Technical Leadership 101
Presented by: John Rouda
We all have potential to be technical leaders. What is a leader? My daughter says it’s the person in front of you in line. She’s right… in a way. A leader is just someone we follow. This talk will explore how we can lead those to our right and to our left. How to lead from any level, not only as the “boss.” Many people in technical leadership roles were placed there because they were good at tech… not because they have any clue about what leadership is all about. I was one of those and I had to learn to lead people. I’ll share my story of failed leadership and explain the biology behind leadership…that’s right biology, not psychology. We as humans have biological elements that drive our leadership tendencies. If you understand these, you can use them to become a better leader. Leadership is about training, there is no magic formula, but there are ways to train your leadership muscles, just like you would train your body.
While you’re training to be a good leader, you need to understand that it’s a process, not a project. We are all creative in the strictest definition of the word. We create for a living. We create solutions to problems. Our projects have a start and an end. Leadership doesn’t work that way. There is no end; the end is a mirage. You’re only going to get better the further along you go in the journey. Don’t get frustrated; just understand that leadership is a process without an end.