Making Your Employees Badass with bethanye McKinney Blount

bethanye McKinney Blounbethanye McKinney Blount is a technology leader with over 20 years of experience delivering great products and scalable infrastructure. She was briefly reddit’s first VP of Engineering, after working on some of Facebook’s most complex infrastructure projects. She’s been an Engineering Director at Linden Lab (makers of Second Life), then later Vice President of Software Engineering for EMI Group. In 2010, bethanye co-founded MailRank to develop a new approach to email productivity, and they were acquired by Facebook in 2011.
She’s now co-founder and CEO of Compaas, where her team is building employee compensation strategy tools for growing companies. bethanye is also a cofounder of the award-winning diversity and inclusion nonprofit Project Include.
On today’s episode we discuss how to be a better manager, how to make your employees more bad-ass and Keanu Reeves…
Contact Info:
Company website:
My twitter: @bethanye
Show Notes:
(transcription provided by Google Api)
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Christian Mccarrick:
[0:04] Welcome Bethany how are you today.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[0:05] I’m good thank you.

Christian Mccarrick:
[0:06] Excellent well thank you for coming to the office I always really love and people come to the office I think it’s kind of had something else to the podcast.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[0:12] This place is going to get the tour 2.

Christian Mccarrick:
[0:14] Yeah plus I can guarantee that sometimes do not like on a car driving and it’s like background noise and some crappy you know speaker on your MacBook Pro.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[0:20] It’s like you’re following me all day.

Christian Mccarrick:
[0:22] So I just want to come to start out brief introduction for those of you who don’t know you which might be odd you know to listen to my podcast but for those that don’t little background kind of how you got to where you are today and you know what you doing now.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[0:35] So I am an engineer and I will see you in a founder of a small startup right now we’re building competition at oolitic Circle compass,
I’m also one of the founders of the award-winning non-profit project include include which is all about diversity and inclusion and Tack and supporting and improving that but before that I’ve worked it I,
worked at Facebook before they say they bought Mary are my last start up in 2011,
set the time there if you Google me you’ll see that I was at read it for the shortest job I’ve ever had in my life.
I literally worked 3rd Shift at 7-Eleven longer than I wasn’t read it in high school and.
And I also worked at Second Life Linden lab before that.

Christian Mccarrick:
[1:21] Yeah yeah and so how did you get into technology.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[1:25] So I started out.
Kind of nowhere near technology in a way so I started out doing a lot of typesetting and typography that was my original entree into things and in high school I type that papers and print them out and laser printer at my dad’s office and turned even A’s.
And then I took that experience and became a typesetter and then someone doing graphic work for a newspaper.
When I was 19 my first real grown-up job I work 2nd shift while I was going to college and then I ended up moving into advertising after that every time you press.
Which had a lot of specialized needs because at the time it was a really big files removing on there like you know hundreds of magma moving around.
And I was working on STI machines and things like that and so what we did was a very constrained was very technologically forward.
Organization where it was from the printing industry but it was also a super understaffed from Attack standpoint and so it got to where I was just it was easier to learn to fix things myself then to call the the guys at the middle of the night and I’m going to do it.
Eventually I just announced one day that I was going to do that.

Christian Mccarrick:
[2:37] Nice take initiative.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[2:38] Skydivers really funny May 1st my very first day the guy that was that was my boss for many years after that the first day I walked in and he threw a copy of the red book at me the Unix systems Administration handbook and he just like throws it at me and says he will need this cuz I still have it like covered with post,
all of that so I did that for a while while I was there I ended up starting out doing some side work and then moving out of doing side work eventually doing.
But development work and I remember very clearly never wanted to be a manager,
ever ever ever ever and my headache I great,
Mentor I didn’t really recognize that she was my mentor at the time but in retrospect great mentor to me and remember her looking at me one day and saying someday you’re going to want to do something that’s going to be bigger than you can do by yourself,
and that’s when you’re going to decide if you’re going to be a manager and I was like no no no no no but I guess she was right she was right.

Christian Mccarrick:
[3:32] Yeah I know that’s why I think that’s an awesome an awesome quote to its where you can only scale so much as running code but to really scale systems and an organization’s you have to learn to scale Yourself by stealing other.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[3:45] Exactly exactly.

Christian Mccarrick:
[3:47] That’s a good point so your first manager job though how did that kind of so you you finally said it’s Kicking and Screaming into it right had that happen.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[3:54] I did a lot of like sideways management because I would refuse to be a real manager or making air quotes on a podcast by the way I refuse to be a real manager for a long time I did a lot of like team-leading the stuff.
Where I basically wasn’t doing,
it wasn’t doing like fire fire comp or perfect but I would do like a lot of the eventually care and feeding you know helping somebody with your career development so I did that for quite a while.
I got recruited out of that printing company the ProPress company where I been for if I was there for like 7 years and I ain’t got recruited out here to California that was back in Texas got recruited out here 2002.
I became a product manager that we didn’t call it that back then,
because I was still doing pre-press offer and then I was recruited from there to Second Life a few years after that I think that was really the first time that I had to do it when I was in a very traditional software organization,
despite all the ways that that company was very non-traditional its own that my friend started a traditional differentiation of roles and thinking about how to work at through and I thought that was probably.
Video of the first time I had to type the actual title of manager even though it had the responsibility to do that a number of times before that.

Christian Mccarrick:
[5:05] Which I think is going to actually common for a lot of people that get into it right there instead of doing the job and all but name.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[5:11] Yeah and I think sometimes you’re doing the job in all but name because you’re not being recognized for the work you’re doing and it certainly seen that but in my case it was definitely viewing I refuse to be a manager I’m just going to do all the work but not be a manager yeah yeah.

Christian Mccarrick:
[5:23] Put your foot down like no not doing it and I asked everyone who comes on and he like hair-raising oh my God like how could I possibly have made a mistake kind of thing that you look back in there so just pick one.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[5:35] Oh man which one we going to go for here.

