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Level Up - Issue #162

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Level Up

September 18 · Issue #162 · 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.


Working overtime as a technical leader
In a workshop this week, I had the question how do you avoid overtime as a technical leader? Working overtime is very common for first time leaders. I remember I did a lot of this in my first role. Some of this is driven because of guilt, guilt of not contributing as much as other team members. As an example, a lot of first time tech leads feel they need to produce as many features and write as much code as other team members. Then there are those meetings… “distractions” from getting work done 
To solve this, new technical leaders need to make two key shifts. Firstly, your recognise that your role as a leader is different from your role as an individual contributor. It’s not addditive. Recognise you need to take care of other responsibilities, not simply add them to your existing responsibilities. Don’t try to do two full-time roles at the same time. You’ll do both poorly. 
Secondly, reframe those meetings not as “distractions” but how some of your value-added work occurs. A small coaching nudge here. Input into a decision there might save your team from working on the wrong priority, or to avoid being blocked waiting on a dependency from another team. Your value as a leader is no longer primarily about what you create, but what you do to help your team accomplish even more. Hence I go to the “maker to multiplier” mindset shift necessary to succeed. 
If you are a new technical leader, catch yourself falling into these two traps. If you’re a more experienced leader, help new technical leaders by giving feedback and telling them that they don’t need to work overtime to succeed. More importantly, show them how. 
I hope you enjoy this week’s newsletter! Share it with a friend or colleague if you find it helpful, or drop me an email about topics you’d like to hear about in future editions.
Join an upcoming Shortcut to Tech Leadership or Engineering Manager Essentials remote workshop to level up your technical leadership skills or invest in a self-paced courses at the http://techlead.academy

You shouldn't have to work overtime as a technical leader. It's easy to fall into this trap as you transition into your first role.
You shouldn't have to work overtime as a technical leader. It's easy to fall into this trap as you transition into your first role.
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Leadership
Techniques for Managing Your Time and Cognitive Load as a Senior Leader
What people don't understand about being a CTO
True leadership is influence without authority
Last change to register for this week's upcoming workshops
Last change to register for this week's upcoming workshops
Tech
Announcing the PyTorch Foundation: A new era for the cutting-edge AI framework
The Follower (Art/Tech Project)
QR codes
Level up your communication skills with this self-paced course. Click on the banner to find out more
Level up your communication skills with this self-paced course. Click on the banner to find out more
Organisation & Processes
Patagonia: Billionaire boss gives fashion firm away to fight climate change
The Systems within a Software Team
Scaling Translations at Spotify
Tweets of the Week
A really good read. Click to expand and read the full twitter thread 👇
David McJannet
When we talk to customers, partners, and the HashiCorp team about the biggest shifts taking place in cloud, one topic keeps coming up: the rise of the platform team. 1/11
A great tip 👇
Senior Oops Engineer
if you own a decision that requires input, try a thing I learned from Russell Ackoff: "If we don't make a decision (by time T and/or between options X, Y, and Z), we will go with my plan. If you want us to do something different, you need to propose it and/or obtain consensus."
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany