Layoffs. Canceled projects. Unexpected re-orgs. You may not have experienced these yet, but if you’re a people manager for long enough, you will.
What do you do when faced with a seemingly impossible situation that may also affect your own role?
I had the chance to build and lead an engineering group over several years that was delivering results on-time and had an objectively great culture, but still suddenly had our product canceled just weeks before launch. Within minutes I went from planning multi-year roadmaps to figuring out how we could wind everything down, all while helping the team process their own reactions to the news (and trying to process my own).
I’ll share how the mistakes I made early in my career as a manager helped prepare me to handle a terrible situation in a way that stayed consistent with our values and got the members of my team to the best, most empathetic outcome we could hope for.