{ Josh Rendek }

<3 Go & Kubernetes


External Career Guides

Developer Experience

One on Ones

Why do we do 1:1s?

The Goal The Purpose
Build trusting relationships between team leads and engineers So team leads can support the engineers, and the engineers know better the person who cares about them and has their back
A safe place to discuss sensitive and private issues or provide personal feedback So engineers can talk about personal life issues that may affect their work, and so team leads can provide specific feedback to the engineer to help them grow their career or get through struggle areas that are holding back their success
Discuss and work on career development plans So engineers can set goals for themselves and have a partner who helps them achieve these goals
Team reflections and engineer happiness So engineers have a private way to ask for help with team related issues like conflicts with other team members, loss of autonomy or motivation, low morale, boring work and process issues
Discuss product vision and direction So engineers can get support from their team lead to affect the product in ways that they believe is important to them and may be at odds with the PO’s vision or the rest of the team’s members


  1. Take transparent notes - shared google 1:1 docs are great
  2. Share bullet points to talk about in advance
  3. 24 hours or so before the meeting, email the employee a list of what you’d like to cover. Try to do a split between strategic, tactical and personal items and always ask your employee what they want to cover too. For efficiency, let them know if you need them to bring/read/do something before the meeting.
  4. What can we do to make your life easier? More productive?
  5. Be on time
  6. Follow up on action items
  7. What needs do they have?
  8. Commit to saying one awkward thing every 1:1
  9. Emotions
    1. What topics do I seem to avoid that you want to talk about?
    2. Fears of projects/upcoming work? Share own
    3. Share feedback good/bad
    4. What is no one telling them? (mustard on face)
  10. Be humble
    1. Talk about a growth area your working on and ask for advice
    2. What have I complained about recently? Ask for advice on what you could've done better
    3. Admit faults/mistakes, ask for advice


  1. Don't make it a status update
  2. Don't cancel, reschedule immediately
    1. power dynamic at work here - they will inherently say yes / resent it
  3. Avoid generic questions
    1. "Hows it going?" "Hows work going?"
      1. Ask: "Hows life?" – be more open
    2. "How can I help you?", instead ( https://m.signalvnoise.com/the-4-questions-you-should-stop-asking-during-your-one-on-one-meetings/ )
      1. Suggest something you think you can be doing to help. Then ask, “What do you think?” For example: “I was thinking I’m being too hands-on on this project. Should I back off and check-in with you only bi-weekly? What do you think?” By being targeted in what you suggest — and suggesting it yourself — you make it easier for that person to share the exact ways in which you can support them. You help your employees by suggesting what you think you can do to help, first.
  4. Don't talk about any topic you could discuss out in the open among peers
  5. Don't focus on things you can discuss over chat quickly (like a specific jira)
  6. Don't react to bad feedback

Career Growth Areas

  1. https://speakerdeck.com/orenellenbogen/1-1-basics-for-the-introvert-engineering-manager?slide=25
  2. https://getlighthouse.com/blog/what-are-your-career-goals/
  3. https://blog.kevinlamping.com/coaches-not-managers/
  4. https://getlighthouse.com/blog/what-are-your-career-goals/
  5. Code quality
  6. Architecture + design reviews
  7. Project management
  8. Communication
  9. Time management
  10. Delegating work
  11. Working well with others (lead w strength compensate for weakness )
  12. Starting with kindergarten tell me about your life - ask about pivots in life and why
  13. What is your dream? Pinnacle of career? When do you feel challenged and engaged and not wanting anything else?
    1. Lead them to this light house
  14. Career action plan - from Candor
    1. Develop their role
    2. Enhance their network
      1. Define their immediate next step
      2. Enlist others to help hone their skills

