My User Guide

Welcome to my User Guide to working with me! I offer this to you because I recognize that the faster we get to know each other and how we work, the better and stronger our relationship will be, and the more we’ll accomplish together. I encourage you to write your own User Guide so I and your team can learn how to work best with you. This is a living document that will change as I learn more about myself and how we can best support each other. This idea shamelessly stolen from

My management values

My typical workday








Feedback from you to me

Feedback from me to you

My personal motivators and work style

How I resolve disagreements

Losing and regaining trust


My management values

I value trust, continuous learning, open and transparent communication, honest feedback, adaptability, work life balance, sustainability, diversity, inclusion, supporting each other, data driven decision making, and customer focus.

I strive to share a team culture where all of these are important. I want to support your values too. I will do my best to adapt to your needs. We will touch on all of these topics in different ways through this guide.

My typical workday

I typically work from about 8am to 5pm, with scattered breaks and intermittent other hours based on my workload. 

I prefer all of my meetings (and there are a lot of them) to be done by 3pm, where I can use the rest of my afternoon as a block for focused work. Some days I may use my afternoon for personal activities and come online in the evening instead.

I prefer stacked meetings. In particular, I find 30 minute breaks in between calls can be difficult to utilize well.

I will make myself available for you off hours if I am needed. Text me at 301-807-0241. I’m willing to sit on an incident till 2am if we are in that situation.


1-1s should be yours first, mine second.

Tell me what you need! I can’t help you without knowing what you need.

You can tell me as much or as little about what is going on in your personal life as you would like.

I will tend to fill it up with topics if you don’t bring topics to talk about.

I will do an extra 1-1 with anyone whenever my schedule allows. Waiting 6 days for the next 1-1 the next week to tell me something important is too long. 

I love solving problems with people. I love being a rubber duck. I love the details. Don’t ever feel like you are wasting my time.

At least once a quarter, we will talk about performance and goals. I am happy to do this more often.


We are all a team together. Follow the section of this guide on communication, and apply it to our reporting processes.

I prefer not having to go get information from you, but I understand that you don’t always know what I want. I will ask for what I need to know.

I expect folks to keep track of the full week in their updates. I am disappointed when updates for a week only include things that happened in the past day. I also make this mistake often and I understand how easy it is to make.


I have a very high bar for candidates. I will regularly err on the side of “no hire”. It’s important to me to find team members we all truly believe in.

I want tangible stories in interview feedback, I do not like reviews that say “bad vibes”.

I value a fair, respectful, and unbiased interview process, and expect everyone on the hiring loop to do the same.


I care deeply about onboarding and think it’s as important as hiring. I invest time in collecting resources and training materials to help new hires. I want new hires to help me iterate on this.

We will have regular check-ins, multiple times a week, until that is no longer useful. After that we will switch to our weekly 1-1s.

The first 3 months are about learning. That should be your first focus.

I want to use this time to build trust. With me, but also with your peers and other teammates who you will work with. Your peers can teach you more than I can.

I want you to succeed here, and will prioritize anything I can do to get you off to the best start.


People come first. Your own needs are the most important.

Regardless of the situation, I will support and encourage you in your future endeavors. 

If for whatever reason the role wasn’t a good fit, I still believe there is a place out there where you can succeed.


I believe that a manager can be both trusting and “hands-on”. I am passionate and excited about our work together. I want to stay involved enough to understand what is going on, without seeming overbearing or micromanaging. If it comes off as micromanaging, let me know and we can adapt our working relationship.

I may get more involved in a project simply because we didn’t establish ownership well up front. Perhaps I asked for a consult, and you understood it as delegation. I’ll appreciate you clarifying that with me.

I may get more involved in a project because I think you would benefit from support. This usually isn’t a bad thing, my goal is to help you grow. If it feels like I am not helping, let me know.

If I am micromanaging due to performance concerns, I will be up front about the performance concerns.


I believe it is difficult to over-communicate and that frequent communication is essential to success. Please reach out with anything and everything on your mind. If you are ever debating whether to talk about something with me, please do talk about it.

I believe async communication works, and I use it heavily. I understand that not everyone works the same hours, and that your priorities and day may not align with mine.

I’m happy to phone or video call. If you prefer phone or video calls let me know and I will adapt my style when working with you.

I’m part of the “Clean Plate Club”. I almost never leave slacks or emails unread overnight. If you aren’t getting through to me, I’m not consuming that channel of notifications and let me know another way.

I have a bad habit of checking slack outside normal hours, but I have no expectation that you do it too. If I send a message at a weird time and don’t say it’s urgent, it’s not urgent.

I usually want more details, not less. I want to share the “Why?”, since that helps us all learn together. I respond better to concrete, data based details.

You can be curt and blunt with me, I understand curt and blunt communication is sometimes all we have time for, especially when there isn’t a “Why?”. I may do this myself, and if that doesn’t work for you let me know and I will adjust.

I want you to ask me as many questions as you have, but I also expect questions to show a deeper understanding of concepts over time.

I don’t like answering the same question twice, and I expect people to pay attention to each other when they are communicating. If this is hard for you, let me know and we will work together to adapt.

I may follow up to understand where a question came from. I feel I can learn from why the question is asked, to help me communicate better in the future.

I appreciate when someone acknowledges receipt of a message. Otherwise I worry they were not seen or not paid attention to.

