Enemies of Growth
30 October, 2020
I often hear people complaining that they need to hire more people. They are quick to conclude that they won’t be able to deliver this or that unless they hire more people. However, those same people would soon complain that they don’t know what to do with the people they recently hired.
Of course, we all aspire to expand the size of our teams and the scope of our product as we continuously grow. But before rushing to add new people we should identify what I call “enemies of growth” -- things that impede growth and that need to be fixed before we do additional hiring.
I identified four “enemies of growth” and came up with a plan on how to fix them.
I frequently encounter first-time or less experienced leaders who are very defensive or territorial and it seems that their skills are not on par with the competencies of their counterparts. They fail to be supportive and collaborative and that approach drains existing resources. They should be provided additional training and instructions and encouraged to further improve their skills.
Lack of a solid onboarding process
If your hiring pipeline supplies you continuously with a sufficient number of candidates, you need to have a matching onboarding process in place to accommodate new hires. Often it is easier to set the hiring than the onboarding process and moreover, onboarding itself takes more time. Make sure that hiring is followed by a solid onboarding process that would allow new hires to ramp up quickly.
People tend to stick to complex processes because they believe that those processes are what made them successful. Rather than looking at what made them successful, they should be looking at what will make them successful and bring them to the next level. Be open to review and change your processes if needed. The complexity itself tends to complicate things, is time-consuming, and consequently kills growth.
Getting the best from people
Companies are quick to hire new people while failing to get the best from existing people. For example, they would be getting only 30 percent of the full potential their employees can offer. Once you are able to identify what you are getting from your people and be able to measure it, you should (re-)define your hiring plans.
Enemies of growth take on many forms and shapes. Our efforts to expand our teams and the scope of our products are often sabotaged by those “enemies”.Whether it is rushing to hire additional manpower or anything else is less relevant than your willingness to understand their root causes. Any growth should be laid on a solid foundation, thought though and pursued without haste and shortcuts.
Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader
Vadim Antonov, Engineering Manager at Meta, dictates how he brought a brand new team into the remote learning process by ramping up onboarding and creating a mentor system.
Engineering Manager at Facebook
Vadim Antonov, Engineering Manager at Meta, details his journey to improve his personal hiring process and team pitch.
Engineering Manager at Facebook
Andrew Tsui, a Product Leader, works to build great teams that are independent, demonstrate mastery of their domain, and fully commit to their purpose.
Director of Product at Startup
Adam Hawkins, Site Reliability Engineer at Skillshare, went all the way across the world to build a brand new team who worked very differently than he was used to.
Site Reliability Engineer at Skillshare
Adi Purwanto Sujarwadi, VP of Product at Evermos, shares how he identified the symptoms of his overworked product team and worked towards defining conflicting priorities.
Adi Purwanto Sujarwadi
VP of Product at Evermos
You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.
Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.