Christian Mccarrick:
[5:38] One of those get you sued or your thing like that.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[5:40] Or anyone else I mean,
so many mistakes oh my goodness I think that I made a lot of mistakes when I was in that sort of in-between space before you know it different companies before I was officially a manager.
I made one oh my God this is so embarrassing so.
Basically realize in retrospect that when I was in my early twenties and I was working at the printing company and I was very passionate about protecting my people you know my team I was right there manager know there was my that was my team.
I got into some fights that I probably shouldn’t have gotten into and there were a few times when I definitely.
Escalated things in a way that in retrospect I think really should have gotten me more caught up on the carpet with HR and it actually did like if I.

[6:37] If I did something like that now first of all I should not be doing that at all and then also I’m just thinking about ties why would like it ended like really significant argument there was once a vice president.

Christian Mccarrick:
[6:49] Yeah gloves off.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[6:50] From Another Side of the company.
That worked out like an hour ago and he was like from sales and he was trying to bully me into doing something and I said no,
and he said oh I’m more important than you you need to do it was just me and him in the room and I was like no I’m not going to do it and that he comes already sort of trying to loom over me cuz I’m sitting in a chair and then I stood up and I’m a full head taller than him and then it was like he’s a you need to sit down right,
now and I’m like oh no I do not like it was so immature and I’m not proud of any of it so I think those were the things that should have in retrospect.
Yeah those are the things.

Christian Mccarrick:
[7:27] We’ve all had those right.
Well I know but that maybe not quite that hug mistakes but that’s a that’s a tough one.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[7:33] I just I definitely didn’t respond well to being pushed around or having somebody attempt to push me around or try to push around people that I cared about at work and.
My reactions to that have been highly variable throughout my career I think I handle it more grace more gracefully now than I did certainly when I was 23.

Christian Mccarrick:
[7:50] Yeah I think we all hopefully.
Most of the time kind of do that what.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[7:55] If you’re 23 do better than me.

Christian Mccarrick:
[7:56] Well there was no I think it’s no excuse but I think back then.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[8:02] Oh the 90s.

Christian Mccarrick:
[8:03] Supposed to know I’m it’s not terribly better it sucks when you listen to all the crazy stuff and people Behaving Badly.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[8:08] And finally getting caught.

Christian Mccarrick:
[8:12] Angela Cartwright.
But there was no even I think there’s no podcast about this there’s no people writing necessarily great good thing about this I don’t think it was really on the on the forebrain of a lot of people that hate this matters right like really good leadership in technology.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[8:27] Oh I totally agree.

Christian Mccarrick:
[8:28] There’s always been lots of books for business side right you know a lot of books that are similar books on other things right.
Entech it’s just been that kind of frat attitude of hey we’re going to do this right and that doesn’t work out too well sometimes.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[8:44] Yeah I think also.
This is the part where having come from outside of takaratomy taking the non-traditional path in to where I am now is interesting because I mean certainly printing is.
Not exactly like a an up-and-coming you know.
Forefront of egalitarian interactions as far as industry 20 some years ago now but I.
I remember just at the time it was the sense that like you had these to be sort of people in side and the organization and it wasn’t just our organization every company I talk to you had to stare at people so I’m not just trying to bag on my former employer.
But every company had sort of this like Elite tear of people who could just.
Get away with whatever ship they wanted to get away with and there were no consequences for them fundamentally no consequences for them for this and they would.
So I had a lot of anti models when I was starting to think about being a manager and I was like I don’t know what I do want but I’m never going to be that guy I spent so much time trying to not be.
Those people.

Christian Mccarrick:
[9:48] Exactly I can I can relate I’ve been I think I’ve learned As Much from the worse manners that,
then the best because you exactly said you know what I never want to do and you kind of personally see that effect it has on yourself and the rest of the team.
And it’s the kind of Sears in the dryer like I’m never doing that right I’m never going to be that guy.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[10:09] Orlando worst white at the moment when you’re like oh my God am I that guy.

Christian Mccarrick:
[10:12] That’s right that’s right.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[10:13] That comes later that’s 10 years in your life oh no did I become that guy.

Christian Mccarrick:
[10:16] That’s right I sound just like the person I said I would never become.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[10:20] Just let’s revisit here what am I doing here.

Christian Mccarrick:
[10:22] It’s right if you had their respective so what what kind of any tips you have for anyone that would be going into management now or is kind of new to management that you you might say focus on this business is kind of thing that really matters.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[10:32] I think that there are a lot of.
There’s a lot of stuff out there that talks about sort of how to do the blocking and tackling now I feel like that was sort of missing when I first started doing this but there’s more stuff out there about like how to have a one-on-one and had to have these conversations and things like that my.
My fundamental belief is that as a manager,
any manager your job your number one job your prime directive is to help every individual that you support be as bad as they can possibly be that is your job,
and all the other things like how we should barcode how we how we structure for our product how we maintain the things that we’ve created all of those things I think are all in support of that and if they’re not in support of that and I think that you can end up with priorities of God.
I’ve certainly worked with lots of people who I generally like and even respect to fundamentally disagree with me on this from time to time because they’re like no sometimes all other priorities must be rescinded and I I can see you at the world on fire you want to do that but.
If you don’t continue to come back to that core principle of figuring out how you’re going to support somebody.
Becoming the most amazing version of themselves that they can be then you’re holding your team back and you’re holding your team back to be never more awesome than you are,
and I don’t care who you are you’re not more often than all of the people around you right so figuring out how you can Lake Elevate that raises everybody up.
Other I got a great piece of advice when time from.

[12:03] A guy at second life but I was working there and he said no matter what you do like make sure that you don’t try to take any of the credit for any of the good things that your team does,
just don’t take it just do not accept it just continue to shove it off onto your team as much as you can because whether you deserve it or not you’re going to get it.
So you need to actively redirect that on to your team members and not only does that show them that you’re prioritizing correctly but you’re going to get propped up anyway you don’t need to go hug it out like I mean it’s going to come to you.

Christian Mccarrick:
[12:33] Is ultimately responsible so if your team wins you win and everyone kind of knows that.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[12:37] Yeah I can’t I see the situational out where somebody because when you first become a manager you feel really bad about it you feel like.
I’m not doing anything with my time I’m exhausted I’ve been here for 12 hours I haven’t done a damn thing all day I have not I don’t even remember anything that happened I just know that I didn’t commit anything I didn’t ship anything I didn’t do anything worthwhile therefore I have done nothing I could just feel that crap right.

Christian Mccarrick:
[13:00] Alright I sat in meetings all day.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[13:01] Press at a meeting held at Value don’t mean it feels awful right and.
So you’re hungry for that recognition and for someone to tell you it’s okay.
You have to resist it in that moment you have to be really careful to not fall into that until you know to fall into that where you’re trying to feed yourself you need to make sure it by feeding them you’re just amplifying the amount that’s going to come for you so.
That would be my other thing.

Christian Mccarrick:
[13:26] It’s an awesome.
Even give me some talks lately and the slides for the is Hunter going to this that you sent me before two are filled with Keanu Reeves and different movies right so the name.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[13:37] They are yeah there’s a Keanu for every movie.

Christian Mccarrick:
[13:40] Okay. It’s it’s pretty awesome so I think you first. How did you come to come for the Genesis of making the slide Deck full of Keanu.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[13:47] It’s it’s a super thorough process know what happened was I gave this talk at the first round CTO and Conference earlier this year as one of the key notes for that which was an awesome experience and I.
I had a deadline and I’d written up the whole deck and I knew I wanted the story.
And then I started putting it together it was a it was a hot mess and it looked awful like I just said was totally random it was awful and then I think I was,
stressing about this of course cuz I want to make sure I,
turning my back on time and then I had this Epiphany I think it was like around 1 o’clock in the morning I sat straight up in bed and I was my husband is like.
Then the next day I just pulled in as many pictures of Keanu Reeves I could possibly find I might have Gary Oldman next cuz I think he’s like get similar.

Christian Mccarrick:
[14:34] Nice so the title this I think it’s been people other people’s code right so what does that mean.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[14:40] I think that is an engineer you already have so many of the skills that are necessary to be able to support and grow people,
and we we make up this this Mythos that Engineers are bad at people,
and let’s be clear some our butts up lots of non Engineers are all so bad if people this isn’t like some magical engineer thing right,
if you’re the kind of engineer who just wants to go in and debug something and take it down to this exact memory leak that caused this exact thing that you just want to dive and trog until this one little detail may be managing people isn’t for you right but,
if you’re someone who can already think about how to rachna systems how things work together how you debug things and it ended in an environment at complex environment and managing people can actually be really great for you you already better at this than you know you are,
the trick is is making sure that you give yourself the the Space 2.
Learn about the system that you’re now supporting right so people other people’s code,
teams are complex systems of other people’s code your job is basically to help this system be successful,
and part of that is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of all the different parts of the system part of this is giving yourself the ability to study and do comparisons and then to figure out again how to help every person be as bad as they.

Christian Mccarrick:
[15:55] And you mentioned it a couple of different to the highlight of categories in there is talk about the ramping up. So that’s sort of finding everything in the system right now to ramp up and really doing that due diligence on your team like he was going to try to figure out you know right exact.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[16:09] The thing to remember is that with people you they are other people’s code but you don’t have the source right all you get if you get there.

Christian Mccarrick:
[16:17] You get the outfit right.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[16:17] You get the outfit you to compile if you’re lucky you get logs you probably don’t,
so that’s what you have to have to go in and figure out stuff like on your own and make it making a deliberate study,
of people and this is really hard if you’ve worked with this team for a long time and now you’re a manager of them right if you’ve been working with this team for a long time the dynamic is different when you move into being,
a manager you have a different set of responsibilities you have a different responsibilities to this team into each of these individuals than you used to so you it’s a matter of making sure you don’t.
Trust the old data set and deliberately reengage for a new dataset that reflects responsibilities to the team now.
Example like everybody has their own blend every person I know has their own blend of like CPU CPU and IO and like how many threads we run and.
You know how much buffer we’ve got how much rain we have like we’re all just we’re on two different worlds can figure two different.
But it’s not like I can run and get this all back right so to oh my God that’s probably a really old command Now isn’t it.

Christian Mccarrick:
[17:18] This is maybe the new ones like maybe you’re like.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[17:21] I’m so embarrassed that was an Irish command I can’t leave I just dropped an Irish command okay,
the same as you can just do that right or an HIV if I’m going to go really far back for that I mean you don’t get to go pull those things back out right so what you do is.
You need it like think about how you’re going to look at this on a system of or you think about the strength of each person that you know the places where you see them be really really great and then another thing you could do is start to look at things like how do they interact with other team what other API look like.
What is there Network bandwidth look like how do they handle like multiple requests do they require things to be serial can they take things a sink like are they all these things I like how different people interact you can use that to play to their strengths and also help them.
Overcome the places that are making it difficult for them to interact over there accidentally self-sabotaging.

Christian Mccarrick:
[18:11] Can I use that term that is an analogy to with my teams to especially API one right and,
linear 2010d get it more to say well how do we enter Facebook marketing or something.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[18:21] Yes.

Christian Mccarrick:
[18:22] Is contract right here’s any parent point this is what they need is it we need oh okay I get it right.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[18:27] Another one that’s like that where you can have this conversation with the people that you’re working with his log levels.
Because when your first ramping up and working with a team or when you’re going through something really challenging sometimes you need more logging,
in life you need more logging and everybody has their sort of default log level like and they’re pretty much is like Infowars and fatal right and if you have somebody who,
is always stuck on fatal and you only know something’s wrong cuz I got into a screaming match with the guys next door like you talked to them so they click okay.
First of all we’re going to talk about this fight at second of all I need you to give me way more data at like I need you just hit me with more data than you think I possibly could need and if you presented in this way.
Help the person understand that your goal isn’t to be checking up on them your goals not to like make them you know feel like part of infantile having to report in it’s about you getting the data you need to be able to help support them and make sure that they can be more successful.

