Level Up

By Patrick Kua

Level Up - Issue #132

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Level Up

February 20 · Issue #132 · View online

Level Up delivers a curated newsletter for leaders in tech. A project by https://patkua.com. Ideal for busy people such as Tech Leads, Engineering Managers, VPs of Engineering, CTOs and more.


Leadership Hygiene: Free time
One of the first things I explore with some of my clients is how much free time they have in their schedule. First-time leaders are used to working through a lot of tasks. Not having a specific “task” with a concrete outcome feels unproductive. I know a lot of people, including my past self, feel some sense of guilt with lots of free time. It might sound like, “I should be in meetings,” or “I should be seen to be doing something.”
I often describe having enough free time as leadership hygiene. You need to have enough free time to lead well. Of course, *too much* free time might also be an issue, but I find that is rarely an issue.
Leaders need free time to navigate the flood of information and to prioritise (decide what not to do, or do later). Leaders need free time to identify key decisions to be made, how to make each decision and to make progress on each. Leaders need free time to find ways to break “big problems” into clearer, smaller, manageable problems and to involve the right people to solve them well.
Without enough free time, ineffective leaders fall into a constant, reactive trap and can’t have the best impact they can have.
Your challenge this week is to reflect on last week and if you had enough free time. If you feel you didn’t have enough free time, reserve at least 30-60mins more this week. Use this time to see if you’re working on the most important things.
Enjoy this week’s newsletter and be sure to pass it on to a friend or colleague.
Join in one of the last Shortcut to Tech Leadership workshops in Q1 to level up your technical leadership skills. Or grow your value as a technical leader with a self-paced course at the http://techlead.academy

You need free time to think to be an effective leader
You need free time to think to be an effective leader
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A great thread from former CTO/VPE Shopify/Atlassian about scaling tech companies 👇
Jean-Michel Lemieux
Another common question I’m answering working with scaling tech companies is…

Q. What’s the worst leadership advice you’ve heard?

A. By far the worst is “Hire great people and get out of their way”.

Let me explain… 🧵 (1/32) https://t.co/5X9U9uLCre
Emily has shared yet another fantastic project of hers to help you think about team organisation 🎊.
Emily Webber
I am pleased to announce the Team Onion’s new website home is now live at https://t.co/nQW8ZR0Udj ⭐️ https://t.co/qgt7YkIqju
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please send me feedback and share it with others!
Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Sign up for the Shortcut to Tech Leadership online workshop, or check out self-paced courses at the Tech Lead Academy.
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany