Level Up

By Patrick Kua

Level Up - Issue #149

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Level Up

June 19 · Issue #149 · 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.


What is expected of me?
A lot of people in technical leadership roles have the same question, “What is expected of me?” It’s natural to want assurance, but the flip side of being a leader is that you’re expected to exercise judgment and direct your attention and energy to the most impact areas.
The wrong behaviour, often demonstrated by newer, and less effective leaders, focus on the lack of clarity, complaining and waiting for someone to give them direction. The bad news is… it often never comes until it’s too late.
Although it’s fair to want to have some direction, the reality is that leaders, by definition are there to lead. In this context, leading means crafting more certainty from uncertainty. To craft more certainty, observe the current state, identify constraints and gather information before making a decision about what to work on. This applies to the team. It also applies to you in your role as a leader.
Don’t wait around for others to create clarity for you. Start with what you can do. Write a draft role description. Build a stack-ranked priority list. But most importantly, use these artefacts as the start of conversations to build shared expectations with others around you. Learn about what people agree with and where you see differences.
Enjoy this week’s newsletter, and please pass it on to a friend or colleague who might benefit.
Future dates for Shortcut to Tech Leadership and Engineering Manager Essentials are published and go on sale in Jul. Until then, consider using the summer time to level up your skills with self-paced courses at the http://techlead.academy

"What is expected of me?" is often the wrong question for leaders to start with
"What is expected of me?" is often the wrong question for leaders to start with
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Organisation & Processes
The truth about bias in performance feedback
The Fallacy of Splitting Time
Business Value, Soccer Canteens, Engineer Retention, and the Bricklayer Fallacy
Tweets of the Week
🤣
Carla Notarobot 🤖👩🏻‍💻
Recruiter: So why do you want to work at our office in Mexico?

Dev: I want to be a señor developer
A nice heuristic to think about internal processes… 👇
Yvonne Lam
PSA: if you're interviewing at a mid-sized startup with aspirations, ask them how long it takes someone to get an s3 bucket with a certain set of permissions. Their answer will tell you a lot about which set of problems you'll be letting yourself in for should you work there.
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, send me feedback and share it with others!
Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Sign up for online interactive courses like Engineering Manager Essentials or Shortcut to Tech Leadership or check out self-paced courses at the Tech Lead Academy.
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany