Who I Am
I am currently the Director of Engineering responsible for the Global Prospects Application Experience Team.
Prior to American Express, I led global digital web development departments for healthcare, financial, telecommunications, and media companies. I bring with me expertise in UI Development, Software Project Management, and Agile Methodologies. Some of my most recent projects outside AmEx include launching custom developed marketing, E-Commerce, and Content Management systems, focusing on SEO, Analytics, and User Experience.
I hold an MSIS degree from the Stevens Institute of Technology, a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Art History from Rutgers University, am a Certified Project Management Professional, and am a Certified Scrum Master. In addition, I serve on the Advisory Board of the Design Thinking Certificate program at Rutgers University.
I live in Morristown, NJ with my wife of 18 years, Mary Ann. My hobbies include photography, scuba diving and reading Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels.
Why A README Document
The objective of my REAME is to describe who I am, set some expectations, and management styles. What I don’t want this document to do is dictate how to work with me. I believe that good leaders adjust to the personality styles of the people reporting to them.
My primary function is to attract, hire, retain, and grow the best talent I can for our team. We need a heterogeneous mix of backgrounds, interests, and experience. We need to work within a safe, transparent, and productive culture. Without the right people on the team and culture to work within, we cannot deliver our products effectively.
I am also responsible to develop a technology roadmap, lay out the right architecture, advancements, and improvements to deliver our product with little friction, the best user experience, and fastest time to market.
What You can Expect from Me
- Focus on Servant Leadership
- Develop leadership at all levels in all roles, from the bottom up
- People over Process, as the Agile Manifesto recommends
- Give and receive timely and regular feedback – recognition in public, criticism in private
- I will book 1:1s only when I have something I need to share, or for performance reviews.
- Deliver continuous improvement in everything we do – code, processes, policies, meetings, etc.
- Provide transparency and candor wherever and whenever possible
- A bias toward action
- Due to my long train commute, I plan to be in the office at 9am, leave at 5pm
- Work from the office whenever possible, but when working from home, be available on all channels (phone, text, email, slack, WebEx, etc.)
- I am a night owl, so I may be working later than you. Don’t feel obligated to respond during non-business hours, unless it is related to a production issue.
What I Expect from You
- Book your 1:1s if you want them. Regularly scheduled or ad-hoc, the schedule and agenda is up to you. They are your time with me.
- Provide feedback regularly – to your staff, your peers, and your boss. That’s me!
- Display honesty and transparency in all that you do.
- Focus on People First, Product Second, and Everything Else Third.
- Do your best work all the time.
- Try something new. Educate yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Trying and failing should be celebrated.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. But don’t bring problems without a proposed solution.
- Show you care. Emotions included.
- Exhibit leadership from your position. You don’t need to be a manager to be a leader.
- Display an extremely high sense of ownership, with a bias for action.
- Continually point out things we can improve, in everything we do.
Personality Test Results
People learn a lot about themselves and the people around them when they take personality tests. It is an excellent exercise in introspection and self understanding. To that end, here are my results from some popular personality tests.
Strengths Finder Results
- Achiever (EXECUTING)
- Ideation (STRATEGIC THINKING)
- Positivity (RELATIONSHIP BUILDING)
- Woo (INFLUENCING)
- Learner (STRATEGIC THINKING)
- ENFP – Extrovert – Intuition – Feeling – Perceiving
I am an avid reader. Unfortunately, I do read books in waves. I primarily read Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Management books. The book I recommend most often to people at work is Turn The Ship Around by L. David Marquet. It is about leading from the bottom up, fostering individual contributors as leaders with high levels of ownership, and scaling these ideas across the organization. Just the kind of culture I try to foster in my organization. Here is my Goodreads book library for more information.
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs – https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/this-classic-quote-from-steve-jobs-about-hiring-employees-describes-what-great-leadership-looks-like.html