Velocity or Acceleration

Back in my days as a senior engineer, I would put a lot of effort into stepping up my personal productivity or helping those around me become better. We all know that most 10x engineers achieve that by acting as force multipliers: They make other people better and don’t type really fast but drive to […]

Tech Exec—Cofounders Fit

We all know that whenever someone interviews for a role, they should also do their due diligence and interview the company. Having seen many times when a tech executive joined a company as a CTO or VPE only to realize later they do not work well with the founders, I decided to lay out a […]

Time Crisis Dilation

I regularly keep in touch with tech leaders globally as part of my work. That means that there are many people that I only talk to every six months or even less often. When we catch up, I often remind them about whatever crisis they were handling back then. Do you know what many say? […]

Leadership SLAs

As part of the toolkit all leaders need, no matter how senior, I often find myself recommending an interesting exercise to clients: Instead of simply trying to prioritize things as they appear, try to decide ahead of time what type of leader you would like to be. In this exercise, you list the different aspects […]

Optimism For Geek Leaders

Sometimes when I talk with tech people turned into executives, even CEOs, they lament how they seem to lack capabilities other successful executives have. It sometimes feels more like a humble brag: “I could never BS people like that guy.” Those who sell effectively are “sure the sun circles them.” However, being influential as an […]

Stop Fretting

Perhaps it is because we’re approaching another year’s end, or your coach asked you to list your next challenges. Whatever it is, you suddenly feel as if you “don’t have enough” problems. As ridiculous as that might read, that is something I often hear—even if those speaking don’t put it exactly like that. When things […]

Pushover Leadership

It might sound quirky, but something I frequently see is how tech executives who are passionate about their roles and worked hard to get them then go on to essentially give up on their independence and agency. Some start their roles like that, and others slowly morph into it. Either way, it is a poor […]

Task Forces

One of software’s strong points is that it is innately… well… soft! You know what is quite more rigid, though? The makeup of the organization creating it. People are a lot less malleable to change than code is. Therefore, we often miss out on opportunities. There are times when pulling your sleeves up and shuffling […]

If Not Now, Then Never?

As an industry, I think we’ve gotten too lazy and wasteful. Even teams with great leaders and talented engineers seem to have become dull and content with churning out average work. That’s partly why the current economic conditions are causing so many companies to quickly shed significant chunks of their workforce. It’s a wake-up call. […]

Change Cadence

One of the things that “come with the job” for me is that many people approach me out of the blue and tell me what issues they’re currently struggling with. Some of those then get in touch again a few months later. Unfortunately, most report the same issues still being worked on with little to […]