Christian Mccarrick:
[19:19] And I can be situational I can change every time right and then God forbid you get the debug mode.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[19:24] Oh my God which only go there he really got to go there right.

Christian Mccarrick:
[19:29] And then so then you heard about that and then you move into the monitoring so on a daily basis as you’re saying you getting this logging for people but how do you were the tools that you have is a monitor as a manager to kind of monitor your.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[19:41] The number one thing you have in your what it was right those are your most and everybody’s heard this.
It is still the most important meeting you have and the Temptation because your calendar as a manager is going to look terrible,
oh my god I’ve talked like 87 people I’m super exhausted I have all these other responsibilities I’m just going to move this meeting up at the Bob doesn’t have anything interesting to say we just talk like I just saw yesterday everything is fine.
The Temptation is to do that but if you forget that this meeting is the most important meeting that you have.
You start to lose track of what’s going on it’s very easy to lose that thread that’s not to say that sometimes you don’t you have to skip one they have to skip when something happens right but if you don’t treat those with respect.
They won’t treat them with respect and.
It’s not a status meeting we hear this a lot but the reason I assert this isn’t a status meeting is because Dad is a federal right that is like what’s happening today at the second or maybe in the very near future.
These meetings are about creating.
Creating all the models that you used to work together in the Continuum that used to work together to be able to create a great career trajectory and experience for this person throughout their entire life cycle in your organs.

Christian Mccarrick:
[20:48] And from that you know one things in confected when I went through a second and I totally agree with you and I’m struggling with lately is traveling.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[20:57] Oh yeah seriously.

Christian Mccarrick:
[20:58] How to continue your consistency of one-on-ones when traveling like I haven’t found a great answer me what are you up to you.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[21:05] I mean that’s the first thing I want to do when I was when I travel a lot as I’d be really open with them and say it’s not that I,
this is why this is happening this is still a really high priority for me I want to make sure that you’re on the calendar as soon as we’re back in together as soon as we have that chance you really,
for to make it a priority you’re going to be gone for a long time figuring out how to have half your one-on-ones while you’re gone remotely can be really useful or some segments of them.
Because it makes it it demonstrates that you still take it seriously and you still you keep your you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on both with the team and with the individuals.
I mean it it can be harder to run your whole like I am a big fan of writing a script basically when you are having a one-on-one you have a template,
you rent it and it’s very consistent every time and you may find it hard to abbreviate these someone,
when you’re when you’re traveling but hitting the highlights making sure that you’re still very consistent everybody knows that you’re still prioritizing this helps you stay connected it also helps them remember the purpose of these you don’t have to wrap yourself.

Christian Mccarrick:
[22:00] Yeah yeah I like that that’s good and I’m trying to find other ways to use more maybe technology or maybe two written one and one versus some other things and I think I talked with.
Can we stay another day and you know she was doing she started this morning ones by a text so I can in some situations soon as this.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[22:15] I totally done it.

Christian Mccarrick:
[22:16] Really interesting you know type of thing I said oh that’s kind of neat so even though it is still showing that you’re committed to it and you going to do anything is possible to make it happen it might not be as may be as normal as effective as it,
but you’re you’re kind of showing you’re still trying them you still trying to make it happen.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[22:31] Exactly I think that’s a great point from Kate is that you as long as you’re doing the check in your like here’s how it’s going let’s run through what we always talk about boo boo boo boo I think that can be great,
but remember don’t let that completely substitute and you still need to make sure that you make that time to have that personal connection with somebody in the high bandwidth transfer that comes from having like a a conversation.

Christian Mccarrick:
[22:52] Hey what do you find is the universal talk about debugging is it kind of next step in that would be fine is that common set of challenges it always seemed to rear their heads especially with kind of new managers and taking over new teams.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[23:03] Oh that’s a good question.
So taking over new teams is a little bit different than sort of ongoing debugging pattern matching.
The number one thing the number when I find unifying experience across all managers all new managers or any time you pick up a new team is when you go into whatever you’re eight your payroll or a try a system,
if you have one or the first time you find out how how how money is distributed in that team I think that is a unifying experience because.
Every manager has been through this has been like oh my God what is happening here.

Christian Mccarrick:
[23:37] Me too I’ve been there.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[23:38] I’ve been there many many times and I talked to so many managers have been through this the first time you open it up and you’re like what like how did this happen.
And it’s it lightning right in that moment and then you should have to figure out how you’re going to reconcile that and what you’re going to do to be able to.
Right any wrongs that you see in that that thing that ends up being one challenge that especially new manager Spicer to struggle to navigate because there are some constraints that are variable depending on your organization.
That can make it so that that is a really infuriating process depending on how your organization is structured.

Christian Mccarrick:
[24:19] Thinking right now that this is a whole other episode all in itself right and what’s interesting.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[24:23] Money money so hard.

