5 episodes

We share the most critical perspectives, habits & examples of great software engineering leaders to help evolve leadership in the tech industry.

Join our community of software engineering leaders @ www.sfelc.com!

The Engineering Leadership Podcast SFELC

    • Self-Improvement
    • 5.0, 1 Rating

We share the most critical perspectives, habits & examples of great software engineering leaders to help evolve leadership in the tech industry.

Join our community of software engineering leaders @ www.sfelc.com!

    Leadership Principles for Remote Teams (and All) with Jason Warner, CTO @ Github #5

    Leadership Principles for Remote Teams (and All) with Jason Warner, CTO @ Github #5

    Jason Warner (@jasoncwarner), CTO @ Github shares management principles fundamental to how he leads remote engineering teams. He shares how he scales his leadership by applying the right tools and frameworks for effective communication. Jason also shares structures and strategies he applies to build & maintain trust throughout an organization.

    “Every leader in an organization should make THE SET of decisions that ONLY they can make. And then delegate all the other ones.

    And the only way that you can do that is if everyone is empowered to make the right decisions with the right context, and you have invested ahead of time and trained the neural net of the organization to make those appropriate decisions well.” - Jason Warner

    Jason oversees the Office of the CTO, whose mission is to explore the unknown and non-existent aspects of technology and software in order to build a map of GitHub’s future. He oversees over 704 engineers, 85% of whom operate remotely. He was previously Senior VP of Technology at GitHub, where he played an integral role in scaling the Engineering, Product, and Security Teams, and built GitHub’s product roadmap.

    He’s been the leader of fully distributed companies for the last 10 years. Prior to GitHub, Jason was VP of Engineering at Heroku. He oversaw Product Engineering for Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Phone at Canonical.

    He’s also a member of the Advisory Board of INNOVATE Ohio - reporting to the Lt. Governor advising policy decisions that impact growth in technology and aim to make Ohio the most INNOVATIVE state in the country in the next 5 years.

    RESOURCES


    The Art of Simple Sabotage


    SHOW NOTES


    Why challenges with trust, communication, and engagement are NOT unique to remote teams. (2:34)
    The differences between building trust in remote and co-located teams. (4:22)
    Why micromanaging is the easiest way to cause breakdowns, destroy productivity and negatively affect morale. (6:07)
    Jason’s biggest fear as a leader and the fundamentals he uses to scale leadership. (9:36)
    Structures for effective communication at different scales. (12:39)
    Early signs of mistrust and how to easily measure the health of an organization(14:58)
    How you can use “organizational canaries” to get unfiltered feedback (19:46)
    How to maintain trust & avoid destroying relationships. (24:13)
    Effective executive communication using the “V-shaped” pathway. (27:18)
    Examples of how to measure gaps in your communication feedback loops. (31:46)
    How to turn concepts of healthy communication into mechanisms in your team. (34:40)
    Signs of bad communication and you can overcome them. (37:10)
    How to train your organization to make better decisions when you’re not in the room (41:17)
    Why you should prioritize tools for asynchronous communication and institutional memory (43:45)
    How you can increase the fidelity of your communication. (46:56)
    Frameworks to think about team engagement. (51:53)
    Why Jason believes the role of in-person communication will diminish over time. (57:58)
    Two actions you can take IMMEDIATELY to improve hiring for your remote team. (1:03:03)
    Back pain as a metaphor for addressing the root issues in your organization. (1:07:21)
    Jason’s greatest joy as an engineering leader. (1:12:35)

    Want to get involved with our community of engineering leaders? Check us out at sfelc.com

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    • 1 hr 15 min
    The Meaning Revolution with Fred Kofman Advisor, Leadership Development @ Google #4

    The Meaning Revolution with Fred Kofman Advisor, Leadership Development @ Google #4

    The hardest business problem has a soft solution. Scientists and engineers display a (well-deserved) skepticism toward touchy-feely ideas such as leadership. Fred shows there's a very technical way to understand why most organizations, from couples to multinational corporations, die a premature death... and what can be done to extend their lifespan.

    FRED KOFMAN - Advisor, VP of Leadership Development @ Google (@fredkofman)

    “No gun in the world can get your best. No incentive can get your best. You can only give your best because you want to. It’s not contractible. And that’s the difference between leadership and management for me. Leadership is about eliciting internal commitment. You do it because it comes from the inside.” - Fred Kofman

    Fred Kofman earned his PhD. in Economics from the UC Berkeley, is Google’s Vice President and advisor of leadership, a director of the Conscious Leadership Center at the Monterrey Institute of Technology, & a founder and president of the Conscious Business Center International. Previously, he was a VP of Executive Development at LinkedIn & a co-founder of Axialent, a global consulting company that has delivered leadership programs to more than 15,000 executives around the world.

