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Level Up - Issue #5

I've been using a gardening metaphor to describe one aspect to management in one of my newer talks, "

Level Up

September 14 · Issue #5 · View online
Level Up delivers a curated newsletter for leaders in tech. A project by Ideal for busy people such as Tech Leads, Engineering Managers, VPs of Engineering, CTOs and more.

I’ve been using a gardening metaphor to describe one aspect to management in one of my newer talks, “Cultivating High Performing Teams in Hypergrowth”. Ironically in real life, I’m pretty terrible at keeping plants alive. I like to think I’m better with gardening systems that produce software than I am with plants.
Gardening is a strong metaphor. Directors, C-Levels and other manager of managers will recognise that you sometimes don’t have *real* control that others perceive you have. Good leaders recognise their leverage is in creating the right environment. Call it culture, norms or ways of working. Either way, leaders build this through behaviours you encourage or discourage. Through the perspective of gardening, you can see this as cultivating or weeding out desired/undesired behaviours.
If you’re interested in listening to me talk about this metaphor, InfoQ published a fun podcast we recorded while I was in NYC, titled Technical Leadership, Cultivating Culture, and Career Growth. Thanks to Daniel Bryant for leading the discussion.
I hope you enjoy this week’s content and please send me feedback and share with others if you find this useful.

How To Know Which Skills To Develop At Each Stage Of Your Career
17 Reasons NOT To Be A Manager
Reasons to Give Management a Try
How to Receive Feedback
The Founder’s Dilemma
No next Next - An example of the Financial Times Tech Strategy
An Engineer’s Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep
The Power of “Yes, if”: Iterating on our RFC Process
Hackers Hit Twitter C.E.O. Jack Dorsey in a ‘SIM Swap.’ You’re at Risk, Too
Why cool technology sometimes flops
Organisation & Processes
Five Lessons from Scaling Pinterest
The Difference Between Red, Blue, and Purple Teams
Measure Cycle Time, Not Velocity
How Microsoft Vanquished Bureaucracy With Agile
Interesting tweets
This tweet resonates with me very deeply.
Nivia Sedai, Amyrlin Seat
The manager’s paradox: doing your job so well that people start to question the value of managers because everything’s running so smoothly.
Great leaders in today’s age require great facilitation skills. I love how this person identified how they build their facilitation skills.
Mike Lowery
Someone asked me how I got to be a great facilitator. My answer, I have been playing dungeons and dragons as a dungeon master for 37 years. I really think it helped learning how to handle the dreaded "let's split the party" teaches some great skills.
Sound familiar anyone?
Max Schoening
Software development: One of our windows broke. I told my wife that I'd just print the latches myself to save money. The parts are $2 online. I'm in $3000 on this project. No end in sight.
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany