Programming Leadership
Improve Your Product Management with Ellen Gottesdiener

Improve Your Product Management with Ellen Gottesdiener

February 20, 2020

How do we improve in the area of product management? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest Ellen Gottesdiener, President of EBG Consulting, discuss ways companies can better oversee the development and lifecycle of a product in its entirety. Marcus and Ellen also discuss her Agile Product Planning method, best practices in the area of product management, and effective decision making methods with product management within your organization.

 

Show Notes

  • A working definition of product management (1:15)
  • The product lifecycle (1:45)
  • Answering the question, “What’s my product?” (8:30)
  • “Outside-in” thinking over “inside-out” (11:30)
  • Ways to address product production backlogs (15:33)
  • Managing the work vs. the product (19:19)
  • Engaging a product engineering team (21:58)
  • The role of story in product development (28:35)
  • Product development without a structured value system (33:47)
  • The decision making process in product development (40:49)

Links:

Leadership Strategies from Nature with Dr. Kathleen Allen

Leadership Strategies from Nature with Dr. Kathleen Allen

February 6, 2020

What can nature teach us about how to get the most from our organizations? In this episode, Marcus welcomes Dr. Kathleen Allen to discuss changing our perspectives of assigning roles within teams and organizations to what she calls leading a “living systems”. Dr. Allen is the president of her consulting firm, Allen and Associates, and has written many articles and contributed to a variety of books, including The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership for the Twenty-first Century and Innovation in Environmental Leadership: Critical Perspectives. Her most recent book, Leading from the Roots: Nature-Inspired Leadership Lessons for Today’s World, is available now.

 

Show Notes

  • An alternative to reorganization (1:45)
  • “We are human beings living and working in an environment, and when you have a collection of human beings, then your organization probably isn't an object, either. It's just that we're thinking that it's an object.” Dr. Allen (2:50)
  • The “living systems” perspective (4:45)
  • "Living systems are interdependent. They're not separate. And our job descriptions are designed and written to keep us separate from each other." Dr. Allen (9:00)
  • Strategy comes from patterns rather than details. (13:00)
  • "So the old leadership question is, what do I need to control? And the new leadership question of a living system is, what do I need to unleash?” Dr. Allen (16:45)
  • Work with you as opposed to working for you (19:30)
  • Empowering employees with a common shared goal versus controlling employees through management tactics (28:00)
  • "Influence, not authority." Marcus (33:00)
  • "It's the illusion of control and power. And that's what we're selling is the illusion. But nature doesn't have a CEO." Dr. Allen (36:30)
  • Growing change versus making change (41:00)

Links:

The Art of Leadership with Michael Lopp

The Art of Leadership with Michael Lopp

January 23, 2020

How can you build trust as a leader? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Michael Lopp discuss the small practices that make a good leader. Listen to learn about building trust, respect, and relationships in a leadership role. 

 

Show Notes

  • Leadership practices are small things done repetitively over time. @2:29   
  • Leadership is a skill. @3:32 
  • Empathy is a powerful skillset. @5:17
  • The practice of one on ones is important in connecting to a team. @6:44
  • Asking for feedback can build trust and relationships. @9:04
  • Respond to feedback with a thank you and follow up comprehension questions. @11:35
  • Feedback is a gift. @18:04
  • It's not personal, it's professional. @21:37
  • Leadership is an outfit that you choose to wear for others to see. @25:41
  • Managers tell you where you are, leaders tell you where you're going. @31:55
  • "There is no substitute for enthusiasm."- Ken Beck @34:20
  • Your peers become your allies. @36:51

 

Links: 

Collaboration and Notqmail with Amitai Schleier

Collaboration and Notqmail with Amitai Schleier

January 9, 2020

On this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Amitai Schleier, discuss a new project Amitai is working on regarding reviving an old, but useful, open-source program called qmail. Strategy and collaboration on this project as well as how to manage a project of this nature are discussed. 

