In Season 2, Episode 6 of Lead Time Chats, Jean Hsu, VP of Engineering at Range, chats with Chris Bee, CTO at Lessen, about the common behaviors of effective engineering leaders.
Chris and Jean discuss:
Amplify your own impact as a people leader
“There's a sort of a multiplier effect that you're able to create as a people leader. Where as an IC, one hour of work equals one hour of output. But as a leader, one hour of work in a coaching or guidance or career advice style environment can equal hundreds of hours of productive work.”
Get comfortable with not doing everything yourself
“It's especially challenging when you are a skilled IC, and you can solve a problem yourself very quickly. Spending the extra time to coach somebody or to help somebody along or let them maybe do it in a way that'd be different from how you would approach it... it's another thing to get comfortable with. You have to get comfortable with that. Losing some of that control.”
Take business goals and needs into account when making decisions
“There's a tendency sometimes for shiny object syndrome as people start to get into leadership roles. They have that tech debt project they really want to work on and they have that new technology they want to go pursue, a new framework or new language they think is interesting. And yeah, there's some merit to that, and of course, technical curiosity and excitement towards those disciplines is reason why they're engineers in the first place, and that's a good thing to embrace. However, I think balancing that against the needs of the business and being able to make, you know, good well-reasoned decisions with some sense of urgency and some sense of where the business is headed and the goals that we're trying to reach are important to keep in mind.”
Ease off the excessive structure and process
“Keep the environment and the structure and the process that you develop lightweight and set up in a way that gets people excited to come into work every day. Don't go too deep off the "I'm a manager now, I need to create structure and process everything that we're going to do as a team." I've seen people do that, where you end up over-processing teams and over-thinking about how they're supposed to work together and you miss some of just the natural evolution of you'll get there as the team evolves.”
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Listen in on unscripted conversations between Jean Hsu, VP of Engineering at Range and engineering leadership coach, and engineering leaders and other influential folks in tech.
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Season 2 Episodes
» Episode 1: Camille Fournier on making boring plans
» Episode 2: Tess Rinearson on early career engineering managers
» Episode 3: Kim Scott on building for systemic justice
» Episode 4: Sumeet Arora on moving on from a big company
» Episode 5: Rachael Stedman on IC manager work
Season 1 Episodes
» Episode 1: Will Larson on the path of the senior engineer
» Episode 3: Cate Huston on working with an external coach
» Episode 4: Juan Pablo Buriticá on common eng manager mistakes
» Episode 5: Gergely Orosz on the decision to go into management
» Episode 6: Lara Hogan on leading effectively in a pandemic
» Episode 7: Kaya Thomas on common early career engineer challenges
» Episode 8: Uma Chingunde on starting a VPE role in a pandemic
» Episode 9: Katie Wilde on supporting your team's mental health
» Episode 10: Akhil Gupta on navigating uncertainty in new roles
» Episode 11: Harper Reed on giving everyone a voice in team meetings
» Episode 12: Marc Hedlund on sponsorship