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My Leadership User Manual

Here’s a window into my own wiring as a colleague and a leader.
Updated:
15 August 2021

I put this out here as a communication tool for my teams and as a learning process for me. This is my way of leading “out loud.” I update this as time goes on because I am and I always aim to be a work-in-progress.

My Personal Values

These are the threads that I pull through all aspects of my life.
Integrity
I am honest and trustworthy in my dealings with others.
I hold myself to a high standard even when others aren’t watching.
I need to believe in the work that I commit to.
Creativity
I’m a dot-connector.
I value execution and practicality.
I work to bring clarity and simplicity to complex situations.
I push for ways to make things as simple as possible without compromising quality.
I enjoy bringing ideas to reality.
Imagination
I’m curious.
I’m inventive.
I’m a visionary thinker.
I spend time thinking about things in new ways.
I’m a futurist and enjoy playing out an idea through world building and thought experiments.
Balance
I am very aware of how and where I spend my time.
I protect the time I need to foster all the pillars and roles of my life.
I believe that paying attention to all aspects of one’s self improves other areas of focus.

My Style

I speak in metaphors. A lot.
I lead with vision, empathy and trust.
I’m hard-wired as an entrepreneur.
I’m very results-oriented. I thrive on setting, tracking and achieving goals. I will question an activity’s usefulness if it’s not clear to what end the activity will serve.
I am a big-picture person who is adept as spotting patterns and connections in large, complex systems.
I move between strategy and execution quickly; I’ll jump between the two pretty regularly to gain clarity and maintain momentum when things become ambiguous.
We can learn a lot by doing. Once we’ve roughed out a plan, let’s go. We can clear up questions through experimentation once we get moving.
I’m comfortable with receiving feedback. I’ll ask for specifics if none are given because it helps to make the notes concrete.
I operate with a high degree of tact and diplomacy and have been credited repeatedly with having strong emotional intelligence. It’s important for me to understand the different points of view in a critical or difficult conversation before trying to move things to conclusion.
I’m determined to be focused. I see my technology as tools. I do not open my computer until I’ve written down what I intend to accomplish for the day. I don’t open up my email until I’ve nailed down my priorities. I turn off notifications.

What I Value

I value people who understand the difference between important and urgent, and who know how to move the majority of their time to be spent on the former.
Candor and decisiveness. I would rather we make a call and change it quickly later when we have more information instead of being stuck waiting to have all the answers before taking the first step.
I respect people who have the right blend of confidence and humility. They know when to question someone (including the boss) and when to defer to another person’s expertise.
I’m aware of my blind spots and look to work with people who bring strengths to the table that I do not have. I respect others who do the same.

How Best to Communicate With Me

Talk to me about something “meaty.” I’m trying to get better at small talk, but it’s a work in progress.
Send something to me ahead of time if you want my feedback. I need to get mentally organized on a topic or design before discussing it.
Show me; don’t just tell me.
Give it to me straight. Don’t avoid a tough conversation. Be clear and crisp. It shows me that you care about the working relationship, and that you respect and value our time.
If you want my thoughts on something, get specific.

Things I Have Little Patience For

I abhor backchannel communication and gossip. It’s toxic. I won’t participate in it.
I have very little time for folks who build themselves up by tearing others down. Don’t be a jerk.
I default to trust, but if that trust is broken it will take time to rebuild. Ways to lose my trust: not following through on what you say; opportunists who throw principles out the window; treating others with disrespect.
Entitlement. We’re all on the same team and we are lucky to do the work we do. Work hard, be nice and things will usually work themselves out.

How to Help Me

Tell me what I need to know, not what you think I want to hear.
I can move pretty quickly and can miss catching the little details. I appreciate help in catching important details that I may have missed, and flagging something that needs more attention or consideration.

What People Might Misunderstand About Me

I speak with conviction, but I’m not set in my thinking. I'm open-minded and happy to be shown a better way. I do make decisions quickly, but if you give me insight or data that points in another direction, I’ll happily change course.
I’m an more of an introvert, but can come off as an extrovert. Don’t confuse my occasional shift to work alone with being disengaged. Ping me or reach out. My door is always open.
I listen more than I speak in group meetings. It’s another example of where I could come off as disengaged. It’s quite the opposite—this is me learning.

Other Stuff

Meyers Briggs:
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