User Guide: Victor

Last updated: November 23rd, 2020

Welcome to Victor’s User Guide.

In an ideal world, I’d spend time with people I work with. Months later, they’d have a deep understanding of my workstyle: where I can be maximally useful and where I fall short. As I’ve become busier, it’s become increasingly difficult to find time for me to do that. To condense months of learnings, I’ve decided to develop an honest “crash course” about how to best work with me.

As a reader, if you can take the time to scan the points that are relevant to you, I’d appreciate it. If you have a similar guide, I’d be happy to review yours.

I refresh this document regularly. I added a “Last Updated” section at the top.

Communication & Logistics

  • Phone call → SMS → Slack → Email: This is how you should reach out, in decreasing order of urgency.
  • I have open-ended work hours. 6 to 10 PM is when I do most of my deep thinking. I may reach out during that time, but I don’t expect you to be available. Feel free to answer me when you’re available.
  • I wake up very early every day (5:50 AM), but I don’t check my phone during the early hours of the day. I start being available between 9:30 to 10 AM.
  • I can talk anytime (24x7x365) if something is urgent. You can find my phone in the company’s internal wiki.
  • English is my second language. Some of my words can come across as unclear. Don’t hesitate to ask me to be more specific or to rephrase. Bonus points if you can help me fix my English by nudging me in the right direction.
  • I receive a ton of messages, and I am easily distracted by nature. If you need an answer from me, don’t hesitate to message me a second time.

1 on 1

  • Maintain a 1:1 document with me. Title it “X - Victor 1:1”. It helps me share ideas with you. I tend to forget things very quickly, so the document is a valuable lifeline for my memory. In return, I commit to reviewing the document before each 1:1.
  • If you report to me, the 1-on-1 is meant for you. I prefer to focus on how you feel ort career progress. Let’s not share work updates. There are other meetings where this topic is more relevant.

Feedback to you, feedback to me

  • I am a believer in candid feedback: say it like it is. I’ll do the same.
  • I like to ask out-of-the-box questions. They help kickstart dialogue on difficult topics.

Working with me

  • I tend to listen mostly to number/metrics-driven talking points. If you come to me to discuss topics, please share relevant numerical information available. It will help ground the conversation on a shared narrative.
  • While I love to hear numbers and know hard facts, I frequently rely on gut feel/product instinct. Spell it out, for example, “I’m going to take a risk, based on my instinct, I believe we should do X.”
  • I vastly prefer written work over a discussion. Ideally, share notes and ideas. I’ll start to think about it. The conversation will be way more useful.
  • Above everything else, I love to be proven wrong. If I was incorrect, please point it out. It’s an opportunity to learn from the mistake and not make it again in the future.

Management Style

  • I am hands-off and prefer to trust your judgment until I don’t. I want to rely as much as possible on you.
  • The basis of my management method is the Socratic method. If I disagree with your solution, I will ask a series of questions to understand your approach to solving the problem. Eventually, I will switch gears and start to make some recommendations.
  • Strong opinions, weakly held. That’s a sentence that sums up most of my approach to managing you. My pieces of advice may come out very confident. I’d love you to convince me your solution is better.

Thanks for reading until the end; please message me if I’ve forgotten anything.

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