Level Up

By Patrick Kua

Level Up - Issue #95




Level Up

June 6 · Issue #95 · 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.

Using Role-Playing Games (RPGs) to explain leadership growth
Most RPGs allow you to build a unique character by overcoming challenges and receiving character points to allocate to specific traits. In an RPG, you might build a fearsome berserker by allocating all of your points to offence. But by allocating all points to offence, you hope you can defeat enemies quickly because of a weak defence. Alternatively, you might build an impressive tank by allocating all of your points to defence, leaving your character with slow movement and offence.
In the real world, most first-time technical leaders allocated all of their points to technical expertise. This makes them very knowledgeable, but with poorly developed leadership and people management skills. If you put people into a role when they suddenly need strong leadership and people management skills they haven’t developed, you are setting them up for failure. It’s like dropping your best healer into an army of orcs 👾.
New technical leaders need to recognise they need to allocate their learning efforts (or character points) differently. They will also need time and opportunity to gain more experience. People can build the skills, but don’t expect them to operate at the same level as their technical skills. Instead of doubling down on technical expertise, they will need to invest more in leadership and people management skills.
In an RPG, instead of building a warrior, you’re now building a paladin, a character class that offers better support skills to their team. In today’s world of Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs (MMORPGs), it pays to build a character that complements your team. Take some time out this week and reflect on what type of character are you building and how does that add to your team?
Limited time offer! Level Up subscribers receive a 25% discount off the newest https://techlead.academy course, “Communicate Like a CTO,” using this link or the code “CLAC-LEVELUP” (until Jun 30, 2021) 🎉🎉🎉

Unique character development is part of the fun of RPGs
Unique character development is part of the fun of RPGs
Sponsored Content
Senior Engineering opportunities with Gousto
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Maker to Manager — How Skyscanner Supports New Leaders
Tim Olshansky on Career Paths for Technologists Who Don’t Want to Manage People
Amplify Learning In Your Team With More Double-Loop Learning
Dates for June/July out now (click the banner to register)
Dates for June/July out now (click the banner to register)
The privacy concerns with Amazon Sidewalk explained
The Full Story of the Stunning RSA Hack Can Finally Be Told
Service Mesh Wars, Goodbye Istio
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Organisation & Processes
Stack Overflow Sold to Tech Giant Prosus for $1.8 Billion
Why it’s difficult to build teams in high growth organisations
A New Way To Tell if a Company Is Truly Product-Led
Tweets of the Week
This! 👇
Chad Fowler
Most of what good management consists of can be boiled down to this simple idea: a manager's job is to create a context in which each team member is inspired and empowered to do their best work. It's shocking out far from reach this is for many managers.
Indeed. I find a lot of leading remote teams well means you need especially strong leadership skills.
Molly Struve 🦄
Been listening to lots of panels on working remote. You want to know what the common theme is? IT IS HARD! Sure, no commute is nice, but it's still hard and you have to work at it to be successful
A fun twitter thread (click the tweet) to have a bit of a laugh 😂
Joel Califa
new proposals for engineering levels

Common Engineer
Uncommon Engineer
Rare Engineer
Epic Engineer
Legendary Engineer

you can exchange two common engineers for an uncommon but you lost some materials https://t.co/nfQL7ZHhiL
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
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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.
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany