Zero Trust Leadership

A common occurrence with technical people who have grown to leadership positions is to appear secretive and nontalkative. Whatever worked when you were a senior engineer doesn’t always map that well as you progress, and that becomes more acute the higher up you get. Reasons might include low EQ, being introverted, or merely thinking all […]

Help Your Team Become Grown-Ups: Not Everything is Fun!

As the tech industry keeps getting more and more bizarre and given the state of the market and extremely high demand for engineers, I keep seeing companies go at great lengths to coddle their teams. It’s one thing to create a work environment that people enjoy coming to, and that enables hiring great talent. It’s […]

Insanity Defined

Look back and consider what those things that a year ago you were set on seeing improvements on that you or your organization are still struggling with today are. Have you been working hard on issues without getting the gains you thought will manifest by now? Here are a bunch of examples I’ve witnessed my […]

Spontaneous Human Induction

When your Engineering team makes significant changes, they are likely producing alongside it the proper process to accommodate everyone involved (if not, contact me). They will make sure to communicate it via emails and relevant Slack channels. Wiki pages will be created, revised, and spread. They will create deployment plans, contingencies, and updates for the […]

Don’t Shy Away or Risk Cowardly Management

I’m not a big fan of stereotypes, but there’s no denying that a lot of leaders in tech are former engineers–a group no one would claim is known for being overly talkative. Providing frank feedback about technical matters is one thing, but saying what’s really on your mind, especially when it comes to personal matters, […]

Stale Velocity

As time goes by, teams get accustomed to operating at certain velocities. It is rarely the same across an entire organization, yet often similar. For example, a company with blitz culture would have some teams more stressed than others, yet it is unlikely you will find a team working a lackadaisical pace. On the flip […]

Risky Business

Just this past couple of weeks, I had several discussions with clients that revolved around talks they knew needed to happen but were afraid of. That’s because their minds intuitively jumped towards the scariest thing that can happen, and they get caught imagining the worst. If you find yourself having the same discussions, with someone […]

First Class 1:1s

When assessing the general health of a new client, one of my most effective indicators is their regular personal feedback process. It starts with the plain question “how do 1:1s work around here?” Why? Feedback is one of the greatest tools leadership has to get more of the good things, and less of the bad […]

Executive Operating System: Tracking Personal Initiatives

The tech executives I work with sometimes notice a vacuum when taking on their first senior leadership role. Up till a moment ago, every job they had was focused on delivery, even if at a distance as a team or group manager. They had sprints, deadlines, and so on. Leaders, though, tend (and should) work […]

The Many Upsides of an Employee Leaving

One of the most common issues I face weekly when advising my clients is handling employee-related matters. For every company, people leaving the organization is a natural occurrence that will be happening in a relatively consistent cadence. There’s no denying it will eventually occur. According to some reports, turnover in our industry is around 25% […]