 

Show Notes

  • The ‘old’ project is called notqmail. @1:10 
  • Last stable release was in 1998 then it was abandoned. @2:45 
  • Elders decided to make some changes in 2007 and called it notqmail. @3:49 
  • Amitai decided to revive this old C code. @7:16 
  • He wanted to join together the other people still running with qmail or netqmail and collaborate to make the best modern version possible. @10:24 
  • The best advice was to take everyone's add-ons and then his own and let the users decide which to implement to avoid egos. @14:04 
  • Collaboration depends on the properties of the code being worked on. @16:51 
  • Amitai put together individual persuasive invitations to get people to join his team. @24:19 

 

Links:

Becoming a Better Manager Means Starting with Yourself with Johanna Rothman

Becoming a Better Manager Means Starting with Yourself with Johanna Rothman

December 19, 2019

To be a modern manager, you must manage yourself first. In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Johanna Rothman discuss how you must learn to manage yourself to be effective at managing other people. They will discuss some common mistakes managers make and some important values to instill in yourself that will make you a better manager, such as integrity, vulnerability, and congruence.  

 

Show Notes

  • If we don't manage ourselves, we don't have the capability of managing other people. @2:42
  • Micromanagement comes from fear and that fear is out of incongruence. @3:07
  • Blame cuts off options and relationships. @8:25
  • Admitting you're afraid and need help and being vulnerable is a sign of strength not a weakness. @13:48
  • Take small steps in building trust. @15:28
  • Value-based integrity consists of these 5 values: honesty, fairness, consistency, taking responsibility, and treating people with respect. @18:43
  • Self-awareness is difficult, but often is as simple as asking people. @25:14
    • ROTI (Returned on Time Invested) method for a meeting @27:29
  • A challenge for technical managers is actually knowing how to do the work very well. @30:14
  • Take control of your schedule to deal with the time pressure. @36:21

 

Links:

Rise of the Resilient Manager with Lara Hogan

Rise of the Resilient Manager with Lara Hogan

December 11, 2019

Are you a resilient manager? Do you want to become one? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Lara Hogan discuss what it means to be a resilient manager. She will discuss some effective management skills and thought processes. She will also introduce us to the idea of the manager Voltron. 

 

Show Notes

  •  New manager care packages @1:00​
  • Becoming a manager is scary for different reasons for everybody. @5:10 
  • Management skills are the same across the board. @9:15
  • At every stage of management, you start over with the same new feelings, new fears, and lack of internal barometer of success. @12:06
  • It's okay to get comfortable and confident in what you know, but remember you're going to encounter new things. @14:01
  • Build out your manager crew of support, a manager Voltron. @15:19
  • Your Voltron should include people inside your company and people outside your company. @20:13
  • Manager dens- where you can experience coaching, mentoring, and a safe space, Vegas rules session. @23:57
  • Mentoring is sharing advice and perspective; coaching is helping someone come to their own conclusions. @25:56
  • Coaching is what helps people grow. @26:26
  • What are you optimizing for? @30:24
  • Resilient management has to do with making sure your bucket of energy is healthy. @35:01
  • When thinking about being cut out for management, it's about given the context, responsibility, and people you work with, does this work for you? @36:52
  • Showing is better than telling. @39:41

 

Links:

Compassionate Coding with April Wensel

Compassionate Coding with April Wensel

December 5, 2019

Are you compassionate? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, April Wensel discuss compassion in technology and how it affects people. April shares how to become more compassionate as individuals and how we can bring more compassion into our organizations. Dive in to learn about a more compassionate future.

