Oops, I did a Manager-README

I know the concept of a Manager-README (a document where you explain to your team some of the ways you like to work) can be controversial, so I’ve avoided it up to now. But this week I got curious and read up on the pitfalls and how to avoid them. Then I took a stab at an outline and it was actually really helpful—even just for myself—to clarify some of my own views on product work. It starts like this:

The purpose of this document is to summarize some of the values and principles I try to adhere to at work. But we are human and this is a relationship not a contract, so I see it as a way to kick-start how we work together, not the end result.

I also recognize that documents like these can be abused by managers, so this is not a way for me to excuse any bad behaviors. If you see me doing something that is not reflective of these values, please call me out so that I can improve.

I then go into talking about my leadership style, product philosophy, communication preferences, decision-making, and feedback loops. I would love to hear if this type of outline is helpful to anyone, and if you have any feedback!