Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, I like think of myself as a creative builder of things. Those things could be software, people, or teams.
Building Software & Teams
I thoroughly enjoy being "in the weeds" either with an engineering team or by myself coding to build something valuable. I code in my spare time as a hobby to bring to life the random things I want to see, like AIhairstyles.com, Pushpop or Reservadesk.
My style of building is one of "rough and done" to "polished". If it's my own product or my team's, I believe getting end-to-end early is critical in order to test the assumptions we're making, and adjust as necessary with the feedback. Once we have the primary value achieved, we polish the work to a high level, going deep on the nice-to-haves that delight users.
"People don't quit companies, they quit managers" is something I believe strongly, which is why I take people management very seriously. Having suffered poor/ill-equipped managers before, I'm adamant that for any of my direct reports, I quickly and thoroughly understand what they like, don't like, are motivated by, appreciate, have natural affinity for, and how they'd like to grow.
Also - for any of my previous reports reading this - I fully acknowledge that I was once a poor/ill-equipped manager. Please accept my apologies.
My style of management is one of openness, reflection, and process. For my team's professional development I simply offer them an outside perspective on themselves, and that's usually enough for them to see what they'd like to change.
Regarding process, I think it's a useful, but potentially dangerous thing. It is absolutely necessary to provide Product Managers with processes that mean they're being efficient with their mental energy. However, process can be a crutch that companies reach for in response to an incident or problem, and over time, if left unchecked, can paralyse an organisation's ability to operate with pace.
In my experience, bad performance or poor alignment in a company can usually be traced back to poor leadership somewhere in the chain. I pride myself on being a strong leader. It takes courage and decisiveness to lead effectively, something that my experience in the Irish Army Reserves deeply instilled in me from 16 years of age.
I find it's easy to lead when everything is "up and to the right". The real test is when things start to go sideways. When that happens, your team will look to you for leadership, which needs to translate to calm, openness, decisiveness and positivity.
Hobbies & Interests
In no particular order of importance:
- I code as a hobby. I can't help but build random things, see my github or my products for some of what I hack away on.
- I pride myself on staying physically fit so I do anywhere from 2-5 strength and conditioning classes per week. Check out my transformation on Instagram.
- I race go-karts. I did not realise the level of strategy, skill, concentration and focus that it takes to win races. Check out some highlights (again, Instagram)