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The complexity of self-organization

Chuck Sweet

Engineering manager at DocuSign

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Problem

"When I was a developer my work day was quite easy. I had a few tasks to accomplish, priorities were clear and I could focus for hours. But when I became a manager, everything changed. I had tons of tasks in my to-do box, all of them seemed to be top priorities and due yesterday, and I was always getting interrupted in my work by unexpected events. I was working a lot and always felt I was running late. Often, it was not just a feeling. Plus of course, as I was under that much pressure, I was not as easily able to handle unexpected events."

Actions taken

"I learned progressively to choose my battles and to not try to do everything I would like to. Quite recently, I abandoned the idea of enhancing our emailing service, as even if it was something I would have loved to code, it was not a real priority."

Lessons learned

"It's an everyday effort, and it's often frustrating, but prioritizing and choosing my battles is definitely the best way to get things done."


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Chuck Sweet

Engineering manager at DocuSign


Leadership DevelopmentOrganizational StrategyDecision MakingEngineering ManagementPerformance MetricsFeedback TechniquesCareer GrowthCareer ProgressionSkill Development

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