Christian Mccarrick:
[24:25] And you don’t want to think back I think you might have been doing this stuff for on and off for a year and more consistently I think I’m up to like 20 or something but I don’t think any of.
The cast of talk to you right now have actually brought up money and compensation as you know one of the items to talk about and kind of the first but it makes sense because it’s actually a big issue.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[24:44] Yeah I think I mean I’d course I’m not going to like plug plug myself but I would say,
but I think about it all the time right but the reason I the reason we’re working on it is because as a manager in a bunch of different companies now I received about zilch for like training on how to.
Navigate paying people and people will say correctly.
The compensation is not why someone stays in a company there right it’s not why someone stays but it sure as hell is why someone leaves right so it’s one of those things were like.
You can super mess it up and the effect of messing it up is it gets really bad it’s bad for the individuals it’s bad for the company over the long term.
But I mean if it says I think that’s a single unifying thing that every manager goes through so heads up that’s coming if you haven’t happened to you yet but the other one would be sort of understanding the other big thing miniature made a big thing for that isn’t you’re going to feel like you do nothing all day.
For a while and the best tool that I’ve ever found in order to help navigate that is to keep a pretty detailed log like a diary to yourself throughout the day and write down everything you’re doing.
And I’ve done this I have like an Alfred workflow that does this for me but I’ve done this and like notebooks I’ve done whatever you would have just like a one liner or two liner writing down everything.
Really helps you understand why you’re so exhausted and all the things that you actually did because a big part of what we do is managers is prevent things bad from happening,
do you don’t get to see the bad thing happened which is great that means you have no signal but you but you have to stay off of that you’ve made this thing you made it so that something.

[26:22] Somebody’s life is made better by you having done that which is great but you don’t get to see the you don’t know artifact of that so keeping that log for yourself for a while until you start to understand how to like surf the Cadence of this new day I think it’s really important.

Christian Mccarrick:
[26:35] And probably just your own self confidence is worth that yes I am doing something this important even though it doesn’t look like it I need to talk about things were going south I just have this conversation with someone just like 2 days ago I felt like my job cuz I’m here you know.
Team two is I think my job lately it’s just been.
How do I keep things were going off the rails not even improving things or not even like building assistance but in the interim. How do we just stop them from falling apart.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[27:00] Transitions are transitions are awful I mean they are there so they’re so painful and they’re so.
They’re so fraught and end with one of the things that one of the things I always doing one-on-ones as I like to ask people when I want to be really consistent run the same script over and over again so no one’s freaked out by.

Christian Mccarrick:
[27:19] Question.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[27:19] Then you can slide stuff.

Christian Mccarrick:
[27:20] She asked me this what is that mean.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[27:22] What does it mean if she asked you that every week dude it’s fine right but the last thing I always like to ask is.
What’s going on what do you heard what the scuttlebutt what’s going on out there in the reason I like to ask a question is.
What are the reason I ask is because it’s a chance for me to have somebody tell me what I heard that Jim Bob is going to get promoted over another team and that guy is an asshole,
I don’t get along and now I’m worried what was going to happen to me and I’m like okay well let’s let’s talk through like these different things so you can sort of give somebody some comfort but the other thing I get from this is.
What is going on over there because it puts me in a place where I can like maybe.
Do a little bit of like investigation if you able to come back and say like well I understand why this is why this is a good move you know so it gives you a chance to find that right balance between the company line and giving comfort.

Christian Mccarrick:
[28:14] What ocean.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[28:16] But here’s the trick right so as a manager you never get to do that part though right this is the part that so hard about that question so this is why it’s a dangerous question for new managers because when somebody comes to you and says.
That other team over there is full of assholes and I cannot deal with them and they will not fix their shit whatever right they come to you with this you do not get to go oh yeah those guys are total assholes you just don’t get it.

Christian Mccarrick:
[28:42] You’re not an inside.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[28:43] You’re naughty in side right and you do get to tell your manager that that’s okay.
You have all the same opinions you just don’t get to share them as broadly as maybe you did as an I see that is a luxury that you lose.
And so that’s another reason why that’s a little bit fraught because man there are moments when you just really want to do it but I’ve never seen that I’ve never seen that go well over the long-term and you end up having to clean up a lot that you.
Realize you were throwing all over the place so.

Christian Mccarrick:
[29:13] Super takeaways new managers learn your poker face and get good at right cuz it’s truly a lot of times.
You can skip it thrown out you left or right and you just party just want to like screaming like oh my God that is a disaster be like.
Excellent you know that yeah I can see how that might be a problem it’s how you screaming who me a text right after the meeting.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[29:36] Exactly but the thing there is also just don’t lie to somebody if somebody comes he was like that team is full of assholes you can say like okay I hear you.
I’m going to go after this and I may do some digging and I hear you.
About the edges but don’t but don’t lie to them don’t go oh no that other team is unless you really have some data I like don’t know that other team is great and you just don’t have inside of the team.

Christian Mccarrick:
[30:01] And then I would tell you anything again.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[30:02] Exactly cuz you’re going to lose all credibility and because you’re full of it don’t be full of it just tell people love it you’ll be fine.

Christian Mccarrick:
[30:09] Yeah and.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[30:11] Golden Rule.

Christian Mccarrick:
[30:13] Should I eat yet I think I take Grace to a little bit into you know one of their posts that I posted articles on first round right and the listeners out there who are not listening or who not read first time review articles go ahead listen to them awesome resource.
I think you’re part of what you’re going to come into these when I was dealing with his you call him the different types of troublemakers.
And it’s all right that I was like check check check check right you know I’ve managed all of them you can say in some cases.
Arthur hates him.
Knicks personality type all them but I know the kind of people that one either going to have to deal with as a as a manager or as you said I’m going to come in and talk about one of those people,
had to do it. So I think what would the first thing to talk about with hermit right so what’s that one in it in your mind.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[31:02] Okay I told heads up I haven’t read this article in a while but if I’m okay I think we’ve all worked with the person who,
what they really want to do if they want to,
take some big complex project go in and just write the whole thing and then they think they’re going to release it like I want to go into it like a a closet they want to put on their headphones they don’t want anyone to bother them they don’t want anyone to ask them anything and they want to come out and just go tonight and just have it be done.
Oh the great reveal that everyone will think it’s so great and there’s a throw it in production or worse yet they don’t tell you and they throw it in production oh yeah I threw that in production.
Yeah exactly peace out I’ve been working for 3 weeks and now I’m going on vacation yeah so I think it’s a.
The danger there of course is that you end up with a situation where your son is not maintainable.
You feel you have to go through any scrutiny and really haven’t gotten any product scrutiny either right like is this really solving the problems we need to solve when you’re really really early in the life of a company takes a my company right now it’s a.
You do have these moments where you’re just like okay we have to go in we have to take this thing or take it into and you have to make those big that’s in you run through them but you sort of talk through them and understand that risk and your organization gets larger.
And you’re not just like three guys with a whiteboard,
show it to your organization to your customers to your future self to do some thought and introspection about what is the goal of this thing why am I making this and one of the problems there is going to be if you have the person is like.

[32:34] I want to rewrite this whole thing in the language cuz I think I’ll be fun not a big fan of that I unless you think about how you’re going to have it in a maintainable way right.

Christian Mccarrick:
[32:43] Picture and how is a manager do you deal with that kind of person or it would like some of the steps for a manager to kind of pull them out of their shell or to get them to be more team player.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[32:52] Do I believe it that a lot since I’ve even said that article came out because there’s not like one perfect trueway but I think one of the things is.
Organizationally does do you reward this Behavior right.
Does your culture reward this kind of behavior do you have a kind of hero worship that.
Perpetuate the I’m going to go hide in a room did you read this article on the Rick’s thing earlier this week.

Christian Mccarrick:
[33:19] I didn’t know.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[33:20] Oh my gosh show me the Evite again where there a couple articles this week the first one was we fired our our top talent and it.

Christian Mccarrick:
[33:29] Oh no yes I read that.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[33:31] Another was a response which was excellent. I wish I could remember who wrote it whoever you are you’re awesome. It was like yeah management and Leadership let that happen and I super agree with that because the fact.
Company was continuing to reward the reward that sort of approach.
There’s your problem right like you as a manager.
It’s very difficult to in the house and heard a team heads up right to laugh at you inherit your Rick right like and your,
your new or in the company but they’re older in the company and they’ve always acted this way you can end up at this light cultural mismatch are trying to figure that out and that is a non-trivial.
Prop have to have to walk but generally speaking at the organization is celebrating these kinds of things I think you’re kind of.
I won’t go so far as they totally screwed but you’re in a bad position so the trick is making sure that you start to talk about this from an organizational perspective and what are the kind of behaviors that you want to reward and not just reward at.
You know review time right but reward in like what you celebrate and what you,
you know when you slap each other on the back like what are you saying like that was amazing like where do you what are you celebrating.

Christian Mccarrick:
[34:45] Yeah I think that’s that’s pretty that that’s an awesome statement because you know if I could add to the kind of things you did and I’ll relate that kind of the hermit / the hero right.
That one person that even I inherited team.
May be here maybe someplace else you know there was a couple of personalities that even upper management look to this guy’s going to solve this problem just call this guy.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[35:06] Yeah.

Christian Mccarrick:
[35:07] And you’re like well I have a whole team of people that are diligently working day in and day out and someone going to come in and fight a fire that maybe was caused by them.
Right and,
and it’s like but you but you’re right it’s if at the top level you make that a hero type of thing everyone else wants the damn you like that right it’s how is a management you know that’s not acceptable and some point you have to.
Yeah maybe make tough decisions.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[35:33] Yeah I mean this come down like organizationally what do you reward because what I would love to see more of his first of all this amazing badass person who was in the earliest part of the company is making extraordinary things,
and then I want to see that person become more badass and the way they become more bad asses,
by helping other by raising other people up to be able to support those things so they can move on to new shiny right that person can often also end up being the one who’s trapped themselves into having to maintain the one system are the only one who knows how it work,
and then they’re pissed off about being handcuffed to this damn system.

Christian Mccarrick:
[36:07] On the graves of my hands to the ceiling and you can’t see it again you’re doing their coats.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[36:09] Doing it.

Christian Mccarrick:
[36:11] Hallelujah absolutely.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[36:14] Universal experiences people we’ve all been there.

Christian Mccarrick:
[36:17] Yeah and then yeah it’s a psycho I’m stuck doing this but you did it to yourself anyway.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[36:22] But as a manager let okay so let’s take that situation you have them in there finally pissed off enough that they resent that they put themselves but the organization has allowed them to be in this situation as a manager that’s your moment and you see that you’re like let’s get you out of this.
Let’s get you out of this we’re going to make the space to have a transition we’re going to make a space for you to partner with these other two people it’s going to drive you absolutely batshit a couple of times but it’s going to be worth it because that’s going to be the thing to let you go on vacation and not have the pager.

Christian Mccarrick:
[36:51] Pagerduty.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[36:52] Piccadilly.

Christian Mccarrick:
[36:53] Brett who’s not a sponsor the show what’s it like to be smart to the show please call me the end I think that’s going to cuz when you say it’s not always a person that’s feeling right but I find a lot of times when I go specially and take over situations or turn around.
It’s the company or the team or the organization that is like failed the people.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[37:12] I totally agree.

Christian Mccarrick:
[37:13] And you can’t go in looking like this kind of failure so how did you get that way cuz you’d be maybe didn’t enter the organization that way right he was turned into this you know grotesque thing.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[37:22] I mean it could have but you don’t know you don’t know right right.

Christian Mccarrick:
[37:25] You know the hiring practice but you hope to think that he came in.
Lots of great I hear she kind of came in that’s great it is his great and kind of it was the I think that the management team right and does that so I think for matters out there.
It’s your responsibility as as expected to get them out of that if there’s an opportunity pull them out and there’s not maybe they can find someplace else right and help them with that too don’t just cast them off and I feel bad about themselves and everything else.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[37:49] Yeah it doesn’t get you anywhere I mean really what this is another reason why you look at this is like a complex ecosystem and if you have.
Only with you have like one machine running in the corner and it’s necessary for all of your authentication to work and your entire site maybe you should fix that problem and it’s kind of the same thing with people.

