Short one today…
I lead many different development teams. I am constantly asked how I can lead and assist so many teams.
The answer is quite simple. I allow them to lead themselves.
I see my role as a leader to be enabling the teams to grow – to push them and help guide them to be more effective and more capable. I don’t see my role as micro-managing, controlling, or in usurping the team.
I’ve had one project that has forced me to dig deeper into the team than I had planned. We have brilliant team members but one of them has been pretty beat up on other projects by a semi-abusive, power-hungry, micro-manager (yup – loads of hyphenated-ugliness!). This means he’s had some trouble grabbing the reins that I have been holding out for him to take for some time.
The inability of this team member to grab the leadership reins hasn’t been crippling by any means. It just means that I have had to get my hands dirty in areas that I wanted him to lead on.
The other day he finally got it. He got that I wasn’t trying to set him up for failure. That I wasn’t going to give him some leeway and then choke him with the leadership reins. That I wasn’t looking to point fingers when things went wrong and that I had his back at all times.
He took the lead very recently. The other day I asked him how things were going. He’s loving the gig and I am incredibly pleased with what he has been creating. I could hear the excitement and pride in his voice. His leader side has come forward again.
Leadership is often about giving up the control and enabling your team to take things over. It’s a scary thing for some, lbut few things are more fulfilling.
How do you lead your technical team?
PS – I just needed to share this FAA Shed picture. It’s not particularly leadership oriented but I was on a leadership conference in Asilomar and this one had me scratching my head.