    Fred is the author of the trilogy Metamanagement ('01), Conscious Business ('06) and The Meaning Revolution: The Power of Transcendent Leadership ('18). Since 1990, Fred has designed and facilitated programs on leadership, personal mastery, team learning, organizational effectiveness and coaching for thousands of executives, and consultants worldwide. His book, Conscious Business, has been translated to more than ten languages, received numerous awards and was recently named by Sheryl Sandberg in her New York Times interview as "the business book every executive should read"

    RESOURCES

    Meaning Revolution

    Conscious Business


    SHOW NOTES


    You don’t know your job. (3:24)

    Why you’re wrong, how this organizational disease works and kills your organization (8:49).

    Looking at the whole organizational system vs. the parts. (10:54)

    The problem you can not avoid. (13:54)

    Why doing your job may be hazardous to your career. (16:08)

    Why we’re screwed - the two issues in economics of information. (18:54)

    Issues with decentralization vs centralization of the system. (26:50)

    So we’re screwed... but here’s the solution. (33:20)

    The assumptions you need to change. (35:16)

    What makes you give your best effort. (36:44)

    The two tools incentivizing people’s best. (40:54)

    The absolute human need. (42:57)

    Q & A. (47:35)


    Want to get involved with our community of engineering leaders? Check us out at sfelc.com. 
    We're working on a number of interesting projects to continue to empower engineering leaders. Join us at sfelc.com to be included in updates with our content, events, and all other new opportunities we’re creating!

    Learned something impactful? Have an idea to improve our show? We'd love to hear your insights and feedback! ... Send us a message at hello@sfelc.com

    If you enjoyed this or found it impactful, share the episode with someone who might find it meaningful!


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    • 54 min
    Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies with Reid Hoffman Co-Founder of LinkedIn, Partner @ Greylock & Sarah Guo, General Partner @ Greylock Partners #3

    Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies with Reid Hoffman Co-Founder of LinkedIn, Partner @ Greylock & Sarah Guo, General Partner @ Greylock Partners #3

    In an interview between Reid Hoffman and Sarah Guo, they discuss “Blitzscaling” and how companies achieve massive scale at incredible speed. Reid shares insights and lessons on how to prioritize speed and efficiency in an environment of uncertainty, the benefits of intense collaboration found in Silicon Valley, and non-obvious rules needed to succeed.

    REID HOFFMAN - Co-Founder of LinkedIn, Partner @ Greylock Partners (@reidhoffman)

    “Part of the secret and the thing that’s great about Silicon Valley is that, while we compete intensely, we also collaborate intensely.” - Reid Hoffman

    An accomplished entrepreneur, executive, and investor, Reid Hoffman has played an integral role in building many of today’s leading consumer technology businesses including co-founding PayPal & LinkedIn. 

    In '09 he joined Greylock Partners where he serves on the boards of Airbnb, Apollo Fusion, Aurora, Coda, Convoy, Entrepreneur First, Gixo, Microsoft, Nauto, Xapo. In addition, he serves on a number of not-for-profit boards, including Kiva, Endeavor, CZI Biohub, & Do Something. He is the host of the podcast Masters of Scale, co-author of two New York Times best-selling books: The Start-Up of You & The Alliance. His new book is Blitzscaling, based on his Stanford course. 

    SARAH GUO - General Partner @ Greylock Partners (@saranormous) 

    Sarah joined Greylock Partners as an investor in '13 and focused on B2B apps & infrastructure.

    Prior, she was at Goldman Sachs, where she invested in growth-stage tech startups like Dropbox & advised pre-IPO tech companies like Workday as well as public clients like Zynga, Netflix & Nvidia.

    RESOURCES


    Greylock
    Blitzscaling: The Lightning Fast Path to Creating Massively Valuable Companies
    Masters of Scale Podcast

    SHOW NOTES


    Discovering the “secret sauce” to Silicon Valley and discovering “Blitzscaling”

    Defining the framework of “Blitzscaling.” (7:30)

    The OODA Loop. (8:27)

    Reid’s first insight to Blitzscaling at PayPal when they were compounding at 2-5% daily user growth. (9:10)
    Do rapidly scaling companies ever stop Blitzscaling? (12:29)

    The dynamics of prioritizing speed over efficiency in the face of uncertainty. (14:05)

    Why Reid chose collaboration and to publicly share the “secret sauce” to Silicon Valley. (16:26)

    What Reid’s learned about rapid scaling from his portfolio at Greylock. (18:25)

    How Blitzscaling applies to different company scales. (20:52)

    Where Blitzscaling goes bad. (22:40)

    How Blitzscaling applies to technical leaders. (24:16)

    Facebook’s example emphasizing speed at different scales. (27:09)

    How to make decisions when you don’t have full data or an opinionated team. (28:49)

    Reid’s three non-obvious rules of management. (31:17)

    How do you get your team comfortable “embracing chaos.” (34:13)

    How do you think about product development when scaling fast? (36:24)

    How Blitzscaling accounts for the “tech-lash,” the changing cultural perception of Silicon Valley, and perceived obsession with speed over accountability. (38:06)

    How Blitzscaling applies to deeply technical problems with a long time-horizon. (40:09)

    Get involved at sfelc.com!


