Generating Effective Chutzpah

In a famous Sherlock Holmes tale, the fabled detective cracks the case by realizing that the dog didn’t bark at midnight as the crime happened. Therefore, he concluded that it was elementary: the dog knew the perpetrator. I regularly train my clients to be attuned to the quietness around them. Every post-mortem should include the […]

Management as a Profession

A recurring theme I’ve heard a lot lately from tech executives in unicorns is that their management team is their weakest link. You feel like you—as the one running the show—have your act together and that your ICs are great. If only you could get your managers to do things correctly, you’d be thriving. Right? […]

The Demise of Coaching

We’re all pretty fatigued about “learnings from COVID,” but there’s one thing that I saw happening prior, and over the course of the last year, I believe it created a noticeable chasm between those who get leadership and those who don’t. I think that the pandemic, whether it made your team move to work-from-home or […]

Don’t Cultivate Snowflake Engineers

I’m going to allow myself to talk about this problem because I was once one of these precious snowflake engineers. Acting like a snowflake hurts everyone involved. In my work with tech executives, I see this originating from sympathizing too much with your staff or a tendency to put your people on a pedestal because […]

Growing Growth Mindsets

Any person that cares about coaching has to be familiar with the concept of a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset. When I first heard about it years ago, I had a genuine eureka moment—it instantly made me know myself better and realize how different issues in my past related to my mindset. […]

The Courage to Let Go

Over the past weeks, I’ve had a lot of talks, webinars, and podcast interviews (the launch of The Tech Executive Operating System is going well, thanks for asking!). I often talk about the magic that happens when you incorporate regular innovation into your team’s schedule. Unsurprisingly, I notice the same sorts of objections again and […]

The Self-Encapsulating CTO

CTOs and VPEs tend to come from a technical background, naturally. That means that some patterns of thought have been engraved in their mind. Sometimes those act like superpowers. For example, the critical thinking skills you gained learning how to debug a production issue effectively and pinpoint the culprit rapidly can often be translated to […]

Double Your Impact-Per-Engineer

Having had the opportunity to work with dozens of teams and companies globally, I’ve spent quite some time considering what seems to set the best ones apart. Given that my personal mission is to create world-class engineering teams, knowing how to achieve that is a prerequisite to reliably replicating them. I believe that the extraordinary […]

Code: Our Biggest Sunk Cost

I’ve been enamored with writing code since I was nine years old. I still view it as somewhat like sci-fi: we type on our keyboards, and things happen. However, we are prone to committing a mistake here and treat code not as a means to an end but an end. I posit that we become […]

Scale Up, Impact Down

One of the hottest terms among tech leaders nowadays seems to be the “scale-up.” You’re no longer a mere startup. They’re relatively easy to identify, as these are companies where all managers are occupied with maintaining the breakneck hiring pace. There’s nothing necessarily bad about achieving this phase. In fact, many times, that’s the right […]