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Level Up - Issue #165

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Level Up

October 9 · Issue #165 · 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.


Take the plunge
I remember hearing a story early on my career about learning. It centred on a person who wanted to become a world class swimmer. They read many books on various swimming and breathing techniques. They spoke to many champion swimmers but they felt like they didn’t want to get into the water until they were “ready.” They found a coach and asked them, “What else do I need to know before I’m ready?” The coach replied, “You need to take the plunge.”
This story reminded me that reading theory, talking about models and thinking about different techniques doesn’t build skill or experience. This is also true of leadership. Although I think that most leaders and managers could do with more training, and broadening what they read, at the end of the day, to become a great leader you need to take the plunge. You need to wear the leadership mantle. You need to deliberately practice. Make mistakes and that’s how you build your skill and experience.
Taking the plunge as a leader can be scary. If you’re learning, you’re going to make mistakes and those mistakes will inevitably impact the people or team you lead. At the same time, you have to recognise that you’re human (i.e. not perfect) and that if you focus on becoming a great leader, you’ll endeavour to avoid making the same mistake twice. A little bit of anxiety/worry is a sign of growth and I hope the swimming story resonates with you as much as it did with me.
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.
Additional dates for the rest of this year announced for the remote workshops Engineering Manager Essentials and Shortcut to Tech Leadership 🎉. Or level up yourself with self-paced courses at the http://techlead.academy

Ready to take the plunge?
Ready to take the plunge?
Sponsored Content
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Leadership
Is there a place for gossip in the new normal?
How to Be a Truly Great Head of Product: Strategy
Fools! Stop Mysticizing System Dynamics
Due to a sold out workshop for Americas/EU and demand additional dates for EM Essentials and Shortcut to Tech Leadership for 2023 have been added. Click the banner to see the dates and register
Due to a sold out workshop for Americas/EU and demand additional dates for EM Essentials and Shortcut to Tech Leadership for 2023 have been added. Click the banner to see the dates and register
Tech
Adobe's Internal Developer Platform Journey and Lessons
Discovering novel algorithms with AlphaTensor
Skyplane: 110x faster transfers between any cloud
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
Prioritizing App Stability — Mobile Performance @ Lyft
DRUIDS, the Design System That Powers Datadog
How Spotify Maintains Security Testing within the Software Development Life Cycle
Tweets of the Week
A great reminder 👇
Taylor Poindexter
Sat down to start writing my EOY appraisal and I had that wretched “I haven’t done anything!” thought. Luckily, I log all my wins to jog my memory in times like this 🤩

If you don’t have a Brag Book that you update regularly, I highly recommend starting one! 📓
Unintended consequences reflecting on the recent closure of Google’s gaming Stadia product… 👇
Peter Yang
Google insiders explain why Google launches many products and then abandons them.

Hint: It has to do with chasing promotions. 🤦‍♂️ https://t.co/u9nwleGxHK
A good thread worth reading. Click on the tweet to expand 👇
Adam Jacob
I’m starting to think that a lot of our foundational metaphors for how to build startups and companies is off, in ways that dramatically influence our behavior. For example, that software engineering and product development is like a factory.
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 Shortcut to Tech Leadership or Engineering Manager Essentials or check out self-paced courses at the Tech Lead Academy.
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany