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The CTO’s Golden Derrière: The misguided perception of rockstar tech leads.
Over the last couple of decades, the explosion of tech companies led to their leaders being idolized as people with superhuman capabilities; Gods of industry, savant business leaders with visionary missions to change the world. However, they’re simply not much better than you or me. People love to use…
Build your own personal leadership manifesto.
Want to understand what defines you as a leader, use this step by step process to define your own leadership manifesto. Last year I went through the process of developing my leadership manifesto. It’s now how I attempt to lead my teams, and I mark myself against it every month.
Are your values a motivational poster or a battle standard.
Are your company values a boring motivational poster stuck on the wall, or a battle standard that you lead your team under? Company values, we’ve all seen them, every company has them. Large companies spend significant amounts of money, defining a nice need set of principles and company morals. They…
Are you building straight, white, male, middle-class products for straight, white, male, middle-class people?
Quit worrying about what your git branch is called and hire for diversity already. The tech industry has a diversity problem. I think by now that we’re all in agreement on that. If you don’t agree then grab a notepad and draw two columns. Then throughout the day for every…
Stepping Down as a Dictator: Giving Great Teams Permission to Make Awesome Decisions.
At Klarna, we hire amazing people. This statement isn’t hyperbole. I’ve not met one person in the year that I’ve been at Klarna who didn’t impress me in some way. But one thing that I’ve learned this last year is that if you put a group of amazing people in…
10x Team Killers. A Single Point of Failure.
10x developers are a risk I’m not willing to take. They are not a sustainable rock to build your team on. We are still talking about 10x developers, rockstars, and ninjas. If you find one, you can keep them. Rockstars are notoriously well known for their egotistical diva-like expectations, throwing…
When I grow up, I want to be just like you!
Do you consider yourself to be a role model? Well, believe it or not, you are. Whatever stage of your career you are at, there is someone somewhere looking up to you and thinking, ‘I want to be just like them.’ When I grow up, I want to be Paul…
Arseholes are Arseholes, However Talented they are.
It’s not OK to let someone be an arsehole just because they are talented. Challenging their behaviour is essential. Something that I wish I had learnt early on in my career is that you don’t need to tolerate arseholes. It’s not that you don’t need to tolerate arseholes, you should…
Stuck in the Middle (Management) With You.
Middle management isn’t sexy, but it’s essential. It’s not a dirty word. I’m a middle manager and I’m proud. When I started my career at the turn of the century, middle management was perceived to be a dirty word, a word that expressed incompetence and inefficiency. At the time they…
Feedback: Be a little German, Be a little American.
Giving feedback is hard; giving good feedback is even harder. What can we learn from the alternating extremes of German and American feedback cultures? What people say and what they mean. People sayAmericansBritishGermanIt’s needs some work.You’re fired.Please put this in the bin.Fine.It’s acceptable.Please don’t make me call human resources.Needs some…
Does the Tech Industry have a Drinking Problem?
Is the social acceptability of drinking within the tech industry causing us an exclusion problem? I have a complicated relationship with alcohol. My mother was an alcoholic who drank herself to death. I’ve used alcohol as stress relief and as a tool to combat my introverted social tendencies. In fact;…
The Friend Zone: Not Just a Problem for Dudebros.
Getting ‘Friend Zoned’ is a fear of all douchebag alpha male dudebros. But, as a manager how do you balance being a friend with being a colleague? The thing that I’m worst at is working how close I should get to my colleagues. How much I should let them into…