From Intern to VP of Engineering with Mihai Fonoage

Mihai FonoageMihai Fonoage is the Vice President of Engineering for Modernizing Medicine. In this role he leads a Team of Engineers that are working on building high-quality software for medical practices to increase efficiency and improve patient care. With over 13 years of experience in the technology world, his technical prowess has strongly contributed to Modernizing Medicine’s success. Mihai has a PhD in Computer Science from Florida Atlantic University and was Modernizing Medicine’s first employee. He is a recipient of the Sun Sentinel’s 2015 Top Workplace Professionals and the South Florida Business Journal’s 2014 40 Under 40 award.

On today’s episode we discuss Mihai’s path from being an intern to becoming the VP of Engineering and his guidance for engineering managers on how to best prepare to scale to prepare for the role.

 

Contact Info:

Company Website: www.modmed.com

Show Notes:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Plato

The Lead Developer London: “The Hardest Scaling Challenge of All: Yourself”

The Oz Principal

Read Full Transcript

Christian Mccarrick:
[0:05] Good morning me hi welcome to the show.

Mihai Fonoage:
[0:08] Good morning great to be here thank you for having me Christian.

Christian Mccarrick:
[0:11] Absolutely my pleasure I always love to get this opportunity to talk to you other
engineering leaders that are in the industry it is as much as a pleasure for me and I’m sure a lot of my guests to also have a great time so I hope we have a great conversation today as well.

[0:29] Mihai where are you where are you at calling in from today.

Mihai Fonoage:
[0:31] I am calling from the beautiful South Florida our our office is in Boca Raton.

Christian Mccarrick:
[0:39] Boca Raton very very nice sir yes I used to go there on business or a long time ago but it is a very beautiful area so how’s the weather doing okay today.

Mihai Fonoage:
[0:49] So absolutely text me getting to be warmer so it’s the beginning of the summer and somewhere here in Florida or can be a little bit brutal but thankfully
we have the ocean that’s enough helping us to going to cool down phone.

Christian Mccarrick:
[1:05] Excellent and normally I start the show with a little bit of kind of background everybody but in your case I think
that a lot of the show is going to be based upon a little bit of your progression of your career so that’s going to kind of be the meat of the show so I’ll kind of
I’ll change things up a little bit and what kind of go into those you know step wise and in every step you did along the way
so basically you started it at modern medicine where you are today as an individual contributor and you’re now the VP of engineering.

[1:38] Well first congratulations on that I mean I say congratulations but inside I’m sitting like who I’m sorry.
There’s a lot of things yeah we can commiserate I think a little bit because there’s a lot of things when you attain it which is a great it which is a great achievement you know and I really mean that the graduation but it’s also a lot of work.
Right it’s a lot more responsibilities as a lot of work to go with it which I think we’re going to we’re going to touch on and in today’s conversation.

Mihai Fonoage:
[2:07] Yes indeed there is a lot more work but I think this also comes with the opportunity to have a lot more impact right through yourself most disabilities.

Christian Mccarrick:
[2:19] Absolutely absolutely could have said that better right and you’re one of the reasons why I wanted to have you on the show.
Is that your my audience is made up of a lot of engineering leads engineering managers directors and I think that goal,
of the number of those people is the Sunday run an entire engineering organization with selves and you know to be that head of engineering that beep beep engineering right so you know I found your of your background very interesting because you,
climb that ladder so to speak all that one organization you’ve done the entire saying well you are at modern medicine correct.

Mihai Fonoage:
[2:58] Yes yes.

Christian Mccarrick:
[3:01] So you’re one thing I like I want to ask too because this can differ and in your words mean what is your definition of a VP of engineering what is the goal of engineering what do you think your main job is to.

Mihai Fonoage:
[3:14] I really think it’s about
making sure that the engineering organisation succeeds by the alliance with the company goals it aligns with the company culture and that sings that we build and how we build them and the quality of the things that we build that actually match really well with the with the mission and the value of the company so I think for me
that would be number one obviously there’s a lot involved in that but it’s it’s really all about.
The people that we have and making sure that they have what they need and that we invest in them in order for them to succeed
the Sonata in the entire engineering organization can bring that value to the company instead of custom.

Christian Mccarrick:
[4:06] Okay yes yes excellent and so what I want to talk about a little bit of today let’s go back to the beginning you join modern medicine as individual contributor.

