James Everingham

You can have more decisions than decision-makers, but if you have more decision-makers than decisions, that’s when you run into problems.

James Everingham

When you think of transparency, you usually default to the communication aspect: telling everyone what’s happening or admitting when you’ve made a mistake. But when folks say that things aren’t transparent, what they’re probably getting at is that decision-making isn’t transparent. It’s the feeling that decisions sometimes roll on down from the lofty perch of the leadership team, seemingly out of nowhere. Instead, pull back … [ Read more ]

How This Head of Engineering Boosted Transparency at Instagram

Not long after James Everingham joined Instagram as the head of engineering, results came back from the employee satisfaction survey that’s conducted every six months. The marks were pretty good, but one problem spot caught Everingham’s eye: the low transparency score.

Transparency is a persistent, thorny problem because we’re not all on the same page about what it even means. To Everingham, transparency was about building … [ Read more ]

James Everingham

Being a good manager is not about avoiding failure — it’s about enabling as many different paths forward as possible for as long as possible.

James Everingham

Asking questions designed to empower and not instruct requires a lot of forethought. Consider putting 10 minutes on your calendar before any meeting to think through which questions will be helpful and won’t interfere with your team’s ability to win.

James Everingham

Often, a manager will take their team into a room and say, “Here’s what we need to do,” or “Here’s what I’ve been thinking,” or “Here’s one way we can think about this…” as they start sketching on a whiteboard. They’re trying to add value. We always want to add value. But if you’re in any position of authority and you do this, you’ve just … [ Read more ]

The Principles of Quantum Team Management

Setting up your team the way you would set up a machine can give you a ton of leverage — as long as you realize how complicated and unpredictable the people in that machine can be. This is where quantum mechanics (and my term ‘quantum leadership’) comes into play. As a discipline, it makes the unpredictable understandable. Similarly, by applying these quantum principles to management, … [ Read more ]