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Dan Stroot User Guide

The following is a user guide for me. Its intention is to give you an idea of how I think and how I work.

“Every person in your company is a vector. Your progress is determined by the sum of all vectors.”  — Elon Musk

What Motivates Me

My personality type is “Virtuoso” (no, I didn’t make that up and you can test yourself here.).

I copied the description below because it is uncannily accurate. I laughed out loud when I read the quote “Oh, I know how to fix this” in the graphic. I love fixing things! I was the kid who took apart all his toys to see how they worked. I always “borrowed” my father’s tools - he was so frustrated until Mom told him he could solve the problem by buying me my own tools (she’s brilliant). I built forts, tree houses, go karts, and skate ramps. In high school I learned to weld in metal shop so I added a sidecar to my bike. Good times! I proudly hang the maker manifesto in my office.

personality

“People with this personality type are natural Makers, moving from project to project, building the useful and the superfluous for the fun of it, and learning from their environment as they go. Often mechanics and engineers, Virtuosos find no greater joy than in getting their hands dirty pulling things apart and putting them back together, just a little bit better than they were before.

Virtuosos explore ideas through creating, troubleshooting, trial and error and first-hand experience. They enjoy having other people take an interest in their projects and sometimes don’t even mind them getting into their space. Of course, that’s on the condition that those people don’t interfere with Virtuosos’ principles and freedom, and they’ll need to be open to Virtuosos returning the interest in kind.

Virtuosos enjoy lending a hand and sharing their experience, especially with the people they care about, and it’s a shame they’re so uncommon, making up only about five percent of the population.”

My Principles

Caveat

Take this with a grain of salt - some of it is aspirational. If you find me not living up to my principles please point it out to me. I need feedback to course correct as we all do.

Feedback

If you have feedback for me, please share it. I do want to hear it. If you think I don’t want to hear it, or I’m not listening then please give it to someone above me.

Three dimensions are required for robust feedback:

  1. Safety should be high (no fear of retaliation)
  2. Effort should be low (no rebuttals)
  3. Benefit should be high (positive results)

Let me know if we do not well on any of these three dimensions and any suggestions you have to improve.

If you can give me feedback in-person, I’d prefer that. If you’re comfortable kicking off a discussion with an email or a Slack message, I would rather you do that than not bring it up at all.

If you’re not comfortable giving me feedback yourself that’s perfectly OK, please give it to someone above me so they can anonymously relay it to me and I can work on it.

Management Style

This is a team sport. Generally, we will make decisions and set priorities as a management team - together we are more perceptive and intelligent than any of us individually. Occasionally I will make a hard call. In all cases your input and counsel is invaluable to me.

Schedule

I am usually in the office early. I like the momentum an early start gives me each day. As for your schedule: do what works for you. I bias towards results. The way we align on results is:

One-on-ones

I will put some time on your calendar for one-on-ones. If you want more (or less) time, let me know and I will adjust.

I see 1:1s as your opportunity to let me know how you’re doing and what you need. It’s time for us to align on goals/outcomes and direction.

The best 1:1s are focused beyond the moment: Your career development, team strategy and opportuniies, the company’s strategy, etc. Feel free to come with a topic you’d like to discuss. I’d love it if you spent a few minutes beforehand preparing so that we can get the most of our time.

Nuance

Cheers for reading this!