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Dan Creswell
Technical Lead is essentially a label that disempowers all other engineers in a team. It elevates an individual to primacy which is unlikely to yield good results. One person doesn't have all the answers and assuming they do can cause great harm to the individual.
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Dan Taylor Oct 8
Replying to @dancres
Technical lead done badly, sure. But anything done badly is bad. Tech lead done well is a supporter, a coach, a sounding board, a lightning rod, an ambassador and a point of contact. In my experience, a good tech lead is the greatest differentiator for good teams.
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Dan Creswell Oct 8
Replying to @DanteLore
The properties you attribute to a singular lead are those I want and grow in my whole team. I.e I want them all doing those things. As soon as I designate one I lose more than I gain...
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Dan Taylor Oct 8
Replying to @dancres
Absolutely, you want everyone to have a good mix of skills. Some will excel at testing or a specific tech or presentations or architecture... and some will have a natural (and rare) talent for leadership. Not everyone can be the same. Also, people *like* having good leaders.
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Dan Creswell Oct 8
Replying to @DanteLore
The Idea that leadership is natural talent and rare is one that holds us back. Leaders are made not born, it’s an inherently coachable attribute.
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Dan Creswell Oct 8
Replying to @DanteLore
And I don’t want to be led, I want to grow and learn and be the best I can be. Folks that can help me with that are all I need. Some folks even help me unknowingly...
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Dan Creswell Oct 8
Replying to @DanteLore
And just so there’s no mistaking I am learning from this conversation so thank you for that. Just don’t try and lead me :)
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Dan Taylor Oct 8
Replying to @dancres
Wouldn't dream of it! 😁
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Scott Shipp Oct 9
Replying to @dancres
Whatever the title or lack thereof, there does seem to be someone on well-functioning teams who makes everything easier for everyone
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Dan Creswell Oct 9
Replying to @ScottAShipp
I’ve observed multiple such individuals in a team. I might venture that teamwork has an element of that contributed by all in the team.
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Scott Shipp Oct 9
Replying to @dancres
I wouldn’t want to be on a team that works the way I take you to be describing. Its easier to organize and get things done around clear responsibilities. I don’t care too much about the labels just the clarity.
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Dan Creswell Oct 9
Replying to @ScottAShipp
I guess it’s going to be down to the kind of clarity you seek or need and how transient you like it to be.
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Scott Shipp Oct 10
Replying to @dancres
Do you mean transparent?
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Dan Creswell Oct 10
Replying to @ScottAShipp
No.
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Scott Shipp Oct 10
Replying to @dancres
I never want clarity to be transient
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Dan Creswell Oct 10
Replying to @ScottAShipp
I figured. You can only assert so much clarity and the world tends to eat away at it over time.
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Alex Elman Oct 9
Replying to @dancres
Strongly disagree. Leadership is about giving everyone on your team the skills and opportunities to consistently find the right answers. The label “leader” isn’t supposed to elevate anyone. It’s a signal that they can step back.
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Dan Creswell Oct 9
Replying to @_pkill
Disagree to your heart’s content. How about letting the team do that for themselves? You can’t give a skill to anyone unless they want to learn it. And they might very well have their own views on what they want to learn and from whom. Consider who bestows that label…
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Alex Elman Oct 9
Replying to @dancres
I think we might have a departure in our definition for the label “leader”. Until that’s resolved I’m not sure we’ll find agreement.
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Dan Creswell Oct 9
Replying to @_pkill
Possible- I’m okay with that and your disagreement. I’ve gained insight either way.
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Dan Abel Oct 8
Replying to @dancres
Why does the label presume that one person has all the answers? Is this also true for all other leadership roles in a company? I wonder if it’s not the title, but how we select, guide and train
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Dan Creswell Oct 8
Replying to @twicezer0
Because leader(s) in the majority of companies is exactly this. Primacy, ultimate know-it-all and decision maker. Take a look at (almost) any executive and management hierarchy, observing flow of information and decision.
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Dan Creswell Oct 8
Replying to @twicezer0
Selection, guidance and training (if present) align with definition of "leader" for any particular org. Notably in many cases, leaders are those that exhibit "cheaply measured" behaviours like loud or opinionated etc hence the means of selection is innate rather than principled.
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Dan Bergh Johnsson Oct 9
Replying to @dancres @twicezer0
Sorry to hear that is your experience. I assure you it is not mine. It might well be that things work differently in different parts of the world.
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Adelbert Groebbens Oct 10
Curious. What leader examples have you seen?
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Dan Bergh Johnsson Oct 10
For example Lead Engineers who have taken proud in fostering an culture of open discussion where no-one is afraid and everyone are taken seriously. Even junior engineers have insights to contribute with and wise analysis.
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Adelbert Groebbens Oct 11
Thx. Did these Lead Engineers wanted to be called/assigned Lead status? Did the juniors wanted them to be Leads?
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