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The Best Managers Acquire Power To Give It Away

  • Even though the manager is an authority figure, the best engineering managers acquire power to give it away.
  • What this means is they will establish ownership over a space and then give control of it to an engineer on their team to help them grow. This is especially important growing engineers to senior levels and beyond.
  • By making the engineers on the team share authority, the team becomes more resilient, so that it doesn't collapse when the manager is out.
  • Alex's Instagram example:
    • The oncall in his org was very weak and unhealthy.
    • His manager got the ball rolling and collected a working group of senior+ engineers and managers to align on the problem and agree to solving it.
    • After his manager established a sphere of influence here, they handed it over to Alex to lead the entire effort and successfully revamp the oncall system for ~25 mobile engineers.
    • Manager easily could have led this effort themselves but chose to delegate to Alex, so that he could build authority in this area.

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