Mihai Fonoage:
[4:20] Actually joined modernizing medicine in 2010 I was in my last year of my Graduate Studies at Florida Atlantic University and I joined as an intern.
So back then they were just the two co-founders Daniel Kane and dr. Michael Sherling and.
I met with them I met with Dan actually in he had one office in a building up in Boynton Beach and that’s the only thing that the company had it was just a few or few months
and I met with you and she spoke to me for about 1 hour.
I miss you really, spoke to me about the vision that both he and Michael actually had and and I knew at the end of the meaning that.
This would be more than just a job it’s really be a chance for me to be part of something that is going to have a meaningful impact into into Healthcare so that’s kind of how I’d how I join
as an as an intern working on the first-ever native ipad-based electronic health record system.

Christian Mccarrick:
[5:35] Okay okay no as you you do you join as an intern,
very early employee there and how tell me little bit about how do you organization started to evolve like how did it start to grow and how you participated in that in your rolls along the way.

Mihai Fonoage:
[5:52] Short and and I think they were they were quite a few,
transitions that I went right so from grad student to an intern but after you know,
a couple of months from an intern to full-time I see them from an Icee to a director than from a director to a vice president drive to end.
Most of these transitions actually happen within the mobile development space so
the first one which is the other door student into into internet II started to talk a little bit about that right then and I think at the stage for me
and hopefully for a lot of our students is really.

[6:35] Trying to find the right company in which you can move in right so.
For me I feel that there’s there’s there’s two spaces that really speaks to me that I felt that that you know we can really have a mini for impact and that’s was education and health care.
So when I heard about this through this Healthcare Company obviously pick my
interest soak joint in a meeting with Dan and and he talking about the vision clearly I I knew that this can be something that is beeping or something you know a a chance for us to
change medicine even if it’s just a small small side of medicine so we would be doing that through technology.

[7:22] So I I like to think now that you know we we really doing Healthcare and and and in the EHR space what kind of Amazon.
Uber and Airbnb have done in Retail transportation and lodging right so we are basically innovating we are distraught.
And for me all on top of that is that I would be doing something that I really love,
and I always always seem to college since undergrad I love mobile development so I found the place that inspired me I found a place that I can sell that I can have a mini 14 back and then also doing something,
garlic sauce for me that’s kind of the right company to do to your move into so very important and that stage of a student looking for that okay what happens after college Easter.
Find a company that inspires you where where you feel you can have a mini for you back then dance,
I understand now as I met many Engineers called this past years is that it’s not as easy as it sounds to find such a place so I’m really,
fortunate to have fun.

[8:35] Does u.s. u.s. acetylene as a student I just started you know that that next chapter of a Nintendo funny or an individual contributor is that you you quickly find it there.
Differences between what the school teaches you and the real word rice also I think you need from a from a technical standpoint school gave me a strong Foundation of computer.
I truly feel that that that this was crucial is on my success as an engineer.
And I was also I’ll be lucky that I was the first employee of the company because back then we do not necessarily have.
Ethical guidelines or specification order a whatnot it was it was most about doing your best when building the product.
Knowing that you’re always in the concentrate and I think that’s true for almost any,
any stock up so as we grew and an MSO engineering organisation group obviously we had processes we are replacing the guidelines to ensure high-quality and mental ability of the of the upper code of the crack,
but this type of structure is mostly new for a for a fresh out of college the developer I so it’s it’s something that you definitely need to learn.

[9:53] But also I think there’s being in it in a in a Mew in a startup environment I wouldn’t have to learn quickly have a scale.
And at that level you know it is really about selling your technical skills.
Foundation Auto Whitney to add on inside source who can only do you know.
Can only prepare you this much you need will work experience going to Startup environment this is Amplified
because you need to be to be fast and and and you know you still need to try to maintain high-quality so you need to learn and you need to do that in a very fast so as I move from an inter to an ICN to a senior know I learned,
the hard way what works and water and the beginning I have no other mobile that’s in the team so I have to figure things out on my own
and I’m not saying that in the company no there there wasn’t a support or encouragement but you know
that’s part of the culture but from a Paleo support standpoint it was really mean emo at the beginning so.
Because of that I would say that I was able to really grow and scale fast,
because of the you know do-it-yourself type of learning stand and I feel that those were invaluable there’s nobody there to kind of hold you when you’re in your hand or walk you through how you should.

Christian Mccarrick:
[11:18] Thinkorswim sort of method.

Mihai Fonoage:
[11:21] Absolutely and and you know you do your best and and and and you usually you come.
About the surface right and I think that requires a lot of great I think that’s that’s one of the qualities that anybody everybody shoot shoot have especially when the new in this you gotta have that but you got to keep going you got to.
Keep going and it’s something that I thought I certainly you know you know which one should I not have to hide and I think it actually help.
And you know when you’re in a startup there’s there’s there’s many hats that you were at some point in time II Health with support with training even with with sales and I had,
absolutely no clue how to do all of those so I had to learn I had to to to scale but I love absolutely every second.
I love talking with customers and the other cells conferences I I love meeting our new customers as we were trying to going to train them during the week and I love
I didn’t feel that hey it’s not my job no it’s actually it’s
lost me to emerge myself even more in the company and and and I think again is really help me help me with a girl.

