you, please let me know.

  • I don’t expect responses to email or slack out of hours so don’t feel pressured to respond even if I send something to you out of hours (sometimes I work at weird times). If there’s something really urgent I’ll text/call you.

  • Although I roughly try to keep to a 9-6ish schedule, I’m not super rigorous about it so I might take breaks in the day and then work later etc.

  • You should feel free to design the work schedule that suits you best - I’m less concerned with the hours you work than with the actual output.

  • Similarly, I am very pro making use of PTO as you need it, and will generally approve it unless there’s a very good reason why the timing doesn’t work (in which case we will work on an alternative).

  • Please feel free to approach me proactively with your ideas, e.g. if there’s a conference we should target, or a research direction you think is important to pursue. We can then work together to figure out if it makes sense to do.

  • I use Asana heavily for task and project management, however it doesn’t suit everyone so we can discuss other coordination methods if you prefer.

  • For anything that requires drafting, I use Google docs. Feel free to send me stuff for commenting/suggestions.

  • I find it helpful to keep a running Google Doc for 1-1s - feel free to add any items throughout the week that you’d like to discuss.