Elite Management & Leadership Coaching for People In Creative Industries with Brian Sharp
This deal is simple. You're going to get an hour of 1-on-1 coaching from an elite project manager who was in the top 1% of salaries for video game project management, and who has worked on top titles. He's incredibly insightful and you'll stand to gain a lot out of it if you're bringing people together.
The gentleman who will be coaching you is Brian Sharp. His insights follow here.
Finally, you'll also get a large group Google Hangout session with the other people who grab this deal.
In short, it's an awesome way to learn and make new friends. Here's some of Brian's philosophies on management and leadership --
*If you're managing or working with someone, it's your avowed responsibility to do right by them.
*Reality is a process, not a state. If you're solving really challenging problems and you're trying to be a leader, the balance of doing the work and staying in touch with everything is not possible in a static way. You're always shifting your balance side-to-side, overcompensating a bit too much, and shifting your balance back when you go too far.
*Communication is important in two ways -- you need to have enough of it, and you need to not have too much.
*Good communication at its core is empathy practice. Not in a conceptual way, but in a very literal applied way. When writing an email, stop and spend actual seconds or minutes or clock time thinking about who is going to get the email, visualize how much email they get, think about how much attention they'll give it, and imagine how they'll respond to the writing.
*The best communicators know their audience not just in a detached sense of knowing who they're talking to, but also in a deep sense of really writing for them, speaking for them, and having a strong sense of purpose in communication. It's easy for that to get lost. You write an email and you don't always get into "what am I trying to accomplish?" You get enamored with the sound of your own voice, or you have preconceptions about form… you might think you can't write too short of an email, or you can't have an 18-minute long meeting since meetings are normally 60 minutes. But actually, you need to focus on the outcome and appreciate the communication at the same time.
*Skills that are intuitive for one person can be wildly unintuitive for someone else, but almost all skills can be taught to almost all people.
*When I say "habit of taking action," I think the habit part is important. A lot of people start with an attitude of "I can't do that, that's not my area" -- but leadership is about having a nuanced ability to step outside your official role to solve problems when you see them and know they need solving.
*You have to come at this type of management with the right intention. You have to have respect for the problems that other people are trying to solve, and you have to learn to have perspective on how important your work within the organization is. You won't always reach agreement, and the problems you're working on won't always be the most important thing to do at the moment. But basically, my experience is it goes badly pretty quickly if you don't approach it with an attitude of "I'm trying to do the best for everyone."
*An important quote: "The work is done not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
*The more seasoned the creative professionals, the more they tend to have a feeling of "constraints are liberating."
*That's the sense of being overwhelmed. You have to triage. If you show up and only have 1 full day of work you'd like to get done, you're probably not being valuable enough for the team. You could think of more, and then cut some of the less valuable pieces.
*A manager at Bungie had a great phrase about triage -- "Break hearts early." People don't broadcast early when they triage sometimes because they don't want to disappoint people, and that whole break hearts early thing is knowing it takes discipline and knowing it's not doing any favors not telling people about reality if something isn't viable. Don't string people along.
*If I catch myself saying, "The commitments are a given, I need to get them all done," then that's a sign I need to pop up a level and do more planning and strategic thinking.
*If you know you're overcommitted and important stuff isn't getting done, that really needs to get done, it's always tempting to kick that can down the road and not deal with it, but that's never the right course of action.
*You impose process on things that are constantly moving and fluid, to make it tractable. But the best way I've worked with structural models is noting they trail reality, and exist as documentation and guidance.
*An org chart should be a means for getting things done, not an end in itself.
*Coordination is when you take the smallest possible step back, stop grinding on whatever you were doing, and figure out what's going on around you. You ask, "What are the goals we're trying to accomplish, and do I believe everything is on track?"
*Coordination and logistics are often about course correction. Sometimes middle managers justify their own existence where they start their own fires just to put them out. And it's important to be able to take a laissez faire attitude to coordination and logistics. Specifically, it's important that you notice any resistance to the idea that things just might be fine.
*The job is not to get under a bridge that's falling down and hold it up forever, where it'd fall down if you moved on. It's to hold it up for a while as you fix the bridge so it can stand on its own. Then your team and organization -- and yourself -- make permanent progress.
*Conway's Law is a useful mental construct -- it says that the communication structure of an organization is mirrored in its products. If you're trying to write a compiler and have three separate teams working on, you'll get a 3-pass compiler if those teams aren't talking to each other. That's interesting, you can look at the communication structure of an organization and see that appearing in the products it creates. Two separate teams that aren't talking can't make one coherent thing.
*When it comes to coordination and logistics, I think of this very visually. I think of lines slicing through a blob, slicing up roles between people. Most of your problems come from setting the boundaries well for who does what.
*All communication simultaneously has a diplomatic/relationship component -- you can choose all sorts of ways to tell others about facts. You can say it in a tone that makes it clear you don't care what the other person thinks, or you can explain your reasoning and get input at the same time. It's really just a skill, a learnable skill. You need to know whether a tone you're communicating in is helpful or harmful.
Brian Sharp is an excellent communicator, wonderful project manager, highly effective leader, and a fantastic teacher. In a one hour session with him, you're going to be able to level up your management and leadership skills tremendously. You'll also have the opportunity to have a group session with others who sign on -- meaning a great environment to make new friends, allies, and contacts during a great knowledge share.
Things along these lines would normally be in the $200+ range. Due to the charitable nature of GiveGetWin (and Brian's awesome generousness), you can pick up a session with him for $35. There are ten spots available.