Over the course of my tenure at GitLab, I've bootstrapped and onboarded a number of teams. Currently serving in the role of a Director of Platform Infrastructure.
I was the first engineer working on tasks related to GitLab installation and as GitLab grew, so did the need to impact wider scope increase.
As I build a team, the first task I tackle is to ensure that my teams have a clear mission and vision. The handbook page for each team is the single source of truth for that team, and if the information is not discoverable on the team page, it can be considered as not important.
Between enabling every team member to do their jobs the best they can, engineering tasks and hiring, my work day is a stream of context switching.
To ensure that I can stay on top of my tasks, I use bullet journaling combined with my Remarkable2 tablet. I finish each day by writing the list of tasks that need to be completed the next day. I start each work day by cross checking my weekly and monthly plan with the daily list I created the day before to prioritise the order of tasks I am aiming to complete on that day. This ensures that I do the highest priority items on the short term, while aligning with the mid to long term set of tasks. This approach also allows me to question whether the long term plan is good for the current state of affairs.
I hold weekly 1-1s with all my direct reports, and monthly 1-1s with all my indirect reports. Most common call duration is 30 minutes but this vastly depends on the individual report. In all cases, I find it acceptable when the meetings are both shorter and longer, but I dislike skipping these calls.
I've found that important information gets lost when 1-1s are skipped because the smallest, most insignificant looking "btw" often can save a lot of time and effort down the line. I don't often quote other people so I won't do that now too, but I'll just say that High Output Management - Andrew Grove is very often right in my opinion.
My 1-1s do have some structure, but only as a guideline in case people are not inspired (which can often be the case when you have the same type of call every week, or when the calls are far apart).
The structure consists of:
upsetand sometimes oversimplify sentences. I will also say
I don't understandoften when I am having trouble translating what is being said. Please ask for clarification if you encounter this.
My default position is to trust everyone, be it work related or not. To some people I come off as too open and free as I expect people to say when they don't want to share some information or are not in agreement.
At work, I will trust that intentions are good by default. I will often provide feedback if I see something that I find is not beneficial to the company whether that is my job or not. I will provide direct feedback to individuals of all ranks if I observe this type of behaviour.
If I feel that I am repeating my feedback or that my feedback is being misused without raising this directly with me, I tend to react by withdrawing the trust completely. From then on, earning back my trust tends to be a lot of work.
For this reason I ask people working with me to always provide me direct feedback in time, and to react to my feedback timely without holding back.