For having shot a bow and arrow maybe ten times in my life, it's odd that I think of management skills as being arrows in a quiver. But the metaphor works. Much of management is about solving problems, and what better way to solve a problem than to tape it to a target, step back, pull out the right arrow, and fire. Whether you hit the target or not, there's a gratifying plunk sound. That's the sound of progress.
We all have managers, and whether you're the director of engineering or an individual contributor, one of your jobs is to figure your manager out. What does he want? How does he deal with a crisis? How does he communicate? As you learn each of these lessons, you get an arrow. It's not only a reminder that ...