Christian Mccarrick:
[38:07] No I mean I mean absolutely the one thing I’m going to go one of the other Arch types hear the Nostalgia junkie right how many times did I come into companies.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[38:11] Oh my God it was always better right before you got here.

Christian Mccarrick:
[38:19] Remember when if I hear remember one one more time.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[38:23] So great my favorite one of my favorite things that ever happened this is when I was at Linden lab.
Was that when I first got there I always had to hear about it was so great right before I go I was so much better it was great right before I got.
And I’m like okay well I get a sort of accept this I believe that it was more awesome I am sure it was fun I’m sure it was great and then like,
after I left the same guy would have the same guys and he said like the good days like when you first started and it was like this I was like dude when I first started you were telling me they was better before I got there and it really helped me start to think about,
at lens of nostalgia I think we tend to remember the things that we are proud of the things that were fun and what we don’t remember is like,
like I don’t know like when my hair fell out like I tend not think about that part as much as I think about the successes.

Christian Mccarrick:
[39:12] The relationship like mass that I left in my my way.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[39:15] But don’t have it.

Christian Mccarrick:
[39:17] You know I think I think that’s that’s that’s super important but I think Elsa.
To look into that what I find to is that it’s usually a loss of maybe control or loss of importance or.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[39:28] Or procedure.

Christian Mccarrick:
[39:29] Perceived importance and one point maybe they were involved in every conversation and now they’re not and.
And I think it’s at again to help for managers what how do you deal with that right how do you get them.
You know what you’re not going to be involved in everything anymore but listen this one area is like Corridor business and you’re you’re the person for that right and in end so that and don’t worry about the other things and make sure we communicate.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[39:51] But then the other thing that you have to sort of make peace with a little bit is sometimes somebody really.
Is happier when it’s on fire and when your company starts to run really well and.
It’s not on fire and things are a little more regular and you can sort of do more planning and you have like a,
you have goals that you just accomplished there’s less Serendipity that comes with things not being on fired me if they’re really like a novelty junkie in that way too.
They won’t be happy and it’s a sign of the same thing that is making you successful and shows that they have succeeded in getting you to this point may not be able to emotionally nourish them.
In the way that they they need and so it’s always hard for that but not every company is right for every person at every stage of either one’s development.

Christian Mccarrick:
[40:40] And that’s important at this stage right and I know I get it some people are made for that garage mentality and there’s three people.
Working at 3 in the morning they’re releasing things to production by hand so you know every hour forget about CI.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[40:54] Feels good.

Christian Mccarrick:
[40:56] Never that’s too and I think as a manager it’s important to when you talk about me some other things like what makes you feel good what makes you not feel good like what you really like to do and really have those two soul-searching conversations with these people.
And at the end of it I’ve had people to till like wow I never really thought about it that light but maybe that is right I really need the times in my life when I fell.
The most of our front room in the most have been with the smaller company it’s right in the Navy that’s what I plan to cuz I think so many matter just feel that if an employee leaves were they walking to play out they failed somehow.
And I think that’s a stigma that that probably should stop because it’s probably in the best case for the employee who might go on and I’ll go to a new startup.
And feel totally awesome about it and they’re feeling of cells and then I’m going to call you up and bring you over when it starts to scale again right.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[41:39] I mean I think that I think that’s an interesting point because I.
It depends on like like you originally said like having a conversation with somebody about them really understanding the value in the impact that they’re having and their effect and they’re the transformational effect they continue to have inside the organization even if they don’t feel it as this early.
Kind of exactly like I was saying when you first become a manager and you do a million things when you don’t feel like you did anything when you have been the one the one the one person who could push and the one person who got anything one person you had to do by a great,
it feels very satisfied you know everything is going to die without you right,
not that I’m speaking from experience, and it just feels good right then at some point you’re like in order to be successful you have to scale past you and that.
Even if you intellectually know that that is what’s best for the company and for your goal that you want to accomplish and just feel kind of bad so.
It could be that they can find peace with that but they may go through some phases where it feels it just doesn’t feel great because they aren’t necessarily having that same visceral.
Rush of knowing that like I did this right.

Christian Mccarrick:
[42:49] So for people then as we talked about with our new manager or kind of taking over the teams and they are kind of very different different things in some cases but I found it sometimes you become a new manager right and you take over the team in the same time.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[43:03] Little hard but yes that that’s a hard at that that’s playing at my heaviest difficulty right there.

Christian Mccarrick:
[43:06] Yeah that’s that’s pretty that’s pretty rough what are you have what do your first 90 days look like for you I mean you kind of give me manager take over team what are the some of the things you just have to nail.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[43:16] But don’t you think that the most common case for that is that you were a member of the team and now you’re a manager and that team.

Christian Mccarrick:
[43:21] Sometimes sometimes and then what I found people trying to get promotions by going to another company. And then you get the.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[43:28] I mean I don’t know that I would hire somebody with no management experience and bring them in as a manager day one but that’s it but that’s a philosophical thing for me I know it happens because this is a skill rate.

Christian Mccarrick:
[43:38] That’s true no I get I get your point that’s right I’ll tell her if I’m working about as you go from like manager maybe to senior manager director.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[43:45] Yeah man totally different job,
you think you know that job you do not know that job even if you’ve been a manager you do not know maybe she managers is totally different and it’s so funny cuz you’re like what I’ve been a manager so I know what it’s like to be managing and you don’t just heads up.

Christian Mccarrick:
[44:02] No no no you know.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[44:03] You don’t know no totally different you know it’s really fun managing managers and trying to manage Icees at the same time right now.

