People Over Processes

People are not software, no matter how hard we try. That means that some plans and approaches that might seem nice on paper are doomed even before you send the first Slack message to talk about them. It might seem trivial at first pass, but I routinely see people try and do things in a […]

Courage Over Fake Niceties

A malady across tech worldwide seems to be the sanctity of amicability, even at the cost of harming the work we came to do. Many people tend to avoid arguments, but I’m talking about something that takes this to a whole other level. We see leaders with nicely laid out copies of “Radical Candor” on […]

The Void of Empowerment

A recurring issue for people as their position in a company becomes more senior—either due to being promoted or having the organization grow under them—is the feeling that they are slowly being moved away from influencing the team. We all talk about empowered teams, but what happens when you actually achieve something that resembles such […]

Team Empowerment Alignment

I’m a big advocate of empowered product teams and have helped many companies make a healthy transition towards such a culture. However, I regularly come across executives who think they have already achieved this while, in fact, having created expensive Jira resolution machines. There are also scenarios where I believe a shift to empowered product […]

Handling Talent Fear

What’s the most important thing that leaders can do for their teams? That’s right, continuously coach them, so they constantly improve and get better. How often is that the case? Not often enough, by a long shot. Growth usually requires providing negative feedback and pushing people out of their comfort zones. That’s not immediately gratifying, […]

Tech Impact: Real-Life Examples

I like to take stock of what I did as a new year begins, and as part of it, I try to think back on examples I saw of tech teams making a difference. I’m not talking about the average we’ve gotten used to: delivering the roadmap. What I look for are cases where the […]

Suspension of Disbelief

Take a minute and think back to one of the recent meetings you participated in. Anything with more than three attendees is likely to suffice. Was there a moment when one person described an idea and was promptly shot down? I see this happening in all sorts of meetings, from the tactical ones about software […]

Assessing Engineering Managers

It’s that time of year where many leaders across the globe are scrambling to kick off their “performance reviews” processes or whatever ritual the company has deemed correct. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t recommend to any of my clients that feedback should be a once-a-year sort of thing. Nevertheless, given that it is top […]

Myopic Leadership

I like the word “myopia,” especially when analogically used to describe other issues. Being nearsighted and wearing glasses since seventh grade, I get it. I remember the first time I went out to the street with glasses and felt awestruck. I never knew that leaves were so beautiful or that you were supposed to be […]

Signs You’re Doing OKRs Wrong

Happy OKR season to you all. There comes a time when we hear about a methodology or process so much with any management trend, yet it seems like no one is clear on the right way to do it. If you’re going through the motions without grokking the reason behind them, you will likely get […]