Tag: leadership


Fake Alignment

You’re in one of those meetings. People are confused and frustrated. You’re not arguing, but there’s a lack of clarity on the goal or a plan. No one is on the same page — not even in the same book. Then suddenly, everyone is agreeing. The confusion is gone. The team is aligned! We’re back…


Tips for Hiring Designers for Remote Teams

Creating a great design team and designing great products means hiring great designers. Automattic has been hiring people around the world to work remotely for over 10 years. More recently, we’ve been scaling up and refining how we hire designers. Here are a few things we’ve learned along the way: Take advantage of limitless geographics….


Hangout Life

One huge advantage of remote environments: Face time is a scarce resource. This is a good thing. It makes you treat it as a valuable resource — something you have to be careful not to waste. But remote meetings still have their own set of challenges. Here are a few things I’ve learned about running…


Designing Your Remote “Office”

“So, where do your designers sit?” I was at a lunch table during a design leadership conference late last year, chatting with other leaders in the industry. This question left me…confused. I finally realized what we were talking about and laughed. I’ve spent the vast majority of my career working remotely. Figuring out where designers…


The Messy Middle

“No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.” ~Helmuth Graf von Moltke Ever been in this scenario?: A new project starts. Everyone’s excited to jump in and get started. Everything is possible. Only good outcomes await and everything in this moment seems right with the world. You can feel the energy driving the team…


Running Remote Design Sprints

I lead a team of designers who work on WordPress.com and other products. Last year, my team ran our first design sprint together in-person at a team meetup. It was a great way to kick off a new project and we became instant fans of the format. But Automattic is a remote company. Most of…


Book Notes: Work Rules

My notes on Work Rules by Laszlo Bock — a fascinating look into the people management at Google. 1) Give your work meaning. Whatever you’re doing, it matters to someone. And it should matter to you. As a manager, your job is to help your people find that meaning.


Ones and Zeros

In any new situation, whether it involves an elevator or a rocket ship, you will almost certainly be viewed in one of three ways. As a minus one: actively harmful, someone who creates problems. Or as a zero: your impact is neutral and doesn’t tip the balance one way or the other. Or you’ll be…