Writing, to keep my coffee consumption in check

Winter and early spring in the Pacific Northwest are notoriously wet and gloomy and it is not surprising that Seattelites tend to over-consume caffeine, just to stay awake. As I pondered on my own caffeine consumption the other day, it dawned on me that most of my trips to the coffeeshop are to meet with someone and consuming coffee is just a by-product. I realized that every week I end up having multiple meetings with colleagues, friends and other connections who are going through a management challenge or career transition and want some advice.

I’ve benefitted from many people helping me along the way and am usually happy to meet and chat. However, this has become a non-trivial time commitment and one that doesn’t scale very well. A friend encouraged me to write about some of the most common scenarios that emerge, so at least I’ll be able to share my insights with more than one person at the time.

So, here we are: this is my new experiment to write, share and cut back on my coffee consumption. My intent is do a post every Monday morning on a topic related to a management challenge, work best practice or career transition. The topics are inspired by real conversations I’ve had with folks around me, as well as based on my own struggles and lessons I’ve learned along the way. While some of the advice may be general, the posts are targeted to professionals in the tech industry.

I’ve worked in tech for the better part of two decades, in a variety of roles from individual contributor to executive to consultant and most recently, entrepreneur. I’ve worked solo, in small startups, in high-growth and in large companies. I’ve mentored, advised, taught, managed large teams across four continents, hired and fired, interviewed over a thousand people, scaled up teams, gone through downsizing, invested in early-stage startups, and started a couple of companies. In addition to my own experiences, I have those of many close professional relations that I’ve observed and learned from. I’m hoping to digest all of that knowledge and experience into nuggets that would benefit others.

Below are some of the topics I’m thinking of writing about. I’d love to hear your feedback — which ones are you excited to read about? What else should I cover? What should my first post be about?

So, if you’re curious to see how my little experiment unfolds, follow me on Medium and check back on Monday mornings :-)

  1. How to choose among great multiple job offer
  2. Best practices on how to get your dream job
  3. Leaving the corporate world to be an independent worker (e.g., consultant, entrepreneur)
  4. Advice for first-time managers who have to lead their previous peers
  5. Advice to engineers transitioning into Product Management
  6. Interview best practices [on both sides]
  7. So you’re thinking of starting a company but you have no brilliant idea?
  8. Tips for finding life balance when you’re in a highly demanding job
  9. Common death traps of middle management
  10. How to be an effective manager when you’re the least knowledgeable person on the team (from a domain perspective)
  11. What does team diversity really mean?
  12. You don’t like your boss, should you leave your job?
  13. Your boss doesn’t like you, should you leave your job?
  14. Your peer got promoted over (and instead of) you; what should you do?
  15. What can you do outside of your job to grow professionally?
  16. Should you do an MBA?
  17. How to stay in synch with your direct reports — tips for effective 1:1s, group meetings and virtual communication
  18. How to evaluate the performance of individual contributors vs. managers
  19. You want to give back but you’re too busy or you don’t know how
  20. How to deliver a bad review (management advice)
  21. How to fire someone (management advice)
  22. What to do when you have to lay off good workers
  23. My (unexpected) advice for women in tech
  24. Tips for effective, respectful and productive networking
  25. Managing a team across borders and timezones
One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.