 

Show Notes

  • Compassion is about reducing suffering. @1:09​
  • Compassion is what's missing in technology. @1:22
  • Emotional intelligence ties into compassion. @4:36
  • We're all hardwired for cruelty and compassion- it's our choice which we choose as humans. @5:44
  • Everyone has the potential to practice compassion in daily life. @6:25
  • To practice compassion, you must have empathy. @7:48
  • Curiosity and inquiry are risks worth taking to show compassion. @8:23
  • The four pillars of being a compassionate coder are compassion with yourself, with your coding and non-coding coworkers, with users, and with society. @11:58
  • Organizations contribute to keeping uncompassionate patterns in place (higher pay and special treatment for coders for example). @18:01
  • Everybody has the capacity to develop compassion; it's about how we direct our energy, time, and effort. @21:29
  • Pausing, or taking a beat, to think is often the beginning of compassion. @25:20
  • You need to operate at human speeds rather than machine speeds to be compassionate. @26:53
  • Environments and working culture need to change in order to allow more compassion. @27:28
  • Burnout is an indicator that there's been a lack of compassion somewhere in the organization. @27:48
  • Compassion  is important in all relationships, especially with power dynamics. @28:53
  • Open up to build relationships and communicate to learn what others are thinking and actually going through, instead of making snap judgments. @32:48

Links:

Finding Your Balance with Camille Fournier

Finding Your Balance with Camille Fournier

November 28, 2019

In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Camille Fournier discuss some points from her book, The Manager's Path. They discuss the importance of time management and how to effectively manage employee turnover in a leadership role. 

 

Show Notes

  • A day in the life of a manager varies, but it is a lot of meetings. @3:58​
  • As a manager, you have to be on for all the hours you are in. @5:07
  • It's important to make time for your "thinking time." @7:14
  • The big problems are the intersection of technology and people. @10:24
  • You need a strategy to keep your team focused on the important things. @12:07
  • Learn how to balance a team's time between basic maintenance work and new things. @14:09
  • Different managers track time and work in different ways. @19:06
  • Look for disengagement as a sign that someone is fixing to leave. @20:37
  • When you notice a difference in a team member's engagement, address their concerns early. @22:41
  • "Money is rarely the first straw, but it's usually the last straw." @23:54
  • Employee retention and hiring retention is one of the most important things you have to do as a manager. @24:56
  • When someone leaves, there should be a conversation between upper management and that person's manager. @25:51
  • Internal mobility is a great way to keep employees at a company. @29:10

 

Links:

My Mission

My Mission

November 21, 2019

Have you ever wondered why am I doing this? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus discusses his vision for the future and how we can work together to change it. Are you with me?

Show Notes

  • Consider your why and get on board with mine. @4:02​
  • I want to create a future that's more productive and more valuable. @5:09
  • This future will have lower turnover and higher productivity. @5:58
  • Small ideas have to start somewhere and they grow. @6:53
  • Bad management and leadership comes from somewhere above you with expectations that came into the company a long time ago. @7:43
  • I feel small with a big idea and I need your help. @8:12
  • Breaking old habits is hard, but it can start with us. @9:02
  • Why do I do this podcast? @9:21
  • Why do I write? @9:34
  • Why do I speak at conferences? @9:52
  • My book is coming out in March. @10:55

 Links:

Conflict: Uncomfortable, Yet Necessary with Jennifer Jones-Patulli

Conflict: Uncomfortable, Yet Necessary with Jennifer Jones-Patulli

November 14, 2019

Episode Description

Is conflict always a bad thing? In this episode of Programming Leadership, Marcus and his guest, Jennifer Jones-Patulli, discuss how people tend to think about conflict and how they handle it. Jennifer provides insight and tools to use as leaders to help handle conflict situations within an organization and among staff. Conflict may be uncomfortable, but it is not always bad. 

Show Notes

  • Fight, flight, or freeze reactions
  • Cultures approach conflict differently
  • Conflict is not a problem but can become a problem
  • Time pressure plays into how people handle conflict
  • People have different triggers that increase their heart rate and it’s important to know your triggers
  • Scale and interdependent pairs
  • Tactical vs. strategic
  • Leaders should have an awareness of how to handle conflict
  • Pattern spotting questions
  • Tension provokes uncertainty which can then change dynamics of individuals or even teams 

Links: