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Level Up - Issue #91


Level Up

May 9 · Issue #91 · 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.

Dealing with other people’s emergencies
A lot of first time technical leaders struggle with their time. It’s one of the reasons the first courses I published on the Tech Lead Academy was focused on time management. For some of the people I coach and mentor, I often ask to be walked through how they manage their time and find they’re often dealing with other people’s emergencies. I often refer them to Bob Carter’s famous quote, “Poor planning on your part does not necessitate an emergency on mine.
If the emergency is coming from your team (i.e. you’re ultimately accountable), then you’ll definitely need to deal with an emergency. Once you handle it though, with double-loop learning, you should be working with your team to prevent future emergencies.
If the emergency is coming from a peer, or a different department, this is a bit trickier. You’ll still want to apply double-loop learning to prevent future situations, but it doesn’t mean you should automatically solve someone else’s emergency. You’ll have to consider the balance between your relationship with that person, how much it’ll distract you from your own priorities (which will typically be more important to you), the consequences of failure and how often they come to you. The right answer is often, “I can’t take care of your emergency, but here’s how I can help you.” You can still offer aid, but be clear they are still ultimately accountable.
It’s important to work well with others, but just as important to establish boundaries. Consider this week, “What boundaries do you set with your team and peers and how do you communicate this?
Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Sign up for the online workshop, “Shortcut to Tech Leadership” or take a self-paced course at the

All leaders need to set boundaries
All leaders need to set boundaries
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Tweets of the Week
Hauntingly true 😅
A wonderful quote indeed! 🤓
jan höglund
A good listener is a witness, not a judge of your experience.
—Michael P. Nichols, The Lost Art of Listening
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please send me feedback and share with others!
Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Watch out for future dates for the Shortcut to Tech Leadership online workshop, or check out self-paced courses at the Tech Lead Academy including “Time Management for Technical Leaders” and “Fundamentals of Systems Thinking”.
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany