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Lyle Kozloff's README

My Job

My job is to clear obstacles, set context, and build process. In general: to make your (work) life easier, clearer and less stressful.

More, I have the privilege of helping you get better at things. I do this by helping you set goals, providing feedback and acting as a voice of accountability.

My Availability

Precious few things are more important than talking to you if you want to talk to me. If you need to talk, let's talk. I'm here to enable your success - use me for that.

I snooze my Slack notifications when I'm not available. If you think of something at 2 a.m. it's 100% okay to send me a message. I expect that you will also control your notifications.

Nothing on my calendar is urgent unless specifically noted as such.

Communication preferences

  1. GitLab: I'm very responsive on GitLab issues when pinged, and have notifications turned on for most trackers in gitlab-com/support.
  2. Slack: I prefer Slack for most short interactions and questions. Avoid private messages when you can. As of Feb 2020, I started experimenting with a public channel #mgr_spt-eng-amer-w. If you're in it, and there's been no new messages for >30 days, please ping me to remove this sentence from my readme.
  3. Zoom: As noted above, I'm always available for a video call.
  4. Email: Email is my notification channel. I've sent less than 500 emails and received more than 40,000 in the 2+ years between Jan 2018 and Feb 2020. Nearly all of those emails were to people outside of GitLab.
  5. Phone: I have a phone, but often reject or screen calls from unknown numbers. This isn't the best way to get in touch.

Other meetings

I'm open to ad-hoc meetings with anyone who wants to chat - whether you're in my department but report to someone else, or in a totally different department.

My Assumptions

Greatest Strengths / Greatest Weakenesses

I'm a collaborative leader and accept input readily. At its best, this means you'll feel empowered. At its worst it means that you'll feel like I don't have a vision for what I want.

I reprioritize constantly. At its best, this means that important and impactful things get done quickly. At its worst, it means that I miss a deliverable that you were waiting on from me.

I operate my teams with a high degree of trust: At its best, this means that you are free to prioritize the tasks that you feel are the most impactful. At its worst this means you may feel like I don't care what you're working on.

I try and protect my teams from crappy work by doing it myself: At its best, you'll be shielded from the small, annoying tasks that crop up. At its worst, I'll be drowning in these tasks and I'll ask you to do something that's (at best) half-done and probably overdue.

Your development

From the time you were very little, you've had people who have smiled you into smiling, people who have talked you into talking, sung you into singing, loved you into loving.

Fred Rogers

One of the best ways to learn is to have excellence modeled and to copy it. Therefore:

I want to help you grow. I can / will / have:

Your development as a leader

One of the most important pieces of my job is to help you grow as a leader. Some of you may be people leaders, some of you may lead as individual contributors - but your ability to influence decisions will be a determining factor you in your immediate and future success. I will do my best to lend strength to your voice, and help your ideas find their way into results.


As with most managers, feedback is an area that I never feel like I give enough of. If you're looking for feedback and I'm not offering it, it means I think that you're doing just fine.

I do look for opportunities to compliment wins, but I miss things. If you're proud of something, please bring it up!

If you're not getting feedback and you want some, please ask for feedback in a specific area:

This will help me give clear, timely feedback that will make a difference instead of a bumbling "You're doing great!"

Behaviours I value:

Feedback for me

Like you, I rely on feedback to improve. If you feel there is something I could do better, please tell me! If I get salty, defensive or react negatively: call me on it.

If you don't feel comfortable addressing this with me directly, please tell my boss.

1<>1 Meetings

This is your meeting and your time: you set the agenda and determine what we talk about. My most effective 1:1s have an agenda that builds up through the week, but I've had some really great free-form ones as well. Don't feel bad if you don't come with something prepared.

If we don't have anything on the agenda, please expect me to try and get to know you better.

If you're struggling for topics, please include items that you've worked on this week.

I like hearing about situations in your week because:

Don't save urgent matters for a 1-1

Strength of Feeling Scale

Somtimes I'll express an opinion with a strength qualifier. The scale is 1-10. 1 - Strongly opposed 5 - True Neutral 10 - Strongly for

Confusingly, I may be strongly for a negative. For example: "No, I'm like a 9 against that." Strictly following my own system, I should say "2"… but I think it's more easily understood phrased like that.


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