Career Growth Questions

  1. “What are your long term goals? Have you thought about them?”
  2. “Do you feel like you’re making progress on your big goals here? Why or why not?”
  3. “Do you feel we’re helping you advance your career at a pace you would like?”
  4. “What are your superpowers? What powers would you like to develop?”
  5. “Could you see yourself making progress on more of your goals here? What would need to change?”
  6. “What are your big dreams in life? Are you making progress on them?”
  7. “What work are you doing here that you feel is most in line with your long term goals?”
  8. “If you had millions of dollars, what would you do every day?”
  9. “As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?”
  10. “What do you want to be doing in five years?” and work backward to what needs to be the path starting today.
  11. “Who do you look at and say, ‘I want to be him/her someday?” and work back on how to get into the kinds of roles they’ve had.
  12. “What job do you envision having after you leave [this company]?”, which admits the truth that no one works at a company for life anymore, and opens the door to opportunities in other roles in your company they may not know about.

Question Pool

  • Random generator: https://1on.one/
  • First time 1:1s - 1-2 weeks after start, follow up on longer term ones
    1. What makes 1:1s the most valuable for you?
    2. What's your favorite way to treat yourself? (food, drinks, etc)
    3. What do you need from your team?
    4. How can you leads support you?
    5. How can people outside your product group support you?
    6. What makes you grumpy?
    7. How will I know when you’re grumpy?
    8. How can I help you when you’re grumpy?
    9. Anything really bothering you?
    10. How do you feel about job expectations when you accepted vs what your doing right now?
    11. What worries you?
    12. How are you doing remote? Do you want to meet up with any parts in MD or Texas?
    13. How do you feel your work/life balance is right now?
    14. What’s one thing we could change about work for you that would improve your personal life?
    15. Is there any skills you want to work on developing?
    16. What motivates you?
    17. What are your long term goals?
    18. Do you feel challenged at work? Are you learning new things?
    19. What area of the company would you like to learn more about?
    20. What skills would you like to develop right now?
    21. Any conferences or certs you want to pursue?
    22. How do you like to receive feedback?
    23. Are there things that make you feel unproductive that I can help with?
    24. Do you want more or less direction from me?
    25. Are there any parts of the platform you really want to work on / create / own?
    26. What made you leave (previous company) - so we can make sure you stay here?
  • Infrequent
    1. How do you decide what work not to do?
    2. What do you think you are best at?
    3. What do you love about your job?
    4. How can we improve the functional team? Product group?
    5. What makes you tick?
    6. What is part of your job now that you wish you could change or do less of?
    7. Fill in the blank: You know it was a good day at work when __.
    8. Think of a time you were happy in your job.
    9. What are we behind in that other companies are excelling at?
    10. What are you career plans?
    11. Who do you admire within the org and why?
    12. Are you having trouble communicating with anyone that I can help with?
    13. What might entice you away from your company?
    14. What was your favorite project or feature that you worked on in the past 6 months? What was your least favorite?
    15. If you could get rid of any task/project/responsibility currently on your plate, what would it be?
    16. Tension
      1. When have you been frustrated in the past year? What can I do to help make things less frustrating for you, or get out of your way?
      2. When have you felt dejected or demoralized this past year? What can I do to better support you, and make sure that’s not the case going forward?
      3. When have you been disappointed with a decision or the direction that the company has gone in the past year? Was there an opportunity you think we squandered? Something you think we mishandled? How would have you preferred we proceeded?
      4. When have you been annoyed, peeved, or bothered by me and something I’ve done as a leader? Why? What would be helpful for you for me to change my behavior going forward?
      5. When have you felt bored in the past year? How can I create situations going forward so you don’t feel that way?
      6. When have you felt stressed or overworked in the past year? What can I do to create a better work environment going forward so you don’t feel that way?
    17. Energy/Release
      1. When have you felt excited about what you’ve been working on in the past year? What can I do to provide you with more opportunities so you feel that way?
      2. When have you felt most proud about being a part of the company this past year? What can I do to make sure that we do things that continue that feeling?
      3. When have you felt most motivated about the work you’ve been doing? What can we do to create an environment so you feel like that more often?
      4. When have you felt most “in flow” or “in control”of what you’re doing during the past week or so? What can we do to give you more space and time to feel that way?
      5. What have you been wanting to learn more of, get better at, and improve on? How can we here at the company support you in doing that?
      6. When have you felt that this company was one of the best places you’ve ever worked? How can I make this place the best place you’ve ever worked?
  • Frequent
    1. What went well this week?
    2. What could have gone better?
    3. On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you? Why?
    4. What makes this week a __.
    5. What would it take to make your week a 10?
    6. Specific moments of tension?
    7. Specific moments of energy/release?
  • Personal feedback - for you the manager
    1. What is one thing that I can do differently?
    2. What was one thing that your last manager did that you like that I don’t do.
    3. What do I do that you don’t like.
    4. What can I be doing to help you more?
    5. Do you have any feedback for me?
    6. Is there anything I should start doing? Stop doing?
    7. How can I support you better?
  • Managing Up
    1. Good leader vs bad leader - https://getlighthouse.com/blog/good-leader-vs-bad-leader/
    2. https://getlighthouse.com/blog/3-key-mindsets-great-managers/
    3. What are your bosses goals and priorities?
    4. Here are my top X priorities, do these align?
    5. What gives you confidence in the work of team members?
    6. How can I build more trust with you on the work I do?
    7. What areas do you need updates? Where can I be autonomous?
    8. What areas of my job are you most familiar with? Least familiar with?
    9. What are my manager’s goals?
    10. What pressures are they under?
    11. What helps them do their job?
    12. What are some things I could do better or differently to help you succeed?
    13. What have team members that frustrated you or were challenging to work with done or failed to do?
    14. What have your best team members you’ve enjoyed working with done when working with you that you liked?
  • Thoughts
    1. 4 important principles - https://hbr.org/2004/05/learning-to-lead-at-toyota
      1. No substitute for direct observation
      2. Proposed changes should always be structured as experiments
        1. fully understand both the problem AND the solution
      3. Workers and managers should experiment as frequently as possible
      4. Managers should coach, not fix.
    2. Explain why you need feedback or answers to touchy-feely type questions
    3. https://randsinrepose.com/archives/the-update-the-vent-and-the-disaster/
      1. Lots of good info on listening and types of 1:1s
    4. Being connected - need to understand all 3 to be in tune - https://hackernoon.com/purpose-and-perspective-through-what-why-and-how-e158bf63e764
      1. What — description of the work to be done
      2. Why — purpose behind the work
      3. How — how the work will have an impact
    5. Fear
      1. Are you afraid to push something 80% done?
      2. What is your identity at work? The nice person? The person with no defects? No outages?
      3. Surviving errors and mistakes - okay to make them, learn/grow from, blameless culture
        1. Fight fear w fear - make public commitments to coworkers/friends/etc that you'll do what you say



  1. Are those goals aimed at something specific (ie: promotion)?
  2. What do you think you need to continue doing (or do differently)?
  3. Do you keep a journal of wins?

Diferent types of goals

KPIs are not Growth Plans.

Finding Goals

  1. Tackle problems others shy away from
  2. What personal goals can you set to level yourself up?

Personal Goals / Growth Plans

  1. Personal growth goals should not be binary. There should be no price for reaching them and no punishment for missing them. The journey is what matters.
  2. Focused on improving skills and behavior.
  3. Should have a non-binary result, remember the journey matters, not the result. It shouldn't be "yes/no".


  1. The business objectives can change and if it happens, change the goals instead of calling them missed.
  2. Metrics and KPIs focused on work responsibilities.

How should I set goals?

  1. Do you understand what the companies objectives are for the next quarter, the next half, the next year?
  2. What are you going to work on that affects those objectives? Is it ambitious?
  3. How will you measure your work?
    1. Do we have a current baseline that we're already measuring?
    2. What is the measures goal? Do you feel it's ambitious enough?


  1. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236135/give-performance-reviews-actually-inspire-employees.aspx
  2. Are you satisfied with how things are going?
  3. Do you think other stakeholders are satisfied?
  4. Why do you think this is happening?
  5. How do you feel?
  6. When, in the past, have you felt this way before?

Questions to Ask

Good Goals

  1. Involvement in tech design to empower their tech leadership.
  2. Significant code reviews to help them share strong opinions.
  3. Running learning sessions to grow their mentoring skills.
  4. Planning and disambiguating projects that you delegate to them to increase their independence and leadership.
  5. Proposing product changes to improve their product awareness and again, strong opinions.
  6. Improving your team processes for their communication skills.
  7. Split into different areas:
    1. Technical
    2. Career
    3. Networking/Soft
  8. Paired Metrics - output + quality measuring outcomes
    1. Not inputs, ie: time spent on tickets
  9. Impact
    1. So what are we really looking for when we evaluate impact? How do you get the larger scope to play in and shape? How do you show that you can go from learning a single small part of a system to setting technical direction for the whole system? The answer is that you show that you can make good decisions.

Bad Goals

  1. If there is a clear yes / no result, like deliver project XYZ, it’s not a growth trajectory but rather a responsibility or part of the job. This is more of a KPI.
  2. Checklists that look like KPIs or tickets to finish




  1. Time to code review
  2. Time to merge
  3. Comments per pull request
  4. Length of description vs points vs speed at which tickets are done

Monitoring / On Call

  1. Number of datadog monitors without runbooks linked
  2. Number of pagerduty metrics by month (ie: phone calls / phone pushes / emails )
  3. Number of P1 incidents per month


  1. HM Call -> Coding Challenge -> Final Panels
  2. Total days to hire from HM Call to offer signed



  1. Time to first pull request
  2. Time to 10th pull request
  3. Time to 1st MR comment
  4. Time to 25th MR comment

Ultimate Guide

  1. Maslows hiearachy for new hires
    1. Administration (bottom)
      1. Paperwork, HR stuff, permissions, access, etc
    2. Assimilation
      1. Getting embedded into teams/product groups, build relationships with co-workers and managers
      2. Introductions to company culture, vision, mission
    3. Acceleration (top)
      1. Becoming productive and contributing to success
  2. Ultimate goal is to reduct time from administration to acceleration


  1. Manager led (not HR)
  2. Day 1 Agenda and list of things to do
  3. Product Group/Team overview & intros
  4. Roadmap overview
  5. Communicate low pressure onboarding

Agenda Ideas

  1. Day one should be special and meaningful interactions with new team members
  2. Org chart walk through
  3. Onboarding buddy
  4. Team lunch
  5. Including regular errors
  6. First week
    1. Introduction to the company culture and history, including its origin story, values, vision, mission, and key milestones.
    2. Introduction to the product. If you’re selling a SaaS product, have your new hire create a dummy account to play around with.
    3. Introduction to your customers and how they use the products. You could include product recordings or customer interviews.
    4. Introduction to technical documentation (I cover this in detail further down)
    5. Introduce the new hire at your next all-hands meeting
    6. Schedule a buddy or mentor check-in
    7. Get onboarding feedback to improve future onboarding programs. A simple survey should suffice. Learn how to structure your onboarding surveys here.
    8. Check in at the end of the week to recognize wins and identify areas where the new hire needs more support. This is also a good time to review onboarding goals you might have set for the new hire in their first month.
    9. Role clarity
      1. Go over responsibilities, review the job description, and set expectations. This is especially important as 1 in 4 new hires want a clear understanding of their responsibilities.
    10. Motivators: Ask about a previous project that excited and energized your new hire. This can help managers understand the type of work they should assign to the new hire and the conditions to help them do their best work.
      1. Share with team

First one on one

  1. How do you do your best work? How can I support you?
  2. What type of work energizes and excites you?
  3. How do you like to schedule your days? Do you prefer having meetings earlier or later in the day?
  4. How do you like to give and receive feedback?
  5. How do you prefer to give and receive recognition?
  6. What are your most critical business issues over the next one to two years?
  7. How can our departments partner to achieve that plan?
  8. What has previously worked well between our departments that we should continue?
  9. What should we do differently to be more effective?
  10. How can we communicate to ensure optimal collaboration?
  11. What politics should I understand as my unit tries to accomplish these goals?
  12. Who else do you think I should talk with? Can you connect me to them?

> “Developer scorecards can be viewed by anyone in the company to give a quick overview of the developer’s skills, plans for specialization and personal development, as well as assessment goals for the upcoming quarter.”

Podcast Notes

  1. Day 1 laptop setup
  2. Workshops on technical topics
  3. Energized by problem solving together
  4. Synchronized and hybrid - give group a real challenge
    1. data pipeline, ship a dashboard, etc
    2. give support, etc
    3. Synchronous learning experiences
    4. Group work, problem solving together
  5. Involve managers and onboarding buddies in onboarding process
    1. More of a partnership
    2. Deliverable at end of every day
      1. Review with onboarding buddy and lead
  6. End of week 1: ship code
  7. Week 2: Embed with support / secops to learn
  8. Week 3 / 4 : custom onboarding plan from manager
  9. New Hire Social time


  1. Would shipping code your first week make you feel more confident (in your onboarding experience)?
  2. What impact looks like?
  3. To managers: What does it look for someone to be onboarded to you? To see that they're impactful?
    1. Not what they should know; what they DO
    2. Architects
      1. Getting gitlab going; getting into specifics


  1. Time to 1st/10th pull request

Soft Skills

Podcast Notes

  1. Soft Skills
    1. Negotiation and conflict resolution
    2. Articulate a vision
    3. Strategy
    4. Servant leader
    5. Communication


  • 80% dislike job and 20% actively disengaged
  • Fight or flight mode
    • feel attacked? fight or flight
  • Emotional ownership over tasks rather than assigned tasks
  • Interactions in companies are ego based
    • Less self-aware; collaboration is tainted by unconscious fear and base reaction
    • People approach topics through their own fears
    • Leaders think in kingdoms/silos/hierarchies
    • Need to focus on collective intelligence and not waste potential
    • Makenzie research life span top 500 companies: 1985: 61 years; less than 18 years
  • Leadership means influencing others to take an action for a better outcome
    • Not necessarily just those in "leadership" - everyone should be invested in
    • Trend is less and less hierarchical organizations
  • Things to think about - psychological drivers
    • Being right was attached to being like-able
    • Being useful was attached to being like-able
    • Can be attached to part of core identity
    • Recognize triggers and turn them into being more conscious in many situations
  • Important traits
    • growth mindset, ownership, resiliency, creator mindset (vs victim mindset)
      • creator takes responsibility for their reality and tries to turn everything into an opportunity
    • understand different leadership styles
    • personal productivity to deliver on things and make an impact
    • habit building
    • emotional intelligence being most important
      • self awareness
        • emotional self control - fight vs flight
      • self management/(measurement?)
      • social awareness
      • relationship management
      • giving and receiving feedback continuously
        • Don't be defensive when receiving feedback / don't attack back
        • When giving feedback don't show "i'm smart" or dominating/controlling - invest in self awareness
      • self confidence
      • integrity and transparency
      • smart promises and delivering
      • acknowledge mistakes
      • empathy is important in a social context
        • provide full attention and understand situation, then act
      • inspiring and influencing others
      • building network of peers
      • working on change initiatives and not being stagnant
        • needs to become habit, otherwise org will fall back to old behavior
      • finding inspiration and learning from others
        • if only focus on local; peak at local max instead of growing to a global maximum
      • invest in yourself
        • many wait for company to do it instead of investing in themselves; staying competitive in market
        • workshops, trainings
    • Emotional intelligence contributes more to success than IQ for people (80% vs 20%)
  • multi-perspective thinking
  • 15 commitments of conscious leadership - Conscious Business
  • Relationship of control and impact
    • Sensitive to people crossing "my area"
    • Can cause to be less collaborative - limiting growth and impact of area
  • Be able to give up control and nurture reach and collaboration with rest of organization
    • Giving control up can lead to more impact
  • Be aware of building social frames and lenses - don't box people in - reflect on "what happened"
  • Look into coaching schools to improve communication
  • Understand what triggers to avoid fight or flight mode


"Just want to code"

  1. https://hackernoon.com/why-your-programmers-just-want-to-code-36da9973388e
  2. “A culture is a way of life of a group of people — the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.”

