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Level Up - Issue #43


Level Up

June 7 · Issue #43 · 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.

It’s been a tough week. I am certainly feeling overwhelmed. For me, I’ve written and discarded multiple drafts, unsure how to respond. I’m sure you’re in a similar position. Especially those of you with the protests, police and escalating military might right outside your door. My ❤️ goes out to all of you struggling as leader.
Leaders have a responsibility to build the best environment for their team. A responsibility to create order out of chaos. In terms of chaos, people are looking for direction and you can provide it. In Coping with a Crisis I share how leaders should EAT (Empathise, Acknowledge, Take Action).
Empathise by reaching out to your team and ask them how they are doing. It’s impossible to fully separate emotions from the work. Share how you’re feeling - you’re probably sharing some similar emotions.
Acknowledge the situation. It’s impossible to pretend certain events aren’t happening. Focus on facts. Remember you may have team members with different values from yourself. Consider running a (distributed) “fireside chat” to talk about these topics openly.
Finally, Take Action - Consider what options you have available to you, based on what you can control and influence. For many of us, control will be what you do, how you communicate and how you react. Choose to focus on actions that foster psychological safety, the foundation of high-performing teams. To do this, actively encourage inclusive behaviour and discourage any exclusive behaviour you see. When you allow certain behaviour, it is accepted as part of the culture. Invite people to learn more about biases. Some of the articles I’ve included this week offer ideas for you as leaders.
I hope you enjoy this week’s content. If you find it useful, please forward to someone else and send me feedback. Stay safe and healthy 🙏
Level up your leadership skills with better time management. Register for the new online course, “Time Management for Technical Leaders” from the Tech Lead Academy 🎉

Black Lives Matter ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽
You’ll notice this is a new section that doesn’t normally appear in Level Up. If you’re tempted to scroll down and hit the 👎 the button or scroll past this section, I ask you to pause. Take a breath and I invite you to ask yourself, “Why?” If you feel uncomfortable, that’s okay. Take an opportunity to learn more and listen to the challenges and stories of others.
How Racism Shapes My Habits
Maintaining Professionalism In The Age of Black Death Is….A Lot
Black tech CEOs explain why the killing of George Floyd hits so close to home
Relentless empathy: When hate demands critical leadership
So Much of Navigating This Difficult Time is About the 'How'​ of Leadership​
How to Spot When an Employee Is Secretly Struggling
U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism
How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change
ThoughtWorks' Technology Radar - An opinionated guide to technology frontiers
Software Engineering Within SpaceX
Tech alignment with ADRs, Working Groups and Narratives |
Organisation & Processes
What might we miss working from home?
A Plea for Action
On anti-racist management practices
Interesting tweets
Here’s something you should avoid as a leader, asking (only) minorities to explain the situation or their feeling. Read the 🧵 for more detail.
Jeremiah Walters
My manager brought up everything that’s going on in the most pc, round about way 🙄in a team meeting today then goes...”I’m hoping Jeremiah can jump in and say something...” I’m thinking no! I’m hoping one of Y’all would say something!
Click through to see the two different approaches as a leader. 🤔
A real life example of EAT (Empathise, Acknowledge, Take Action) from Jaice DuMars (@jaicesd) in the form of a short slack message.
save lives, stay home
I just sent this to my team. Fellow leaders/managers, please consider sharing something with your orgs
A short, to the point email from Harvest co-founder, Danny Wen (@dannywen) 🙏
danny wen
It's been hard to find the words or actions to take during these times. Sharing what I shared with the team at @harvest today in case it's useful for others in the similar shoes.
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please send me feedback and share with others!
If you’re interested in growing and supporting technical leaders in your company, get in touch about my “Tech Lead Skills for Developers” course or check out the Tech Lead Academy online course on “Time Management for Technical Leaders”.
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany