“No one is unreasonable.”
That’s one of the 10 principles that engineer-turned-product guy Eusden Shing lives by. In this episode, he shares how having carefully crafted a list of principles has helped him lead teams at companies like Hulu and Pinterest. We learn about some of his top 10, including “trust is the foundation” and “focus on few things well,” and how he puts them into practice to manage and collaborate effectively.
Why it matters
Effective teamwork is often about effective alignment – around what matters and what doesn’t, what success looks like, and how best to get there. Having clarity around your core beliefs helps us lead with focus and intentionality, but perhaps even more important is the ability to effectively articulate them. Building a shared understanding of how to collaborate and excel together not only helps align and mobilize your team, it also provides a framework for coaching your team members and giving them feedback.
What are your “commandments”?
Putting it into action
- Start capturing potential principles
Reflect on your own experiences. What are some potential candidates for your list of operating principles? Is there anything you’ve learned from others that has stuck with you, whether from mentors and managers or books and podcasts? Are there concepts you often find yourself using to coach others? Start capturing it all in a live document.
- Test them out
As you grow your list of potential principles, you’ll want to see which ones actually work. Try to put them into practice in your workplace – do these principles work in the context of helping you make decisions at work, collaborate with colleagues, and tackle tough challenges? Consider discussing them with your team and get their feedback as well to see if it resonates.
- Communicate and incorporate
Once you feel you have a solid list that’s been tried and tested, it’s time to start spreading the word. Incorporate your principles into how you frame your actions, decisions, feedback, advice, and more. Make it part of onboarding for new team members. Ultimately, if they truly are effective, essential principles they should become an essential part of your team’s culture
Revisit your list periodically. Do the principles still make sense and still work for you and your team? Are there new ones you want to add and maybe ones that no longer resonate? What feedback have you gotten from others? Your journey as a manager is forever evolving, as well as the contexts you’re working in, so it’s likely that your principles will evolve over time as well.
Other resources mentioned in this episode
- “No One is Unreasonable” by Seth Godin
- The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh
- High Output Management by Andy Grove (introduces “task relevant maturity”)
Share your insights & experiences
What are some of the principles you have on your list? How did you come to consider them essential? How do you propagate them within your team’s culture?
We‘d love to hear from you at [email protected] or on Twitter @YoullManage!