Charity Majors @mipsytipsy CTO @honeycombio, ex-Parse, Facebook, Linden Lab; cowrote Database Reliability Engineering; loves whiskey, rainbows. I test in production and so do you. 🌈🖤 Sep. 10, 2019 1 min read

11-12) are... thought provoking. Not sure if meant to be read as mutually exclusive -- must you be an an IC to be a leader? -- but it definitely resonates with me. Hmm. Processing.

For example, I have, I think, the skills to be a good people manager. Yet over the past 3.5 years, I have not managed my direct reports well for many lengths of time.

Why? Because my head was tied up in visionary mode or persuasion mode or find-a-lever-to-move-the-world mode.

I trusted my reports to be okay and run things in the shade of my benevolent neglect. I trusted that we had systems to surface problems to me and snap me out if needed.

It didn't work flawlessly. But I didn't really have a choice. If I understand, you're saying the same here,

which is that leading and managing are two intensely different and non-overlapping modes of existing.

To me they almost feel like measures of proximity in time and/or space? Like, to use a camping metaphor,

manager brain would be right in the center of camp, making sure people know how to pitch a tent & start fires,

leadership brain would be roaming the woods restlessly finding the right destination, making sure it's safe, then returning to tell everyone how wonderful it is

I hate camping, so forgive the metaphor. Point being, your brain -- or at least my brain -- can't switch back and forth between the present/detailed and the future/aspirational that quickly or easily.

They are modes to inhabit for days if not weeks. And agree, best done by ICs

Unless you have extremely self sufficient, experienced direct reports who can handle anything, like mine. 😘😘😘. (Emily is already groaning and rolling her eyes).


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