• Management

    What is a manager’s top attribute?

    It was a warm Italian night as I sat on a terrace with a friend, sipping a good glass of tasty white wine. A friend’s friend joined us, we introduced ourselves and I learned he was a manager in tech, just like me. After a few minutes of talking about our experiences, he shot me a sharp question: What is the most important attribute of a successful manager? I had never thought about it before, so I was surprised when I saw my uncertainty last less than 5 seconds. My guts took control of my brain and spoke for me. Self-Confidence – I said. “Now I have to articulate the…

  • Management

    Delegation = laziness?

    Why don’t you delegate? Books have been written on the importance of delegation.Frameworks have been defined, along with diagrams and thorough explanations of what should be delegated and what not, for example: There are also diagrams and guidelines to help identify whom to delegate tasks to, but that is definitely outside of the scope of this post. Now, many managers agree on the importance of delegating tasks. However, surprisingly enough, throughout my career, I have met many managers who struggled with delegation. What were the main causes? In short: Fear of losing control. Fear of becoming useless to the company. Fear of being perceived as “lazy”. Are those valid reasons?…

  • Management

    Communication is empathy

    When I was working at Automattic, we used to say “Communication is oxygen“. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. From the Automattic Creed But as an inner joke among fellow Automatticians was: too much oxygen kills. The importance of communication Books have been written on this topic but as a kind reminder, I will just point out what is the most important aspect of good communication in my personal opinion, with a specific focus on software engineering. Ready for the revelation?Here it is: The goal of good communication is to help our colleagues.And in doing so, helping ourselves. When we communicate with…

  • photo of people doing handshakes

    Make Meetings Productive

    One thing I have learned very soon in my career is: meetings must be useful for all the participants. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… I have vivid memories of managers of mine looking very busy, always telling people they had a meeting in a few minutes. Sometimes it was true, while some other times they just wanted to dismiss whoever stepped into our office, but the effect they obtained was, either way, powerful: people believed they were really busy, with much more important things to do than listen to their colleagues.And those managers felt powerful: they could wear cool suits and ties and meet important…

  • Management

    Know Yourself AKA You are not Perfect

    In my previous article, I wrote about a vital aspect of leadership: knowing the individuals forming the team, in order to help them discover and express their potential, and make the team efficient. Now that you know your team, the next question is: how well do you know yourself? And can you identify your own strengths and weaknesses? And more importantly, once you have figured out your weaknesses, are you able to stop hiding them? The Myth of the Flawless Leader I have seen this around, a lot: people pretending to always have the answer to everything.Some people even take the practice to the next level. Let me tell you a story A…

  • macro outdoors perspective rocky

    Know Your Team

    In my previous installment of this series of articles about how I see leadership in tech, I mentioned one of the most important aspects of our work. And of our lives. Humanity. A Matter of Perspective Being humans means that we can do great things on our own selves, but are capable of doing wonders if we join forces. It is the nature of social animals: you can think of one ant or one bee as almost insignificant, but when you consider the whole community, they are much more powerful. Same applies to us humans, of course. That’s why we organize in bigger structures like companies: each one of us brings their…

  • Management

    Communication is oxygen, they say…

    …And I could not agree more. So what is the role of us leads?Can we help our team with communication?Spoiler: of course we do, and it is one of our responsibilities.So how do we do it? Here are some ideas. Build and Share Your Manifesto Leads should be the first to communicate clearly and loud: Their expectations in terms of performance and communications How their teams should work What their style is How success is defined I personally do this as part of each onboarding session; leaving anything to chance has proven to be very dangerous, because everyone comes from different experiences. Taking our personal manifesto as starting point, we…

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    I Am Not the Rockstar

    In my previous post, I described Team Leads as bass guitar players.Anyone who is familiar with music knows that rhythm and melody go hand-in-hand. With many genres from funk to hard rock, bass guitars place themselves right in between those two, boosting the overall experience.This also means that, by its nature, that low-pitch bass sound is often buried between drums and guitars: it provides the music with body and groove, but many people struggle with recognising its sound. Bass guitarists are often overlooked, while singers and lead guitarists take all the love and the cheers. Can you see the parallel? I do. You have all worked hard to compose the next…

  • person holding a green plant

    Help your team grow – and you will grow with them

    I love leading a team to success and helping individual team members attain their successes, which may come in many different professional and personal forms. What’s in it for the lead? Making other people shine does not mean leads are not going to get anything out of it.They may not be the rock stars on the show; I like to think of them more like bass guitar players: you will notice their absence if they are not there, connecting rhythm and melody and making the band sound much better. Call it the bias of a wannabe-bass guitarist. So it’s all about playing at the back of the stage? Of course not. How…

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