Oinam Digital Garden


Management Principles

Margaret Wallace, co-founder of Playmatics wrote a beautiful article, on Management Principles which she lives by.

They are some of the best article on management, I read so far. I’m reproducing her verbattim for reference;

  1. Never ask anyone who works with you to do something that you yourself would not consider doing (unless they really want to and it’s ethical).
  2. Always show up. Consistency is key.
  3. Always hire people better and smarter than yourself and give them the means to excel.
  4. Never ever ever disparage another employee, contractor or associate in front of another employee, contractor or associate — and don’t really do it at all.
  5. Always set clear boundaries over who has final decision-making authority for key areas so expectations are clear. (Feedback and open dialogue aren’t in opposition to final decision-making authority for most critical path issues.)
  6. If you are only hiring from within your existing social circles, you are not doing enough to promote diversity and inclusion at all levels.
  7. Respect the time of others.
  8. Don’t argue with a business partner or client in front of employees/contractors — or anyone else for that matter.
  9. In terms of hiring, be willing to give people who may not seem like a perfect fit a chance. Don’t try to put people in categories too soon.
  10. Crunch time should be an exception rather than a normal mode of operation.
  11. If you are becoming a bottleneck, remove yourself from the equation to clear pathways.
  12. Sometimes managers have to step in if they see something that is veering off-course. However, micro-management for the sake of micro-management doesn’t set up an environment for success.
  13. Always follow through.
  14. Listening > Talking
  15. Radical candor should not be seen as a threat — or only afforded to certain people within the organization.
  16. For people who make/own/oversee software development: Believe your engineers when they give you an honest assessment of what can be done by a certain time.
  17. Never communicate bad news in an email if at all possible.
  18. Always make sure to communicate the purpose of a proposed meeting beforehand — don’t leave people guessing why a meeting is suddenly being called.
  19. Trust your team’s ability to come up with and recommend solutions to challenges or processes. Whenever I’m presented with a problem by a team member, my first question is to ask the team member what they think the best course of action is to rectify/improve.
  20. It’s much easier for a team to have to suddenly pivot in terms of focus or priorities if the rationale is clear to all involved and good structures for regular and consistent communication are in place.