Are You a Manager or an Engineer?

By Gary Hinkle
Jeff’s venture into engineering management isn’t quite what he expected. He manages a group of seven engineers at a semiconductor company, but he continues to work as a hands-on engineer. He’s highly regarded for his technical expertise, which is why he was offered the management position five years ago.

No Budget for That!

By Gary Hinkle
There’s a TV commercial for oil filters where the mechanic warns the customer, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.” Of course what he means is maintain your car, or wait for an expensive breakdown and an engine overhaul.

I’m a Terrible Communicator

By Gary Hinkle
People in my workshops often end up confessing that they know they’re “terrible communicators.” They say they know it’s important to listen openly, write clearly, and present well but that they don’t do it well and never have.

Heave-Ho the Status Quo

By Susan de la Vergne
We’ve read a lot in the last decade or so about whistle blowers, people who call out their bosses—or their boss’s bosses—for questionable, unethical or illegal acts. Every whistle blower spotted what seemed to be a generally accepted practice and said, “This is wrong.”

There’s No Escaping Leadership

By Gary C. Hinkle
After graduating from college, Eric’s first week on the job as an engineer presented several leadership and management challenges— but he didn’t realize at the time that’s what they were. He was just getting the work done that he was told to do, just ordinary assignments for an entry-level engineer…or so he thought.

Relationships or Results?

By Gary Hinkle
In the last post, I wrote about what you should look for when you hire a consultant. When a consultant plays a team lead role, the goal is speedy success and rapid termination. Whether stakeholders like the consultant or not isn’t the point. What matters is that the business objectives are met.

If They Had It To Do Over …

By Steve Wetterling
There was once a very successful American company that made clothes washers. Their machines did a good job of washing clothes and delivered decades of reliable service. When we were newly married college grads, we purchased one as soon as we could afford to. It washed our clothes for 24 years.

Mindfulness vs. Multitasking

By Susan de la Vergne
A story in this Sunday’s New York Times says that Sherlock Holmes was a model of mono-tasking. He solved crime after crime in his famous (fictional) career simply by focusing on the problem, concentrating in solitude until he’d unraveled the mystery.