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Level Up - Issue #93


Level Up

May 23 · Issue #93 · 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.

What to do when your organisation doesn’t support you
Many organisations throw individual contributors into first-time leadership roles without a lot of support. I’ve been there before and it often feels like it’s sink-or-swim (and you have to learn how to swim fast!). For these first-time leaders, it can feel like your organisation isn’t supporting you.
In these situations, here are a few things you can do:
  • Ask explicitly for support - Don’t expect your manager or HR/people team to read your mind. Most people are offered leadership roles because others see them already demonstrating leadership behaviours and don’t realise support is needed. If you find yourself in this situation, ask and be specific on what sort of support you are looking for (e.g. how to give more effective feedback, how to run effective 1-1s, learning how to prioritise). Explore what your organisation already provides for leadership development or what it can create.
  • Look for a mentor - A mentor is typically a person who has walked the path before and can share their experiences and advice. You might find a mentor in your own company, or in an external engineering leadership community.
  • Find books to read or podcasts to listen to - Books provide a great way to focus on a particular skill or area in depth. Podcasts provide a great way to hear stories or situations from others. Loads of knowledge already exists and the first step is actively looking for it.
  • Focus on improving one thing every day - Focus on the power of marginal gains. A 1% improvement compounds over time and you’ll find things start to get easier or come more naturally. Don’t aim for perfection (no one is). Aim for continuous improvement. Being better is always better than staying the same.
Want to share other tips for first-time leaders with little to no support? Drop me an email and let me know your tip.
I’ve also got some exciting news to share with you soon, so keep an eye out in the next issue. ☺️
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

Stepping into a new leadership role can feel like sink-or-swim
Stepping into a new leadership role can feel like sink-or-swim
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This is a story of a Figma bug that wasn’t a bug at all.

In November of 2019, one of our users reported this: ⁝ MW
Great quote, tweeted by famous leadership writer and speaker…
Simon Sinek
"Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” - C.S. Lewis
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