Survival, Time Management, and Mattering as a Director of Engineering

Making time for what matters

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things - Peter Drucker

Time management advice #1: don’t start a newsletter

Unless you have a vision. I suppose I do.

Leadership isn’t for the faint of heart.

It takes initiative and thought–and hard work–to move beyond management. Having a schedule like @Dusko requires planning and stamina to move beyond the day-to-day. But the most effective use of time is towards leadership, which requires moving beyond what your calendar dictates.

Leadership isn’t just about having a vision, but finding how to take baby steps each week towards that direction, squeezed in with early morning coffee time and between the back to back meetings where you’ve been thankfully “given 5 minutes back” 🙏

Step 1 in making time is getting ahead of schedule, at least in planning your day.

Step 0 is determining a vision.

Determining what matters

Engineering Management is a diverse skillset. Your goal is to fill the void, whether that’s coding, architecture, product management decisions, design needs. Or strategic and roadmap planning, marketing engagement, sales integration. Or community engagement.

Determining which of these matter to you is what will set you apart.

A coffee chat today inspired me to start this newsletter. I hope I stay inspired.

I had a pleasant coffee chat with a woman in Nigeria this morning, Funke. Afternoon for her. She wanted to know all about me and what advice I have.

But those 15 minutes weren’t enough, so she asked if I had a newsletter where she could learn more.

So here we are.

What matters most in leadership: inspiration

Time management might be #2 in being an effective leader.

So another question from Funke: how do I have time to do coffee chats each day?

Inspiration is what creates a vision and moves you from management into leadership. Coffee chats are inspirational (thanks, Funke). My Twitter following is inspirational. Connecting to the Tech Twitter community has led to friendships, job candidates, marketing partnerships, case studies, Docker user interviews, DockerCon opportunities, podcasts and interviews, and more.

And a chance to learn from others. To be inspired, and to understand how I can do better.

Writing helps to formulate the inspiration into cohesive thoughts and ideas.

While 15 minutes as a Director is valuable time, coffee chats have inspired me to create this newsletter, in which I hope to inspire others.