My leadership philosophy
Over a career of guiding people to some pretty incredible results, I’ve honed a leadership formula that has guaranteed me consistent success.
It looks like this:
|Product Success||=||Smart, talented people in roles where they feel appropriately challenged|
|+||strong, supportive relationships among them|
|+||solid emotional and developmental support from you, their leader|
Put another way:
When you focus on keeping people and their relationships healthy, the product is really just a byproduct.
That’s the basis of what I call Empathetic Leadership.
It’s easy to look at a group of software engineers and forget that engineers are people, not resources. Each person on your team has their own set of needs and wants, things they value and things they avoid. When you treat each person as an individual and get to know them–really know them–then you can set them up to succeed time after time after time.
And when your people succeed, your team–your company–succeeds. That’s why experience tells me that what’s best for your employees is what’s best for your company.
How did I arrive at this philosophy?
I’ve been in the software industry since 2005. I’ve worked with companies from startups with 3-5 person engineering teams to enterprises like Nintendo and Microsoft where it’s turtles all the way down. In that time, I’ve been guided by some incredible leaders–some of whom understood what made them great, and others who stumbled headlong into great leadership.
I’ve shamelessly stolen all the best aspects from each of those leaders. And, when I had moments of feeling that, “you know, I really wish that so-and-so had handled that more like…”, I’ve taken notes so that I can make sure to not trip on the same rocks.
That said, I don’t believe that I’ll every truly know everything. And I sincerely hope that those who report through me now are taking the same notes that I once did. That, someday, one of them will have a moment where they’ll say, “This feels like that time that Tim botched that interaction. I’m going to make sure I do that better this time.”
And I hope for you, dear reader, to do the same. To take intentionally from my successes, and to learn from the mistakes I’ve made (and will continue to make)–to take the good and improve upon the bad, and to become the trusted, influential, empathetic leader I know you’re capable of being.
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