Andrew Huth

January 1, 2022

Aligned autonomy

In software (and in other fields, I would think), good companies and managers want you to be autonomous. Someone who can come up with their own course of action and do it is valuable.

But there are two things you need to make your autonomy work well. Both of which I've learned the hard way.

  1. Trust
  2. No surprises

Leaders in any organization need to trust that you'll do things the right way. That you'll act in the organization's best interest. Gain this trust with a track record of understanding and delivering what's important.

And make sure your manager is never caught by surprise by anything you do. The worst thing that can happen is they're asked about something you did that they didn't know about. You don't need to ask for permission to do something, but make sure the right people know what you're doing, why you're doing it, and have the opportunity to give feedback.

That's aligned autonomy.