Working Modes

Archetypes of working relationships I tend to thrive in

I would be lying if I said I didn't love to work. Within different teams and orgs, these are the patterns that have lent to my best work.

Mind melding equals

Between 2-3 people. Texting at weird hours, constant exchange of ideas until becoming “two frontends on the same backend”

  • Life consuming. Comes with or after deep friendship

High context, independent equals

Usually between 3-4 people, but I love a good trio.

  • Mind meld happens over a couple of days, through stringed hangouts/activities or a conference.
  • May not meet often but incredibly generative when you do. Ideally, spending enough time together for bits to form. They may not have context on the rest of your life, but have deep expertise in their respective fields and great principled thinking that can be applied across disciplines
  • Each person is quite different. Jokingly, a bit like a cartoon character adventure team.

Mentor <> mentee (where I am mentee)

When working 1:1 with someone that knows much more than me

  • Learning in close proximity as a shadow until they trust my execution
  • Working up the ladder of responsibility to be their replacement/complement, much preferred to climbing up ambiguous organizational ladders.
  • COS-esque in non-technical, apprentice-esque in technical roles.

Expecter <> executor (where I am either)

When working 1:1 with a teammate

  • Expecter has goal they want to achieve, they set end constraints and let executor run wild
  • Fast response times on questions
  • Synchronous calls to speed unblock, asynchronous work otherwise
  • Typically towards a discrete product launch or final demo. Time bounded

Leader <> team, short term (where I am leader)

When leading teams during sprint work blocks

  • Using pre-readings, using writing and diagrams to develop shared context
  • Concentrated, synchronous short bursts, ideally in person
  • If creative brainstorming, silent write/doing -> then sharing

Leader <> team, long term (where I am leader)

When leading teams, over the duration of the team's lifespan

  • Extremely careful recruiting, ideally placing people in roles where we can draw out their superpowers
  • Growth partially motivated by wanting to create something worth their time and effort
  • Setting strategic direction and sharing to ~5 high autonomy people that help carry it out
  • Me having the personal skill to to zoom in and work on each “subsystem” at any time, but trusting the respective leads
  • Default open culture, consistent writing, and clear logistics to focus on the important things.
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