Tech Leadership: Fault vs. Responsibility

When I captained my sports team in high school, I complained that coach always blamed things on me. If I got yelled at for failing to bring a watch to practice, fine–that was my mistake. But if the weather turned, or the equipment broke, I still got yelled at. I hated it. It wasn’t fair! After all, those events were not “my fault.”

Here’s the thing, though. Despite the fact that I didn’t want to be blamed for the things that weren’t my fault, I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to keep the fun, independent part of leadership and dispose of the downside.

In tech companies, I see managers and directors do this all the time. When things go wrong in an organization, the leader’s first move is to point out when the problem was not his or her fault. This behavior is a hallmark of weak leaders who fail to solve problems.

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How your Dudebros are Losing You Money: The Microcosmic Impact of Inclusion on your Bottom Line

I once talked about why your selection process gives advantages to some applicants based on ethnicity and gender. That post assumes that readers want to have a diverse workplace, but today I’d like to take a step back and look at why it’s important so that you have more ammo to talk about this with your managers, clients, and colleagues.

Continue reading “How your Dudebros are Losing You Money: The Microcosmic Impact of Inclusion on your Bottom Line”

Dear Corporations: Read this before you sponsor Pride

Dear Corporate Marketing People,

I get it. The Pride parade has a massive audience. Getting your name in front of that many people can boost your customer base and your recruiting efforts. Sponsor away.

But please do not cannibalize your company’s Diversity and Inclusion budget to do it, Because what you are doing is not allyship to the queer community.

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Leading a Software Rewrite at Your Company

Bertrand’s Health Insurance has a problem. Their software system is hard to maintain.

The systems still rely on tools that had their heyday in 1990. The SOAP API doesn’t always return valid XML. The search calls take twenty seconds to return.

Bertrand’s CTO and CIO decide that it’s time to rewrite the system from the ground up.

And you’re going to lead the team that will do it. Congratulations!

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Adding Members to Your Software Team

Congratulations! Your startup is taking off, or it’s time to accelerate the pace of your internal project or consulting work. It’s time to hire more people to join your team. You have chosen promising candidates, and they have accepted your offers. Now all you have to do is wait until their start dates…right?

Not necessarily. If you want to get your new team members up to speed as quickly as possible, you need a system for orienting those new team members to all the important context they need to do the best possible job for you.

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A Survival Guide for Female Employees in Male-Dominated Companies

*This post originally appeared on the blog of The Digital Dames under one of my pseudonyms.

No. Way.

You just got an offer from that amahhhhhzing company with the $70M venture round and the [insert tech buzzword here].

Maybe the business is super-secretive, or maybe all their glassdoor reviews rave about how fun it is to work there. Beer! And Starcraft!

You show up on your first day, eager to meet all the badass women in leadership.

All zero of them.

Continue reading “A Survival Guide for Female Employees in Male-Dominated Companies”

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