[12:38] So that that would be you know from from from from a grad student to an intern and then to a a full-time that’s kind of how would I summarize that that transition.

[12:52] Next step is to go from Ric to,
director so I can I can I can certainly going through a little bit more details about that movie if you like.

Christian Mccarrick:
[13:03] Yeah I think there’s there’s two that are.

Mihai Fonoage:
[13:07] Import and what the.

Christian Mccarrick:
[13:09] And one of them is going from Individual contributor to when you’re first starting to manage people and then a second big one is when you go from managing people to managing managers.

[13:24] I guess for each of those going to a little bit about how does that work in your company and how did you prepare.
For each of those transmission.

Mihai Fonoage:
[13:35] Absolutely and and I think you’re absolutely right because for me moving from an Icee to a director was,
probably the biggest and harder hardest transition that I had to do and there’s no money in an intermediate step here right like like you know a soccer manager or or or or something like that but
we have them now but back then I just thought that we operate it a little bit differently so going from a senior software engineer to a
director was a was a big jump and I’ll say it was quite a challenge and and that happened when the company was growing,
I thought you were going we were we were starting to hire so we needed somebody in the throat so at the beginning of my director journey I wish I was doing several things
I’ll still a developer a new manager.

[14:34] Hiring supporting you know a growing other engineers and I was also a director started to think about processes think about.
Strategy if you’ll end up with all of that again into scaling scaling kind of is it seems that it’s my it’s my it’s my scene here so.
As I as I hired and as I became a manager I had to learn this,
not just me anymore and it’s not just about me anymore I think this is one of the hardest things because when you’re on I see you know you got things you working and even though you might work in a
you made it seem there’s clearly things that you do that bring,
Direct Value and you have full control over the world in your hands on and you’re doing. And I think.
Biggest thing for me was that I had to understand that I can’t do everything by myself anymore
the company was growing the amount of things that they wanted to achieve blue as well so it was impossible for me to do all of those those things but it was hard for me to let go.
And I think it’s something that a lot of people that that move from the icy into into management I think they have a a a a hard time with and.

[15:55] As as as as a as a as a new manager I in,
I had to learn how to delegate and more importantly I had to learn that you to inspire,
I told to grow at to support my team in order for them to reach their full potential and that’s.
Something that I think it took me a little bit longer than I wanted but once I realize that you know that’s work that never stops right I I still have once now I still do it now and and I I really enjoyed.
When you when you move from a manager to a leader.
I had to to learn how to become more strategic six man about the date today it’s about the other the strategy is about to let Luke.

[16:46] Not right let’s look into the future let’s prepare for that let’s think strategically about that so how do you take the company’s goals and align them
the goals of the respective teams that I was overseeing so becoming a leader.
Chicks chicks time and that’s kind of what I patient was in one of my Fortes right so so I had to,
I had to learn but it takes time and it takes experience and I know you combine that with a great deal of emotional intelligence we certainly I was liking it.
People skills Vision you know and much much more so when you think about becoming a leader it’s more of a.

[17:34] It’s more of a process that I have to stick with it it doesn’t happen overnight it’s a process you have to stick with it and that’s what good comes in right stick with it keep going keep learning keep improving and you get better,
so it’s a process I think that’s the best abuse and then.
We’re taking a step back and we’re looking at the at the you know engineering organization or the or the mobile one back then as I was a director and.
We didn’t have so many processes back then someone skinny problem was there off processes or Black Ops so as you as you grow I figured out that you know we can’t,
manage and operate in the same way as we did before and I don’t think I’m saying something you don’t feel like you need to enter those processes I’ll give you just,
some example you know we have
take me to guidelines you know and design guidelines best practices code reviews I mean get a bunch of those things we do weekly take you to lunch and learns where engineer.
He’s on something that they worked on we also have biweekly technical book clubs with the engineers and so forth so all of those things kind of help us
grow in a way that organization so that it sells it can scale and the people in it can also.

[19:00] And then last symptoms of this you know scaling theme is is that off a couch,
it was very interesting because at the beginning you know it’s really feels that bad that when you’re stopped up this discussion is a life you know and I’m keeping it alive doesn’t require too much water.
Because it has organically in a way I thought so as you growing as you add so many people so fast you tend to lose some of that,
it might be in my humble opinion to lose some of that so you need to find ways to keep it alive so I think that,
you can something that we we owe you know definitely definitely work with and and some of those processes that I mentioned some of those group meeting some of those
conversations and
discussions that we had together with some of the things that the co-founders were doing cannot help with the couch and how can I keep this culture life in Odyssey
improve it as as the company as a company who but certainly there were a lot of mistakes that I made.

[20:13] During peacetime a lot of them and I like a few if you like but but I I I think it was that. Of time,
because it was probably the hardest transition that I did that I made a lot of mistakes and I certainly learned about that.

Christian Mccarrick:
[20:34] Good to let it go into either one mistake or the theme of some of your mistakes because it’s helpful to understand and let other engineering managers and leaders know that.
They’re not the only ones making mistakes right and hopefully be able to learn from some of our mistakes that we made over here.

Mihai Fonoage:
[20:55] Absolutely and a lot of just a few.
Where should I start with the First on probably not listening.
Right to my engineers and that I’m really talking about you no active listening not a silly having no conversations in my head around what the other person was saying what I was hearing right it’s Morrow funeral.
Empathetic listening no to genuinely try to understand the other person that in front of you that’s talking to you right so I was I was I was.

[21:32] Wasn’t actually seeking first to understand the other person but I would rather expecting them to understand me and that.
Obviously does not work.

[21:44] One of the other challenges or one of the other mistakes was probably not not empowering the engineers as much as I should.
And then also this goes back to the fact that I get I just used to seeing myself right and it was kind of hard to let go I was more afraid
command and control if you will as opposed to motivating and adding Power Ranger Mighty in power in the engineers in My Soup.
And with that also comes not investing in there in there in the drawer
then obviously now we do things like tackweed we do we send them to conferences that mentioned the luncheon and I mentioned that they stick a boot box all of the things that we do now it’s really give tours.
Sting in the people that we have making sure that they have what they need in order to be successful.
I bet that was again 6 years ago 5 6 years ago I didn’t know too much about about those things and and I think I just had to learn it the the best bet
unfortunate but certainly it helped me grow and you know.
Last one maybe this is an interesting one it’s not not thinking more of a house.

[23:08] When we ride so I had to be right you need to be wrong which is not a healthy attitude so we when we not on the same page.
Instead of trying to connect to come to a consensus trying to again listen more figure on their point of you see,
where do we actually Mash where are we part and then come to a consensus work both parties too comfortable.
I was most Academy looking into hey Ty I had to be ride to kind of unique you had to be wrong in a way I had to write another win win win.

[23:47] It’s Anthony Knotts not helpful and I I look as I actually talked about this and I and I think about them and I’m like however.
Could I have done all of those things and it’s just look it it’s just.
Is it is how it was I had almost little experience so I I made a lot of mistakes and and I I learn from you anytime I get a chance to.
To a mentor.
Coach audio engineer soda or other engineering managers I I really try to come to talk about some of these things because.

[24:22] My dad always used to do serious as a smart person learns from someone else’s mistake right and I I want.
Then the people that I talk to that I you know to to learn from the mistakes that I made and and maybe hopefully to help them to not make the same mistakes right so I think that’s that’s that’s
one of those those calzones you do those things unfortunately what happens is that it it really has an impact on first
isoetes erodes that fast and I really look at trust as as being the foundation.
Upon which you build everything else right and and you know how hard is really.
Frosty’s really hard to to to create buses as we all know it’s really easy to to to lose so there’s a relief.
Great book which I which I really loved it’s it’s called.

[25:21] It’s cold out. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People I think I am by Stephen Colbert and uses this metaphor of unemotional
bank account,
which one is stick with me and he describes the amount of trust is being built up in a relationship right and saying that that the more you draw from it,
buy actions that kind of Detroit Ross would you some of the things that I mention updates
the harder it is to have a relationship with the other person my so I think you know it’s very important for everything that you do really do it
keeping the other person in mind and just be very mindful of this trust and and I’m trying to build it and trying to kind of really notary
because once the other person trust you wants you to cross the other person I think the communication Channel opened up the feedback Channel opens up and just marvelous things actually happen,
when you do that silly.

Christian Mccarrick:
[26:23] I agree since I want to go back to something you recently mentioned now dealing with,
mentorship and helping Mentor other managers and there’s two things I want I want to talk about the first I think that,
you are not mistaken you are doing some formal mentoring through the Play-Doh network is that correct.

[26:46] And you the reasons I think for that is what you said right you’re doing this because,
if you’ve learned you had some mistakes and you want to really help people to avoid the same mistakes you’ve made right is that some of the and the reasonings behind that that you’re you’re giving yourself back now to this music.

Mihai Fonoage:
[27:03] Absolute absolutely right yes.

