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Level Up - Issue #139


Level Up

April 10 · Issue #139 · 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.

Growing other leaders
I often think that good managers are people who get the stuff done as required by the organisation. Sometimes, but not always, good managers are also great leaders who act as multipliers and grow other leaders. In today’s newsletter I want to share a few tips on how:
  • Invest in Psychological Safety - Google’s Project Aristotle showed that this is the most important element to high-performing teams, but psychological safety is also key to encouraging others to demonstrate leadership. Search the web for ideas on how to invest in psychological safety or read The Fearless Organization.
  • Work on intrinsic motivation - Dan Pink’s Drive helped me understand the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Research shows that when you often reward behaviour with extrinsic means like bonuses, when you remove the extrinsic force, you lose your desired behaviour. Instead, focus on building intrinsic motivation - the opportunities people can learn, choose to contribute and improve their work and their team and instil a sense of personal pride in the work they do.
  • Highlight leadership opportunities - Even when people have high intrinsic motivation, they may not see activities or opportunities they can own or take part in. Think about activities you would like to work on and don’t have time for and ask for volunteers. Create a leadership opportunity through scoping out work or activities for others to own.
  • Demonstrate gratitude - I’ve found highlighting and celebrating desired behaviour can be a more powerful motivator than focusing only on stopping undesirable behaviour. Build a reinforcing loop where people demonstrate leadership and show your gratitude for the proactive action.
Your challenge for this week is to deliberately do something that improves one of the four elements above. Do this repeatedly and you’ll find you have suddenly grown other leaders.
Enjoy this week’s newsletter and please pass it on to a friend or colleague who might benefit.
Join an online guided course, Shortcut to Tech Leadership (IC track) or Engineering Manager Essentials (Management track) to level up your skills. Or grow your value as a technical leader with self-paced courses at the

Great leaders grow other leaders
Great leaders grow other leaders
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Tweets of the Week
On the topic of psychological safety this week 👇
🇺🇦 Tom Geraghty
If you’re into psychological safety, human factors, ergonomics and safety critical domains, I really recommend watching “Downfall, The Case Against Boeing”.

An excellent study and analysis into the causal factors of very human disasters.
A great reminder 👇
Rob England 🦓
Why don't we teach this more? Everybody needs to know this.
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, send me feedback and share it with others!
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany