Lara Hogan On Coaching

Last week, I attended a one-day workshop here in Austin, with Lara Hogan on Demystifying Management. Lara was previously VP of Engineering at Kickstarter and an Engineering Director at Etsy, and she’s now a leadership coach. I have followed her blog for some years, after some colleagues shared her post on work at different management levels, which was super helpful to me as I went from leading individual contributors to leading other team leads.

The workshop was based on the concepts covered in Lara’s book, Resilient Management, and consisted mostly of us practicing and applying those concepts in small groups. There was a strong focus on coaching.

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Whistler, Canada

My company, Automattic, has a Grand Meetup every year, where all of us come from around the world to hang out in person together for a week, work on projects, teach each other things, talk about work, and eat a lot. I have written about this before, although only really the first time, when the GM was in San Diego. The next year, it was half in San Francisco and half in Santa Cruz. The two years after that, it was in Park City, Utah. And last year and this year, it was in Whistler, Vancouver. This was my sixth GM.

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My Calendar

I work from home and one of the main questions that I get from people is, “So what is your day like, exactly? Do you have trouble staying on task?”

People want to hear about coffee shops and working from the beach and going for long rambles in the sunshine in midday, and for a lot of my coworkers, that is actually probably what it’s like. But I’m a boring, depressive hermit, so my days are honestly probably a lot like the days of anyone who works in an office, except I’m at home.

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Flash Talks

Every year, my company, Automattic, has a grand meetup somewhere in the world. We are a distributed company and have employees who work from all over the world. While we have many smaller group meetups throughout the year, the yearly grand meetup is the only time we all get to see each other in person.

One of the traditions is that everyone in the company must give a five-minute “flash talk” on any subject. Here are three of mine!

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