Christian Mccarrick:
[27:06] If you flip it around when you were.
Getting into management and director and Leadership roles who did you have available to me was there anyone that that you could look up to would you have a coach or Mentor or someone.
As a role model that you use to guide you through this process.

Mihai Fonoage:
[27:27] Very interesting I I don’t think I had a formal Mentor or a former coach and I think that something that certainly is it on me it’s not on anybody else it it’s not on the manager that I had back then
on me have asked for something like that or or to have encouraged my Maya manager to do that with me
not to do that so I would say that that formally I didn’t have a mental informally I think I had a few people in the company.
Especially the the CEO back the end that I could always go to an and ask for feedback and ask for question and I did that a few times and it certainly helps because I think he has a a a.
Tremendous wealth of experience but I didn’t do it as as often as I should so for me is you know I do know about such organizations that I bet that that you mentioned that I might be part of now and then.

[28:29] The company was not as big as to be able to kind of go in and just have a formal mentorship program or or or or training or or anything like that back then so,
I think for me that that that learning really came through with it.
And that’s when I started reading a lot about management leadership.
How to calculate grow people how to invest in people how to coach how Commander so as I did that the interesting part is that.
As I was reading some of the way some of the things that for example you should say versus you shouldn’t say and how can you best in in a people and everything like that I’m like oh my goodness I mean,
yes I made this mistake I did this wrong always I only knew about this and that it would have helped me here and there.

[29:14] I think I I take that now and as I meet with you know some of the managers that I had some of the,
directors that I have now in my organization as I meet with some of the other engineering managers through.
Show some other organizations that I’m involved with I think that’s the opportunity.
As they bring an interesting they bring this this this like a comment saying they bring almost out of the exact same challenges that.
I face then and I always say the probably a lot of people have faced as they as a group and I’m unable to come to speak and just relate to,
damn I just speak about my experience as I had to kind of deal with that and then try to figure out how can.
My experience kind of help. That’s how how can some of the readings that I’ve been doing kind of help them as as well.
Hopefully that that that covers it will be someone.

Christian Mccarrick:
[30:13] And what did you think was harder going to become just a manager of individual contributors or to become a manager of managers and what what do you think was a harder transition.

Mihai Fonoage:
[30:25] It’s interesting because that was one of the one of the topics that.
Engineering manager has who the pedal organization he was a TAA manager just became a manager of of new managers and he was trying to figure out how to can I make that.
Transition and it’s a very interesting one because I think.
Initially when I became a force manager II Men it’s only people that that were doing some of those things that I was doing before I became a man.
So I can kind of relate to some of the struggles that they had.

[31:05] Right then and then and some of the roadblocks that they were facing salt able to help them with that especially the starting to grow as a as a manager.
Has been I moved a little bit higher than I started to have managers under me I because I went through that fast I understood some of the challenges that they were facing especially if they are new managers.
Ride is East the fact that they need to cut it out change the way they they think about that day too to two other workout I think I was trying to instill in them the fact that.
At this point you were really used to be Hands-On and just bring Valley mostly as an individual we need to take a step back and we need to know really look into.
Our our main goal as as as managers of Isis will make sure that your seem sexy.

[32:00] It’s not about to you anymore it’s not it’s about the people that you manage so working with them in terms of that,
I think was first and foremost and then how do I invest in those in those managers especially scenes,
you know I didn’t necessarily have the same investment As I Grew as a manager so,
would think Samsung some very interesting things here or support the phone company’s amazing but it’s investing in in the in the in the Sinnoh middle layer of managers by having enough
I so we bring different experts in for a few days and then I just go for for 2 or 3 days order of a full day train rides the best at something amazing that the company is actually Africa
very happy for that and I don’t think that I am doing with my managers we have a leadership.
Night and we pick a book and we everybody gets a everybody gets a chapter.

[33:01] And delete the conversation about that chapter but everybody reads
so it’s a weekly leadership book club for about 1 hour in the afternoon and it’s very amazing as we go through some of those learnings as we go through some of the pages and we
we talked everybody kind of talks about their experiences that reading about some certain topic that actually can,
relates to write so it’s a very good group conversation is not a silly me trying to come in I’ll bring down some of the learnings it’s a group conversation everybody talks about their experiences.
And it’s it’s not.
You know me trying to help them and then learning from me toso Houdini line from them it’s such an amazing feeling and I’m I’m very fortunate that I have pretty amazing managers and.
Directors in my team where we’re alone from a loan from them almost on a daily basis you and they learned from from me such a great Synergy to have.

[34:03] But I don’t you know I and I will say we will evaluate those leadership book locks and it’s it’s it’s great you know small I think I have five or six managers underneath so.
It’s it’s it’s pretty amazing to be able to kind of meet with them and then gives me a chance to know them better and I’m listen to them and pick out some of the other. The q’s and Anna and then you know what you’re going to work with them afterwards but it’s such a.
Amazing experience so.

[34:32] Which one is harder it’s it’s hard to say I think for me truly it was harder the first time I became a manager because I have no experience so I think that that’s that that was a a a struggle for me,
more than when I started having manages under me I think by that time in the first time happened probably 2 years ago.
I already had a headache had an idea of.

[35:02] How to how to how to do Reese Wholesale Nursery in.
Very good at it but it’s just I I’ve been through a lot and I’ve learned a lot through my own experiences after the training that the company offers at the books that I read that I can I could relate.
The sum of their struggles much more easier,
and and and you know it was also for me to kind of let go of some of the things that I was doing as a manager and let them kind of kinetic ownership and be accountable for those things as I was stepping a little bit.
Hop in a way and thinking more strategically.

Christian Mccarrick:
[35:44] I want to.
We emphasized what are the points you made about just the book club you’re doing I think it’s important to understand for,
for managers that if your manager of managers by by taking the time and dedicating to help improve them as managers,
right I mean that it just makes your job as a manager manager is easier right because you’re giving them the tools where they can one start learning from each other.
And just be getting better and better at managing their employees and then creates that alleviates a little bit of Bergen that you have that having to deal with no just some of the basic,
the first principle managerial stars and trees you up,
didn’t start looking and planning an about you know building upon those foundation and and making chick thinking strategically how can you help better the entire organization so,
I really really appreciate that you take the time to dedicate to helping to grow your managers because it’s it’s only helping now but I’m in helps you as you mention to scale yourself as a leader as well.

Mihai Fonoage:
[36:50] Absolutely absolutely end and it’s it’s again going back to the culture of the company I really think it’s it’s it’s part of the culture
and then a anal invest in the people that you have an end and that investment is going to come back to you at the end of the day and I can say that they do really
appreciate that and it is very interesting because not many
how many companies do that not many managers do that as soon as I get a chance to meet this this this managers to the organization that I cannot sign of waste very rarely do I have anybody when we get to going to talk about those made of shibue cops actually say that that that that oh yes would bring something very similar but they all love the idea of me is
you know I’m I’m I am I am I’m able to to to give you information to empower you with information that you can then take back and really have an impact on yourself and then only your
organization and for me that is such and such an amazing feeling such an amazing.

Christian Mccarrick:
[38:03] No she asked silly I want to go to talk about here for a moment is.

[38:09] You’ve gone again from all the way from intern right through to to the VP of engineering no.
As my listeners hear our managers are even directors what.
It when you look back now what are the things you would recommend Kern engineering managers do.
Eventually want to become a VP of engineering right cuz it doesn’t happen overnight so if you to stay here are the things that.
The word that you thought were the most important things for you for your advancement when it was there anything that stands out to you if you would recommend as your mentoring someone saying they come to you and say I want to be view to ensuring someday,
what what are some of the guidelines and steps that you would coach them today to start down that path.

Mihai Fonoage:
[38:52] I so then I think that so that’s a great question and it is highlight some of the things that I said but.
I would start with my sound strange it’s really investing in yourself.
I mean if you don’t have the tools that you need if you don’t have the information that you need.
How are you going to be able to help the people around.
Right so why I would say number one in I don’t want this to sound sound selfish but I think it’s just invest in yourself read a lot right there’s there’s a lot of great books that’s a lot of great course Easter Lotto.
You know meetups that you can go to just just just you no talk with people learn get those lungs right that I think it would help you it will help you grow and then when you are armed with all of the information.

[39:42] What is basically means is that as you as you invest in your people in your managers you have.
That that that knowledge actually that that that that that you know they can then take.
And it will help exam kind of quiet and be successful,
what if you are not armed with that information for not armed with the knowledge it especially for those managers that don’t have 10 years of management experience with that can’t be a successful,
you don’t have the right tools to do that job,
so you best in yourself I think that’s that’s kind of one of those things but I don’t want to seem to be talking about investing is that obviously investing.

[40:28] Life is truly and I and I know that you know it’s been said a million times and I truly feel that that’s very important to just I’ll say it again invest in your people it’s about the people you surround yourself,
with ride is Easter seen that you build around you so right now as I’m mostly no interact with my managers and with might,
rectus I’m I’m I’m very fortunate that I’m able to invest in there but I’m also very fortunate that they themselves are open to feedback and they’re really,
you know they’re there they did take that feedback they improve and then they give me feedback and it helps me kind of grow right so it’s it’s important to invest and as they see that,
the managers invest in band with only two snatch referred them to do the same thing with with the people that they actually,
obersee rice way just it’s just it it creates this nice chain business cycle right where where they take that investment and they do the same thing,
he’s going to try and find a man to end this I’m not talking about man to orgasm.
You know hey you have a mentor as your area manager certainly use you could should do that.

[41:46] Have your manager be the man that beat the coach but you should definitely try and go outside of that outside of that Circle find me b,
even your dad say that you any product to be bellamah find other mentors in the field and we are doing that here or even go outside of that,
and find other methods within the company.
I think it’s important for you to be able to can I bring some of those challenges to someone and just get their sauce on it get that they’re their feedback anything
that person that you go and actually talk to does more than they did coaching then you know certainly they will they will,
allow you be with makes you think of how you saw some of the challenges that you’re bringing back to them
and then you better starting point of conversation with the I supposed to do just go in your house tell you how to console
so it’s important I think to find manthers within your organization but also
outside if you can it’s not big enough there’s organizations out there such as
prattle. That actually offers that’s okay I believe in those things and and and I feel I feel kind of kind of kind of you know how you often.

[43:04] Probably one of the last ones is certainly something that I struggle with is Ace feedback welcome fee,
ask for feedback,
right it’s it’s you can’t you can’t build a relationship with someone if it’s a one a one way street,
why do you get feedback you defeat defeat back but you don’t actually are not open on on receiving ask you feedback from the other person so it needs to be a hous3 there and buy you opening up.
The other person you know you ask Hey What Can I Do Better or or hate I did this this
did this work for you you know how to make sense how can I approach this differently so that it would work better for both of us right there opening yourself for the feedback the other person interesting enough it’s going to feel
they can be more open and all of this truly goes back to the trust trust you have an open conversation with somebody
you take feedback you give feedback you’re open about it both ways and it builds that trust and I think when you work with people anymore so closely with with people you need that so that’s again just,
one of the tools that you can set.
So I guess this year this would be some of the things out on the top of my my head that that that that kind of come to me.

Christian Mccarrick:
[44:31] At what do you do in the situation where you have somebody that maybe they’re not the best it’s self-promotion or maybe the little more introverted and,
how do you advise some of them to make sure that other people know about their.
Achievements and the end of the work that they do not just Project work but you know the fact that they are good manners one. How would you help people to get that information more visible
write your knowledge more visible to other people in the organization that are higher up because a big part of scaling I think is managing up now right and having to do with that.

Mihai Fonoage:
[45:08] Absolutely Enders.
We certainly I certainly encounter managers that are more introvert and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that so how how do we how do we help them as you mention getting some of their success some of their
you know some of the things that they did on success we how do we bring this out so there’s there’s a few ways as SS.
As the manager of those people in a way it’s also my responsibility to to bring that up.
So in the in the meanings with my peers always with high-level stakeholders when we talked about some of the successes that we had I always make sure that I had the purse.
I see if this manager is an introvert and and he or she would never going to speak up here for herself in terms of.
6’s plus Nicholas I will do that.
I was sore for him I was certainly going and I will I will I mentioned those successes I would say that this has this effort has been made by this person it’s not me.
It’s not me type is truly Ladd by the portion and and and I think it is very important to to do that.

[46:23] Other other ways is to is to really try and maybe start with like smaller settings where I am Courage the person who cannot speak,
and I think he looks more settings it’s all about getting that manager book manager into a comfortable enough State of Mind.
Right and it’s it’s very interesting where.

[46:45] Reading a book about presents right now in in one of the leadership book clubs I forget by whom it was awaiting but it really speaks about how in.
How many meanings how do you how do you ensure that you bring your best,
in such mean excited it’s all about presents right it’s a physical presence Easter it’s the voice is everything like that and how do you do that and it it it certainly helps.
You know when you when you think about that is to its [2:40] but they’re not comfortable is take some of those obviously and and work with them on that and then and then start small,
stop may be in in like a smaller setting in and get them comfortable.
Speaking. But it might take a long time but slowly but surely they will get into the habit of just send you a few things here and there and then more and more
feeling comfortable about that comfortable feeling comfortable and just and just talking about that and then also I tend to blame
my manager see some of the meanings that I am in and even if they don’t necessarily.

[47:52] You know directly contribute there exposed to my peers and two other high level stakeholders and and,
I think it just helps them get more relaxed,
when they get into meetings with some of those pics by even when they get in meetings with some of their people or or or or some of their own peers because they got exposed to those meanings they then delete the alarm.
Dino enter their their confidence grows a little bit each of those Investments.
I hope that makes sense.

Christian Mccarrick:
[48:28] Yeah absolutely no that’s great and as we’ve been having this conversation internally of insertive
you’re pretty happy because I’m actually giving a talk next week
get the lead developer conference in London in the name of the caucus is scaling yourself right how do you the hardest challenge of all scale yourself right as it is an engineering later and is everything going through and even mentioning
point after point after point it’s bringing up a lot of the topics that I’m talking about in in my talk,
which is been great because you know whenever you go to give a talk or something a little nervous and and just started for you you’ve actually been validating a number of the points that I’m actually going to be bringing out so it’s glad to know that I’m not
in out of left field and and other people are also feel that these are important as well so it’s been going through this you made me feel a lot better about giving my talk so I want to I want to thank you for that part of it.

Mihai Fonoage:
[49:17] Oh that’s perfect absolutely welcome.

Christian Mccarrick:
[49:20] So you’ve mentioned a couple of resources already is there anything else that you would you would recommend to,
engineering managers out there or new managers books blogs resources there anything specific that you think might be helpful for that or just something interesting you read recently.

Mihai Fonoage:
[49:37] I know that. That’s that’s books. That’s that’s that’s a great one because there’s so many books out there it is.
I have really to boost I think have had the biggest impact and I think I’ve already in old mansion one which is that that know that the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and,
it is really talk me to be proactive I don’t don’t see that wait for things to, come your way and I’ll take action.
Take picture.
It also going to talk me how to how to better manage my time and and and also help to find solutions that don’t just benefits.
Myself but benefits the other person lies and goes back to that you know we win strategy.

[50:25] It’s possible listening over being open-minded so that you can you can better understand the the other other person I think that’s that’s really really a great.
Another book that actually found out about the one of the trainings that the company had is called the Oz principle,
I don’t know exactly what the what the what the what the full title of the of the of the book is but it’s really about order organizational and I think individual accountability
and and
this is Bill. I had a huge impact on on me and on my management and leadership style because it only talks about being
accountable very very highly of that right
get out of your Beating cycle get out of the dino claiming game you know stop finding excuses you know and we see a lot of a lot of old
just become more empowered take ownership anymore.
Accountable there’s there’s a question that come stock with me and that question the dog to the book magic that you should always ask yourself is what else can I do.

[51:36] Right and if you only only asked a question so many things so many issues so many problems so so many hardships that you go through will be sold
and and and again very huge impact on me and that’s something that that that
that certainly I took into to heart and help me gold as a manager in it it would help me grow as it as they are probably one of the top.
Two books and then just as a heads up.
Cyber called me I was mentioned emotional intelligence because we’ve been really really focusing on that for the past year
and and it’s it’s it’s it’s very important we actually had a a book club a leadership book club on a book like that and it’s very interesting because.

[52:24] You don’t learn about that in school you really learned about that on on a day-to-day job but it’s it’s it’s just one of those things that actually has.
Biggest impact on your success for not only your success your organization success,
we will we really focusing on that on that you know emotional intelligence and kind of water some of the Dust tab some of the specific steps that we can take in order to improve,
this EQ and I got a new manager and and also we do it with some of the people that we met.
You know we we we have one-on-one you know sessions and we will try to connect.
Effusion into the places where there is that the biggest opportunity for growth and help them and work with them and it’s it’s it’s it’s something that.
Certainly wish you very very highly highly off because you can’t ignore your.
Emotions and but you said they need to come to be able to manage them and and figure out what pushes your buttons and how to how to you know,
take a step back before reacting how to live in the moment listening.
Those will be some of the some of the some of the book’s name of the song on the top.

Christian Mccarrick:
[53:45] Great and for the listeners I will put them on the show notes under simple leadership. I owe and I’ll make sure I get the links to them there
let me high what is the best way to contact you either at your company or personally a kind of internet if someone wants to reach out to you to ask question or or just going to share or say hi.

Mihai Fonoage:
[54:03] Absolutely I think you know going through either LinkedIn and you can find me a seat by my full name I am fortunate enough to have a,
unique names and also go on Twitter and and and absolutely you can you can find me meet me there or just email me email use my
company email if you want to reach out these my first name. Last name as modernizing medicine. Com any any of those means
happy even if anybody reaches out I would love to connect contact with anybody and everybody about any any such topics it always bring bring me joy.

Christian Mccarrick:
[54:40] Will perfect well we highly appreciate the time today enjoy the the Florida weather before it gets too hot and muggy and I really had a great conversation thank you for being on the show.

Mihai Fonoage:
[54:51] Asphalt the same here thank you for the invitation thank you for for having me on the show thank you so much.

Play