Keep your calendar and slack status up to date. Telling me you are running late is better than not showing up on time or at all. I loosely give about 5 minutes of leeway on meetings.

I can be bad at small talk, usually because I care deeply about what we are working on and that is what I am most excited to talk about.

I would not categorize myself as an optimist. I prefer and try to provide a nuanced and detailed picture of the world, not oversimplification, reckless optimism, or hopeless pessimism.

I will be transparent to the best of my ability.

I may speculate on what I think the motivation for a decision is, even if I don’t know for sure. I try to always preface this with the fact that I am speculating, and never take these statements as fact without verification.

Feedback from you to me

In order to work well together, we should give each other feedback to improve our working relationship. I’m comfortable with feedback in all forms, but prefer constructive feedback over private video calls.

I want feedback to be direct, but also example based, nuanced, and solution oriented.

I want feedback when it is fresh. It helps make it more direct.

I may ask for a lot of clarification. It helps me process the feedback. 

I can’t change my behavior if I don’t know or understand what is wrong, personally or professionally. Please help me get there.

I may challenge the feedback. This doesn’t mean it’s not received.

I’m not perfect. I don’t live up to my own expectations of others in this doc all of the time.

Feedback from me to you

I aim to give feedback often in many forums and ways.

I only give positive feedback that I truly mean.

I do my best to only give constructive feedback in private.

I never want my feedback to be or feel like a personal attack. I always want to be respectful and professional.

If I’m asking for advice about a situation with another party, I expect full respect from all parties involved.

I may give feedback that is outright wrong, because I didn’t know the full story. Help me understand if that is the case.

My personal motivators and work style

In my work time, I’m driven to give 100% to solve for the needs of our customers, both internal and external. This both means I care deeply about what they want, and that I have opinions about what I think is the best way to answer those needs. 

I believe in the mission. I believe we have the right group of people to get there.

I always want to start from the big picture, whether it be the company mission, my moral compass, or the goal of being a successful business. I always want to understand what we are doing orients towards one of those goals. If I can’t tie it back to any of those goals, I will usually deprioritize it.

I believe we all have to work together and support each other. I think helping one another and learning are deeply intertwined. I learn best by doing. I value learning and growth and will support you in your adventures towards it. There are great resources out there to learn, and I expect people to be able to leverage them. I appreciate an “I don’t know, but I can find out” attitude.

I tend to be a more creative problem solver, I like to find and follow my own path, and with that I can struggle to hold to a defined process, especially when I don’t understand why that piece of the process is important to the big picture. To correct me, simply remind me why that is the process we should follow.

I try to complete all of my action items. If I delegate it, I will let you know who it’s delegated to. If I deem it not a priority, I will explain why. Things explicitly stated that I need to do for others will generally take priority over tasks I prioritize for myself. If you expect something of me and I’m not doing it, remind me!

I’m constantly looking for ways to improve. I want to deliver better solutions, faster, with less waste and overhead. I don’t believe in the cost triangle; I believe there is, more often than not, a creative way to get high quality both quickly and cheaply.

I’m an iterator. I don’t like to wait until I have all the information before I start building. I believe that moving quickly and having the agility to pivot along the way is better than a waterfall approach. I believe users’ needs are rarely clear, fluid, and ever-changing and we have to iterate quickly to keep up. I am not afraid to throw something away if we no longer need it. I think companies that can iterate quickly have a competitive advantage.

I believe in redundancy and parallel plans. If there are three ways to solve a hard or prolonged problem, I may want to explore all three solutions at the same time, in the goal of both reaching a solution that works quickly and having options to pivot. I do not think information or ownership silos are sustainable.

How I resolve disagreements

It’s inevitable that we will have a disagreement about something. I don’t take it personally, and don’t expect you to. Disagreements are not inherently bad.

I’m willing to compromise, and prefer collaborative compromise to a command if time allows. I believe command style decision making should be only used when necessary.

I may get angry or frustrated if I feel my opinion isn’t being heard. If I feel I’m not able to process the disagreement now, I will let you know and follow up when I am ready. Stepping away from a hard conversation is normal and I understand everyone processes at different speeds.

I will happily admit and accept when I am wrong.

Once we have come to an agreement over how to proceed, I expect everyone to commit to the plan.

Losing and regaining trust

I start out with a high level of trust in people I work with. There are certain things that make me lose trust in a person, and it’s important to rebuild it.

I lose trust when:

  • I feel someone is obstructing progress towards our shared goals.
  • I feel someone has lost sight of the bigger picture.
  • I feel someone is not offering alternative solutions or explanations when they say no.
  • I feel someone is not delivering on their action items.
  • I feel someone is not responding to communication.
  • I feel someone is repeating questions, or is not paying attention to what is happening around them.
  • I feel someone is not being honest with me about the reason why decisions were made.
  • I feel someone is not owning the consequences of a bad decision they made.
  • I feel someone is not responding to constructive feedback.
  • I feel someone is behaving inappropriately or immorally.

If I’m losing trust, I want to try to work through it directly and as soon as possible. I may not realize it at first, come to me if you feel this is happening. The longer we wait to address this, the more difficult it will be to recover from.

In order to regain my trust, we must take time together to understand each other better and work on our communication first. This is very much a two-way street. With frequent communication and by adapting to each other’s needs we can rebuild the relationship, even though it will take effort and time.