“The problem is compounded when former technologists move into leadership roles where their formerly invested technical skill-bases have to almost be completely abandoned in favor of the soft skills that are required to be an effective servant leader.”
And so, a new blog is born. I always found the software industry to be a counter intuitive experience. The industry is riddled with introverts that came into the industry because they draw energy from themselves and their thoughts. Software development presents more than enough problems that allow us to engage our inner thoughts.
But most of us quickly learn that in order to build anything of substance you need to work with other people. In fact, the ability to communicate and collaborate with others in the industry ends up being one of the biggest success factors for a software professional’s career frequently determining how fast and far the person can progress.
The problem is compounded when former technologists move into leadership roles where their formerly invested technical skill-bases have to almost be completely abandoned in favor of the soft skills that are required to be an effective servant leader. To make things worst organizations typically are not geared to help these new leaders to develop these softer skills required for their new role leaving them to fend for themselves. Most organizations take this bizarre approach of running their best technologists through this gauntlet of leadership adaption fire in order to identify the few that somehow learn to adapt and survive. This exercise frequently comes at great cost to the ones that fail to transition to the new skill set both in self-esteem and motivation. It is not uncommon for those former great technologists to regress and redefine themselves elsewhere meaning that their former talents and skills get lost to the organization in the end.
To be one of the few that survive it is a hard, frustrating journey where most are left to learn through continual trial and error and vast stretches of self-doubt and criticism. This sink or swim approach to management training is one of the biggest disservices we can do for our people and is the theme of this blog.
It is my goal to create a resource that other technologists on a leadership path can use to help survive this gauntlet of fire. I am by no means an expert, but I do feel that if I document some of the learnings that it would help solidify them for myself and perhaps do some good in the long run.
Let’s see how it goes…