Manager Voltron

  1. Build a team of managers to support you
  2. https://larahogan.me/blog/manager-voltron/
    1. https://larahogan.me/resources/Manager-Voltron-Bingo.pdf

Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives.

Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters.

Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

  1. Business Motivated: Driven most by a desire to get things done for the customer, these developers are often the "favorites" of the business folks because they deliver functionality quickly without many questions. Need a new feature at the last minute? No problem. These guys have a can-do attitude (even when a little push-back might benefit the integrity of the system's architecture). In terms of code, they think more concretely, and aren't always the best at creating abstractions that support re-use or other non-functional goals. They just want to get 'er done and see a functional product. On every project, a few of these developers are crucial. They get things done, and don't make waves.
  2. Technology Motivated: These developers love learning new things for its own sake. They're always eager to find the newest framework, language, or methodology and will take every opportunity to try it out on their current project. The library was just released last week and was written by 1 guy over a weekend? Let's give it a shot! These guys know all the trending technologies, and have probably dabbled with them over nights and weekends. They love to try things out, and understand which tools work best. On a greenfield project they thrive, but when the field turns "brown" and new code turns into legacy, they look for greener pastures, or possibly worse, look for ways to shoe-horn in technology even if it's to the detriment of the system.
  3. Problem Motivated: Hard problems excite these developers, independent of whether what technology is employed or even it adds value for the business. It's all about the puzzle. Coming up with an elegant, clever, or quality solution is the victory. If it helps the business in the process, great (and often it does). These developers are interested in new technology insofar as it presents better ways of solving problems, but not so much interested in dabbling just to know what's out there. While their solutions are solid, sometimes the details slip.


  1. https://review.firstround.com/the-simple-tool-that-revives-employee-motivation
  2. “Once a team can say, ‘Yeah, I like working with these people. I get to make decisions that are pertinent to what I'm doing, we’re hitting our numbers, and I understand why these numbers translate to what we’re trying to do as a company over 5 to 10 years,’ then people really have a clear and motivating path,”
  3. People
    1. Working with day to day - if teams feel understaffed then nothing else matters
  4. Ownership
    1. “Push your team to take a position — a real hypothesis, not an apathetic one — and try to truly confirm or deny it. Experimentation shouldn’t be a tool to remove human judgement and pass the buck.”
    2. This is the plan for what I’d like to do. This is the rationale. Do you have feedback on it?
  5. Goals
    1. Need goals to hone intuition and sustain motivation
    2. When you orient around a goal, you can also celebrate the right wins, another important way to keep teams aligned and enthusiastic. You want to be celebrating your impact. Not ‘Hey, we shipped this thing.’
    3. Invention
      1. In the earliest stage of product development, metrics typically aren’t yet in play. “We have a team here that’s working on something that doesn’t yet exist in its form in the world,” says Chou. “We can't really look at the progress we’re making against a progress metric and goal. So we need some level of conviction and a bias to ship in small, confident chunks. Absent clear metric goals, teams in the invention stage will need to lean heavily on the fourth element of the pyramid, mission.”
    4. Scaling
      1. When you have something that works on a really small scale, but multiple X from making the impact you’d like to see, you’re scaling a product. Here, the metrics are front and center — but too often, Chou sees teams vastly undershooting. “You'd be shocked. Even seasoned product people in scaling mode will sometimes say, ‘Well, if this large complicated new thing is a home run, we’ll get a 5% lift.’ If that’s the case, you missed something,” says Chou. “At this stage, think in terms of changes that will have much larger impact if perfectly successful.”
    5. Optimization
      1. The optimization phase, on the other hand, is where small gains can add up in meaningful ways. “That’s where we do think there are maybe hundreds of 1% opportunities, and if you add up all those it makes a really big difference,” says Chou.
  6. Mission
    1. Much like ownership is complicated by rapid growth, it’s more challenging to convey mission to 300 people than it is to five people sitting around a table. “Communication gets harder each time the organization grows,” says Chou. “As employees’ contexts and areas of focus diversify, it may be increasingly difficult to get everyone on the page. How you adjust to that becomes really important.”

      > Chou recommends two strategies: give teams the opportunity to share what they’re working on with the rest of the organization, and repeat your mission often (and in plenty of different mediums).

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic

  1. Intrinsic
    1. Curiosity: I have plenty of things to investigate and to think about
    2. Honor: I feel proud that my personal values are reflected in how I work.
    3. Acceptance: The people around me approve of what I do and who I am.
    4. Mastery: My work challenges my competence but it is still within my abilities.
    5. Power: There’s enough room for me to influence what happens around me.
    6. Freedom: I am independent of others with my work and my responsibilities.
    7. Relatedness: I have good social contacts with the people in my work.
    8. Order: There are enough rules and policies for a stable environment.
    9. Goal: My purpose in life is reflected in the work that I do.
    10. Status: My position is good, and recognized by the people who work with me.


  1. Fixed - "determined at birth"
  2. Growth - can be cultivated through effort and perseverance
    1. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/12/how-praise-became-a-consolation-prize/510845/
  3. Dweck: A lot of parents or teachers say praise the effort, not the outcome. I say [that’s] wrong: Praise the effort that led to the outcome or learning progress; tie the praise to it. It’s not just effort, but strategy … so support the student in finding another strategy. Effective teachers who actually have classrooms full of children with a growth mindset are always supporting children’s learning strategies and showing how strategies created that success.

    > Students need to know that if they’re stuck, they don’t need just effort. You don’t want them redoubling their efforts with the same ineffective strategies. You want them to know when to ask for help and when to use resources that are available.

Habits & Goals

  1. Specific and difficult learning goals encourage greater effort in strategizing and executing, and ultimately greater task mastery. Simultaneously setting a difficult learning goal with a moderately difficult performance goal leads to the highest performance as long as the employee is not feeling distressed.
    1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.orgdyn.2016.10.001
    2. https://blog.bonus.ly/how-to-foster-talent-through-a-growth-mindset-and-grit
  2. Completion Bias - https://jkglei.com/momentum/
  3. Habits create consistent behavior; goals can be intimidating
  4. We're addicted to meaningless progress - https://jkglei.com/progress/
    1. How can I create a feeling of progress?
    2. Is it possible to break this project down into smaller pieces?
    3. What are the metrics & milestones that really matter?
  5. management.motivation.png
  6. maslow-motivation.png


  1. strat-planning.png
  2. Build out what people are good at - focusing to hard on weakness can cause them to become mediocre at all


  1. Need to feel connected


  1. Respect is not pampering, it is not treating the team like the stars of the show. Rather, respect is challenging the team to show up and grow up. Respect is giving them clear, achievable goals and holding them accountable.


  1. You are building a company. You are not going to have a perfect, smooth ride. Things will go well, things will go poorly. Very few teams have a straight shot to greatness that is so clear it can cover all management woes. When you don’t pay people well enough, you contribute to undermining their resilience in the face of problems at work. Think of it as the baseline of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Money does not solve all problems for most people, but lack of money exacerbates all irritations.


  1. Balance short and long term execution plans/paths
  2. SBI (situation-behavior-impact) model
    1. Example:
      1. “In yesterday’s meeting with our Product Manager (situation), you answered a question about my work (behavior), which made me feel like you don’t trust me to speak for myself (impact)”.
    2. “I realize I was struggling a little bit to fix bug “X” (situation), but when you stepped in and fixed it yourself (behavior), I felt like I missed a valuable learning opportunity (impact).”
  3. Avoid with conversations like:
    1. “I know I’ve never led a project before, but I’d like to learn how. Can you let me try? We can check in weekly, and I’ll let you know if I feel like I’m in over my head.”