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Building Networks for the Transition from IC into Management

Jossie Haines

VP of Software Eng; Head of DEI at Tile

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Problem

One of the biggest takeaways I had absorbed from Linda A. Hill's and Kent Lineback's book, Being a Boss, was the need to build a network of people that can support you as manager. Distinguishing myself as more of an introvert, this wasn't such an easy task to adhere to. I first had to master how to build relationships.

Actions taken

  • Before anything else, I had to take a step back and realize the importance of making those initial connections with people in order to propel my plan forward.
  • To keep aligned with my goals, I created an Excel spreadsheet of anybody I was or needed to be interacting with. Once again, I had to take a step back and look at all of my existing projects, interactions, and upcoming projects as a basis of who I needed to put on my list.
  • From early on, I ranked those interfaces based on how often I was talking to each person and would then go through and analyze where and how I was utilizing my time with them. In doing so, I established another column on Excel which centered itself around appointments and last point of contact dates to keep track of time spent.

Lessons learned

  • Building a community of people to talk to establishes a larger support network. It also becomes much easier to collaborate on new projects if you already have an existing working relationship in place.
  • Understanding the need for ample resources, meeting with other managers concerning challenges, and having a mentor are very important aspects to this transition. I realized that you can not do it alone and need help to make things happen.
  • Figuring out who should be in your network is a very personal thing for each particular person. It helps to spend an hour to discover the necessary relationships you should have before going out and building them.
  • It is crucial to have a grasp on forward thinking when deciding who you need to be maintaining relationships with.
  • You need a network of people inside your team and even more outside of your team.
  • Spend a lot of time polishing your soft skills to ensure proper application of concrete feedback and the formulation of sensible questions.

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Jossie Haines

VP of Software Eng; Head of DEI at Tile


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