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Chase Wright's README

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Chase's README

This page was inspired by the book High Growth Handbook.

My name is Chase Wright and I'm the Manager, Corporate FP&A at GitLab.

First of all, I’m really excited to be working with each of you and scaling GitLab together.

OPERATING APPROACH

MANAGEMENT STYLE

Decision Making

I live in the realm of thinking and acting simultaneously. Before proceeding, however, I like to have these questions answered:

I am decisive and rely on common sense and logic, althought that can impair my ability to explore different ways. I take action items really seriously and I expect you to know what yours are, when they are due, and get them done. I don’t like chasing them but I do notice when things slip—it’s fine to renegotiate deadlines but I’ll be annoyed if it’s the day after the deadline….I dislike being caught last-minute with people working hard on something we could have gotten ahead of—please help anticipate big work efforts and let’s be in front of them together. Similarly, I want us to be ruthless in priorities while we are resource-constrained. I need you all sane…and me too. I live by deduction.

Hands-off

I’m not a micro-manager and I won’t sweat your details unless I think things are off track and if I do, I’ll tell you my concern and we can work together to make sure I understand and plan together on how to communicate better or right the situation. That said, when I am new to a project/ team I often get into the work alongside people so I can be a better leader—I will get involved in details and be more hands-on early on in a new initiative and just be warned on that. It’s how I will know how to help if you need me later. I expect you are making decisions a lot without me and if you come to me I’ll usually put it back on you with, “What do you want to do?” or “What should you do?” and just help you decide.

I also want to be kept informed on what you are working on that impact more than a few folks. I don't like being caught off guard on something that my team is working on, but I don't know about. Overcommunicating is better than not.

Data-driven

I like data, coding and analysis. I realize that it can be hard to find answers to hard questions, especially when using data. I also know the shortcomings of disorganized data and tight deadlines. Let's review objectively on what really matters, use data to get insight, then drive action. 95% of the time when researching a question using data, I will surface other business process inefficiencies or learn more about the buisness. Let's focus on the oringial question together, frame a hypothesis and note other business process inefficiencies along the way.

Frugal & Focused

I'm cheap, mostly self taught, and live debt free. What does this have to do with my management style? Hard work takes a while to pay off and trying to solve problems faster with additional expense is, more times than not, not the right answer…..says the finance guy. Let's work hard, stay focused on the end goal, and push distractions away.

Iterative

Which leads me to being iterative. I want to see results, even if they are small. It lets me know that progress is being made and time is being focused on the problems.

Big Picture

I try think where GitLab will be in x years and the most efficient way we can get there, but realize its not always a straight path (i.e. Covid-19). I go back to the questions under the Decision Making point above. If I work on the most important item today, what is it and how will it help GitLab get to where it is going faster? I sometimes over commit and get buried with extra tasks that take away from big picture items. If you see me doing this, tell me to stop :). Some problems seem more interesting at certain points in a time frame.

Customer oriented

I put this last because I think of my key leverage as more about scale than individual customer work, but I’m always interested in sales status, customer issues, customer stories, and meetings with users. I joined GitLab because of the product and was originally a customer. We should always do what is best for the customer.

COMMUNICATION

1:1s

Use 1:1s for items better discussed verbally and items that can wait for our weekly check-in. Email takes a ton of time and are inefficient, so use it wisely. If we have a 1:1, its generally 2-4 times a month.

Email

I only use email when dealing with a customer, candidate, or vendor. I do not prefer it and think it is inefficient. Tasks or to-dos live in GitLab issues. Discussiosn live in 1:1s. Quick communications live in Slack.

Slack

If it’s urgent/impt/timely or super short feel free to Slack me any time. I prefer it always to be in a public channel but realize some questions are best in a private messeage. Do the best you can to fit the question into a public forum. If it’s a long topic and not time sensitive, maybe just wait for our 1:1. Overall, I like more communication rather than less and I like to know what’s going on with you and your team and that helps me do a better job for you. I don’t view that as micromanagement but if you feel like I am too much in the weeds, please tell me. Finally, I don’t believe I will create a lot of email volume and I’ll be the first to recommend we do a quick in-person sync to resolve something versus a long email exchange. Or better yet, you can be the first to recommend it, and I’ll be the second.

I also like plans that are documented. I don’t care if it’s slides or docs or spreadsheets but I expect detailed work has been done when needed and if you have WIP or plans, I love to be included early and often in their development but I’ll generally only weigh in when asked or on final review, even if I have draft access.

Feedback

I like it. I like to give it and I like to receive it, particularly constructive. We’re in this to get better together. We’ll have a quarterly official session but I’ll try to be timely when I observe or hear something and please do the same. I also like to know how and what your team is thinking and feeling and I will do skip levels, office hours, etc. Remember, whatever I hear or see, I have your back and I’ll tell you when I’m concerned. Anyone who vents to me about you is going to get my help to tell you directly.

Management and people

I have a habit about choosing results over personal progress. I care about our time together at GitLab and want what is best for GitLab. However, I understand personal progress, learning, and people make up the company's success. Help me remember that I am here to mentor you, help you grow and get you to where you want to be. It's my responsibility to send the elevator back down.

Results

Let’s create meaningful OKRs that push GitLab to success. Measure measure measure :)

Why So Serious?

Finally, I like to laugh and to have fun with the people I work with. It's a constructive way to vent also.

Do you know something about me that belongs here? Create an issue

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