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Dropbox Engineering Career Framework
M5 Senior Engineering Manager
I manage significant complexity with skill to deliver multiple major workstreams simultaneously in service of the overall business
Scope
Area of ownership and level of autonomy / ambiguity
Collaborative Reach
Organizational reach and extent of influence
Impact Levers
Organizational levers typically exercised to achieve business impact
  • I confidently guide the strategy and execution of one or more teams in my area across multiple projects or workstreams on six to twelve month time horizons.
  • I drive impactful outcomes in the face of significant organizational and technical ambiguity and change.
  • I am a strong partner to related teams and cross functional partners within my group/org with the ability to influence without authority.
  • I am increasingly optimizing globally for the wider org and driving cross-engineering or cross-functional initiatives to impactful outcomes outside my normal area of scope.
  • I drive business outcomes through expertise in engineering management as well as through strong relationships, sideways management and cross functional influence.
  • I guide my teams to impactful results by setting strategy that is aligned with the org and business.
  • I create an environment that empowers my teams to deliver at a high level of impact by building, organizing, and motivating well-balanced, diverse teams with a strong sense of belonging.

trophy Results

Responsibility
Key Behaviors
Impact
  • I plan for and execute on multiple impactful projects, work streams and teams.
  • I identify new opportunities for my team to execute that have org/company-wide impact 
  • I refocus my team's efforts when results aren’t moving the needle for our business/team goals or serving the needs of customers in a meaningful way
  • I know which levers to pull to drive meaningful results and understand the wider, cross-functional implications of my team's work
  • I am responsible for ensuring that results do not come at the expense of long term growth, retention, or psychological safety
Ownership
  • I have a sense of responsibility and obligation to act on opportunities I see across my org
  • I create an environment where my teams can learn from failures to drive better business outcomes
  • I unblock myself and team by addressing and eliminating the root cause
  • I am accountable for inspection, oversight, and pruning of the portfolio of projects within my domain and hold managers reporting to me accountable for delivering the results needed by the organization
Decision Making
  • I make informed decisions by consulting the right stakeholders and balancing details with the big picture 
  • I'm able to reach the right decision despite conflicting perspectives and act thoughtfully and decisively
  • I ensure that investments are appropriately prioritized across my portfolio of projects
Operational Excellence
  • I set goals and objectives at the right altitude and hold my team accountable to them
  • I run efficient processes, while minimizing unnecessary work about work. I ensure that appropriate information is disseminated within my team.
  • I drive operational cadences that get to the right outcomes
  • I build healthy partnerships with stakeholders and teams with whom my teams have long-lived relationships

glowing star Direction

Responsibility
Key Behaviors
Agility
  • I am a calming influence on my team in times of change and uncertainty 
  • I coach my team to navigate complexity and ambiguity 
  • When necessary, I am able to introduce change into the organization and guide my team accordingly
Innovation
  • I champion bold, creative, and productive approaches for my team and lead them to generate solutions that aim to deliver better results
  • I set audacious goals for my team, encourage them to take risks, and share lessons learned 
  • I create psychological safety for my team to promote experimentation and learning
Strategy
  • I define the vision for my team in alignment with company-wide priorities and inspire my team and cross-discipline stakeholders to work toward that vision
  • I resolve misalignments with stakeholder teams and cross-discipline partners with differing goals
  • I think and articulate strategy over long time horizons. I am able to think broadly and cross-functionally about areas outside of my teams’/org’s primary responsibilities

deciduous tree Talent

Responsibility
Key Behaviors
Personal Growth
 
 
  • I proactively ask for feedback from those I work with and have self-awareness about my strengths and areas for development
  • I drive discussions with my manager about aspirational goals and seek out opportunities to learn and grow
  • I invest time in being a better manager and leader
Hiring
  • I attract and hire a diverse and talented team with a broad range of experiences and strengths, keeping in mind the long-term health and success of my org and/or teams
  • I am actively involved in interviewing and assessing senior candidates and I ensure my team(s) are calibrated and conducting interviews. In addition, I am increasingly getting involved in hiring initiatives and potentially a member of hiring committee.
  • I build strong relationships with candidates and can represent Dropbox's mission, strategy, and culture throughout the interview process
  • I have a strong pulse on my team's engagement and a proactive retention strategy
Talent Development
  • I foster career growth of my team members by taking into account their career goals and looking for ways to provide meaningful development experiences based on their skills and interest. I give opportunities to work on next-level assignments that demonstrate readiness for promotion when appropriate
  • I hold my team accountable for performance expectations and take different approaches to motivating high performers and turning around low performers
  • Within my org, I work to ensure that even those not reporting directly to me are well leveraged by leading through other people managers, through cross-team reach, improving processes, or by finding opportunities for those who are under leveraged.
  • I can guide and grow both managers and senior ICs, helping them advance their careers by finding them highly-leveraged roles within the organization
Organizational Planning
  • I structure my team so the right people are in the right roles with clearly defined responsibilities. I ensure projects are staffed appropriately to set them up for success, placing my strongest technical leaders where they are the most needed and impactful
  • I increasingly think in terms of the broad organization, rather than treating it as a collection of individual teams
  • I plan for long-term headcount and recruiting needs to guarantee the long-term success of my organization and/or team(s)
  • I create sustainable processes, reward systems, and people practices to ensure my team’s long-term success

rainbow Culture

Responsibility
Key Behaviors
Collaboration
  • I help break down silos within and across functions and influence others to reach the best outcome for Dropbox
  • I build deep cross-functional relationships, facilitate the right conversations, and settle disagreements by managing different viewpoints
  • I avoid blame and solve the right problems, disagreeing and committing when necessary to move critical priorities forward
  • I have a holistic view of the org and Dropbox’s goals that I champion, using my experience and judgment to optimize for the wider org rather than locally to my teams.
Organizational Health
  • I motivate others to bring their authentic selves everyday and contribute to building community at Dropbox
  • I remove barriers to inclusion for my team and ensure diverse perspectives are considered and included. I work to elevate existing standards while coaching my reports on how to do the same
  • I practice vigilance in surfacing cultural issues that might not be explicitly raised to me. I proactively solicit feedback from my team on culture and leverage tools at hand (e.g. Pulse, Soapbox) to gain deeper insight into my team
  • When I become aware of any lapse in my team’s culture, I communicate and work with my leadership team follow through on plans to correct and prevent recurrence of the lapse
Communication
  • I write and speak with clarity, tailor my message to my audience, and listen to understand others
  • I proactively share information so the right people are informed and aligned