Herding Lions

By Ben McCormick

Quick Thoughts And Links On Engineering Management From Ben McCormick

Quick Thoughts And Links On Engineering Management From Ben McCormick

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Herding Lions #7 - Mental Models For Managing Change

At this point I've spent the large majority of my career working in startups at different stages. While life can look very different in a 15 person early stage startup and a 300 employee growth stage startup, one thing that is constant across every startup I'…


Herding Lions #6 - More Thoughts On Time

In my last post I listed some process tips for how to manage your time as an engineering leader. Continuing that thought, in the spirit of new habits in the new year this week will explore the question of how to choose what to focus on with the time that you …


Herding Lions #5 - How I Think About Time

One of the biggest challenges every engineering leader faces is making decisions on how best to use their time. Every engineering team I've ever seen has more opportunities than capacity, and leaders can always do more.My day always ends when I'm tired and re…


Herding Lions #4 - Values Are How You Scale Culture

I recently had the pleasure of working with a team to help define Kustomer's engineering values. We went through a brainstorming process, got feedback from the team and ended up with a set of values that we believe reflect the best of our culture and how we w…


Herding Lions #3 - Strategies For Building Team Resilience

In Thinking In Systems Donella Meadows observed that when maintaining a system the properties you can choose to optimize for include productivity, stability, and resiliency. Productivity is about producing outputs -- for a software team this might be complete…


Herding Lions #2 - Good Meetings Are Designed Not Born

There's something deeply human about wanting to excel at the work we find ourselves doing. When we aspire to be effective at our jobs, how we describe and understand the key concepts in our work matters a lot. Last week I talked about having a better model fo…


Herding Lions #1 - Team Output Is The Smallest Unit Of Productivity

What kind of name is "Herding Lions" anyway?It's my favorite term for leading engineers - all the chaos of herding cats, with the reality that you're working with a team of smart, independent thinkers who can easily get a job elsewhere anytime they want to.Wi…