Christian Mccarrick:
[44:12] I just talked about that the other day so I have arguably too many direct reports, because we’re companies Acquired and we’re going to do things but I do know I do have these areas where I have.
Directors DPS both and I have some really high Icees like the architect.
All right and so that’s that that’s even more tough try cuz they’re not necessarily in my staff meeting because it doesn’t make sense for them to us.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[44:37] But to tell you I think one of the hardest things for somebody to do as a manager is to manage someone who is completely awesome in like just a complete.
Badass because again.
Your job do you imagine to help them be as bad as they can possibly be which means it for every person you want to imagine a more amazing version of any more of a more awesome incarnation of this person the more often they are the harder that job is for you,
but the more important it is I think to do right and especially when you’re managing someone who in any dimension.
Which you should be I’m in some Dimension is more senior than you.
Which is something that you get to do at some point and it’s really weird by the way first time you do it and also V but.
When you’re doing this and you’re supporting somebody is more severe than you you have to think about like what is a more amazing version of this person look like and then have that conversation with them and this is great in some ways cuz they may not agree with you they might be like how I do that by throwing out something.
Throwing out a different version then I’ll be like I don’t want to do that I want to do this other thing and then that helps them move along that.

Christian Mccarrick:
[45:45] Sure yeah cuz it a path yeah I think that’s awesome and you’re right that point about the more senior and awesome some of his hardest.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[45:53] Todd so hard.

Christian Mccarrick:
[45:54] Even like to think of a professional sports or something right if you’re the top your game is going to mention someone who is not a good example you know like a Tiger Woods right now.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[46:04] That’s a terrible example dude it was awful.

Christian Mccarrick:
[46:08] Very does really bad and I really wanted to say Steph Curry,
but you know if you have salmon or top tennis player something in the coaches required for that when you’re ready at Wimbledon right how do you,
you got that much more you know.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[46:21] What is a more badass version of Serena Williams look like right I don’t know I’m I’m not that I’m not,
badass but somebody at Brandon this is listening when you have somebody who’s and you have an extraordinary person who is doing transformational things and technology and you are lucky enough to work with that amazing person oh God you are so fortunate.
You don’t get to stop there.
You have a responsibility to continue to help them and too and doesn’t that everybody’s going to grow on like a I mean it happens and burst right like he will go to a burst and they have sort of like it okay I’m sort of like you know.
Resting a little bit while you know regathering and ready to go again so it’s not like you know this constant push push push push push as people become.
Until we come or senior and further in their career but it’s still like I still a huge challenge.

Christian Mccarrick:
[47:08] Yeah and I think although it’s up to you to help facilitate things any better it might not be up to you personally.
Make it happen right you can if you find maybe a better Coach because there may be very technical and an area right help them get back because right I think you don’t have to be responsible for actually doing it you just have to respond for making a.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[47:25] And for giving them the space because sometimes one of the best things you can have for somebody who’s lose.
Transformational and extraordinary is to give them the space to do that sort of an exploration where they’re like I believe if I can go work on this thing I believe I can I can create this new way of doing something done before but I don’t know it yet.
I believe it and I want to have a chance to go do what you have to create that space for them.

Christian Mccarrick:
[47:47] Sure yeah I know I totally agree totally agree about the coaching and making them more badass as you put it right that’s awesome awesome philosophy,
any kind of last things for recommendations for all of us managers are here kind of I mean run this together with your new or or experience.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[48:04] How do you say Spirits not old old pointing at myself.

Christian Mccarrick:
[48:07] Hey out here I need anything out there like you would find it like a what’s what’s one of the piece of advice.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[48:15] Find your peeps like find the people that you can like your peers to people who you can like.
You have to be on your good behavior a lot when you’re a manager depending on how good your manager is you might have to be on good behavior with that person.
So find somebody where you don’t always have to be on your good behavior that you can trust that you can have it a safe interaction with that gives you the opportunity to be a sent it so you can be a sounding board for you to help you talk through some things and work through some things and that makes,
such a huge difference when you’re experiencing a bunch of stuff from scratch the second thing I would say that I always wondered my managers of specially new managers but everybody is.
Life happens to people and that means that you are going to be in a position of trying to,
effectively support somebody while they’re going through some sort of really bad life struggle because something bad happens to all of us like our parents died or somebody gets sick so a relationship breaks up something happen.
You’re not in it feels very lonely as a manager when you’re in that situation so.
Prepare a little bit ahead of time figure out where your resources are because you’re not going to have a lot of turnaround time when something like that happens and it can Blindside you if you have a really great if you have a good manager that’s in your organization then.
I know that you’re going to have to go to that person like this or settle yourself in for this because what’s going to happen is life going to come up and hit somebody up sides at side of the head and then you’re going to need to be there to help support them through that.

[49:46] And he definitely just forget as manager that those things are going to hit us.

Christian Mccarrick:
[49:48] Exactly don’t let me awesome Point any resources books blogs you recommend.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[49:55] I have totally everybody should read me just passed I know you’ve heard it,
you’re hearing it again everyone should read it I’m a big fan of situational leadership also but that’s an oldie and it’s not that easy to get anymore but if you say are in a position where you can take a seat leave class which I do they offer classes I think that’s a great one,
especially as it really helps you sort of understand Lake for free block and tackle kind of way like,
as a manager in this moment this is the best way I can support this person as they are transitioning through things I’m a big fan of that one as well.

Christian Mccarrick:
[50:28] Cool and what’s the best way to cut to get ahold of you Twitter blog.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[50:32] Oh great I don’t I should have a Blog and yet I do not but I think I might order so at Bethany with an e at the end which is where everybody doesn’t get that.

Christian Mccarrick:
[50:42] Someone’s getting these random things so I quit.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[50:44] Oh totally yeah.

Christian Mccarrick:
[50:45] I have this I was early with my Gmail so my Gmail is like see McCarron.
I get you know all he random things from people who are like sending to other C mechanics over the country like report cards for kids and baby havior and test results on my camera.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[51:02] I get mortgage documents for other Bethany’s vacation like a my Gmail also yeah so.

Christian Mccarrick:
[51:07] It’s totally crazy well bethanye Ops Ali loved our time together today thank you very much for coming on her show track take care.

Bethanye Mckinney Blount:
[51:13] But thank you for having me it’s been fun.