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    • 45 min
    Managing Creative Teams with James Everingham, Head of Engineering, Calibra @ Facebook #2

    Managing Creative Teams with James Everingham, Head of Engineering, Calibra @ Facebook #2

    Facebook’s James Everingham shares about his early leadership and management experiences and the secrets he learned from quantum mechanics to manage creative teams. You’ll hear insights about how to unleash creativity by focusing on outcomes and environments instead of process and key differences between optimizing for efficiency and invention.

    James Everingham - Head of Engineering, Calibra @ Facebook (@jevering)

    “His approach was just to start collecting, recruiting, the smartest scientists he could find, and tell them what the end result needed to be. He trusted them to just go figure it out.” -James Everingham

    James is an engineering leader at Facebook. Previously, James was the Head of Engineering at Instagram. Throughout his 35-year career as a manager, entrepreneur and technology developer, James has led many world-class engineering teams. At Yahoo he was Vice President of Engineering for Yahoo media properties after the company acquired Luminate, an interactive image technology company which he founded.

    Some of his other previous roles include CTO and founding team member of LiveOps, Senior Director of Engineering at Tellme (acquired by Microsoft) and Senior Director of Engineering at Netscape Communications where he was responsible for the flagship Netscape browser. Before joining Netscape, James held engineering and management positions at Oracle and Borland International.

    SHOW NOTES

    James’ early introduction to management at Penn State & Borland. (4:14)

    What managing creative teams and quantum mechanics have in common. (8:33)

    A simple explanation of Classical physics and quantum mechanics. (9:19)

    Henry Ford and classical management. (10:25)

    Robert J. Oppenheimer and “quantum management.” (11:12)

    The distinction between classical and quantum managers. (13:33)

    Other examples of quantum managers. (15:06)

    The observer effect. (16:19)

    Translating the principle of “superposition” into management. (18:42)

    Quantum entanglement, “spooky action at a distance”. (22:37)

    Creating positive “entanglements” and “spooky management at a distance” in your teams using reciprocity, empathy, and camaraderie. (23:09)

    How to get better results for yourself using feedback. (25:29)


    Want to get involved with our community of engineering leaders? Check us out at sfelc.com. We’re working on a number of interesting projects to continue to empower engineering leaders.  Join us at sfelc.com to be included in updates with our content, events, and all other new opportunities we’re creating!

    Learned something impactful? Have an idea to improve our show? We’d love to hear your insights and feedback! … Send us a message at hello@sfelc.com!

    If you enjoyed this or found it impactful, share the episode with someone who might find it meaningful!


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    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/engineeringleadership/message

    • 28 min
    Mastering Difficult Conversations With Sarah Clatterbuck, Director of Engineering @ Google #1

    Mastering Difficult Conversations With Sarah Clatterbuck, Director of Engineering @ Google #1

    Difficult conversations for engineering leaders range from telling someone they have lettuce in their teeth to delivering life-changing bad news. Learn to level-up your ability to handle difficult conversations with a few techniques, practice and hopefully a little humor from Sarah Clatterbuck's personal experiences.

    SARAH CLATTERBUCK - Director of Engineering, YouTube @ Google  (@girodchatterbox)

    "Your discomfort is less important than your colleague's embarrassment" - Sarah Clatterbuck

    Sarah Clatterbuck joined Google in 2018. She currently leads four teams focused on Alternative Monetization for YouTube Creators. Prior to joining Google, she was a Sr. Director of Engineering at Linkedin focused on Application Infrastructure. She previously held roles at Yahoo! and Apple while progressing in leadership ranks. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of San Francisco and her graduate degree from San Jose State University. She is passionate about getting girls interested in technology and from 2013 until 2018, she served on the board of Girl Scouts of Northern California, leading the board STEM task group.

    SHOW NOTES

    Where engineering leaders are woefully ill-prepared. (3:40)

    Level One: Awkward conversations. (5:46)

    The self-talk, script & power-up tips. (7:24)

    Level Two: Addressing Misalignment. (8:46)

    Level Three: The Apology… (11:41)

    Next Level: Delivering Feedback - Sarah’s most effective 3-part script. (14:37)

    The Last Level: The Agonizing Conversation - delivering news with a significant negative impact. (17:29)

    Suggestions to get team members to express themselves when uncomfortable. (21:34)

    How to talk to someone who doesn’t admit to faults, performance problems or passes blame. (22:43)


    Want to get involved with our community of engineering leaders? Check us out at sfelc.com. We’re working on a number of interesting projects to continue to empower engineering leaders.  Join us at sfelc.com to be included in updates with our content, events, and all other new opportunities we’re creating! 

    Learned something impactful? Have an idea to improve our show? We’d love to hear your insights and feedback! … Send us a message at hello@sfelc.com! 

    If you enjoyed this or found it impactful, share the episode with someone who might find it meaningful!


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/engineeringleadership/message

    • 25 min

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