Browsed by
Category: leadership

Dee Hock on Leadership

Dee Hock on Leadership

I've been reading Birth of the Chaordic Age by Dee Hock.  It was recommended to me by Jud Valeski, whom we interviewed on StartupCTO.io a few months ago. The following passage spoke to something I've been trying to articulate about leadership since starting my startup journey a decade ago.   It's a 5 minute read, but is worth it: Leader presumes follower. Follower presumes choice. One who is Read the article >>
Exec Podcast

Exec Podcast

About a year ago, my friend Miles and I started organizing informal monthly lunches for startup engineering leaders in Boulder (contact me if you're not on the list). I'm past the point in my career where there's much upside to showing up to a random networking happy hour, and have found a recurring informal lunch with high caliber people to be a nice alternative.  These lunches have evolved into Read the article >>
Recruit A-List Engineers: What a cold recruitment message should look like

Recruit A-List Engineers: What a cold recruitment message should look like

I've written in the recent past about bad behavior by recruiters and have gotten some questions about how I would recruit engineers for my startup.  Great question, and it just so happens I have signed over 25 offer letters as a technical recruiter over the last several years.  Here's an example of how I cold LinkedIn-Message'd them a few weeks before the offer letter. [name], We're always Read the article >>
Don’t use Recruiters to hire Engineers

Don’t use Recruiters to hire Engineers

A job or two ago, I was under pressure to hire up a team of engineers, but the CEO wouldn't let me use a recruiter.   While there was some short term pain associated with that directive, it was the best move in the long term.  Once I learned to recruit on my own, I found better candidates and I found plenty of them.  My CEO was right.  He made me break my recruiter-habit and I'll never look back. Recruiters Read the article >>
Foundations of Leadership #2: Become an Expert in Something

Foundations of Leadership #2: Become an Expert in Something

I've never seen someone rise in an organization as fast as when they become an expert in something important to that organization.  There something organic about leadership that occurs because an engineer is the subject-matter expert in a piece of scope that the rest of the organization is betting on strategically. I've seen engineers be most successful at this when It's a subject they Read the article >>
Foundations of Leadership #1: Say what you’re going to do and then do it.

Foundations of Leadership #1: Say what you’re going to do and then do it.

If I could name *the* one most important quality of a potential team member, friend, or pretty-much anyone I am going to bring into my life, this is it: If you say you're going to do something, you go do it. It's such a straightforward principle. And yet, crazily enough, people (even professionals) don't always follow through on their committments.  Maybe people commit to things they don't plan Read the article >>
Create Virtuous Cycles within Startup Teams

Create Virtuous Cycles within Startup Teams

One thing that I've seen in Simple Energy's culture over the last 6 months that is very exciting to me is watching firsthand the virtuous cycles that happen in enthusiastic teams. If I try to decompose the contributing factors to this, based upon my experience at Simple Energy, into their own discrete tenets, I think it would look like this: Culture Have fun together. Values must be Read the article >>
Credible Engineering Leadership Skills

Credible Engineering Leadership Skills

Like many web engineers who have built teams as their startups have grown, I do not have an MBA.   If you are like me in-so-far as you value management practice over theory, you probably learned to bootstrap & scale as a leader without one. That hasn't stopped me from developing my own theories.  Reading this quora thread on why many engineers detest their management reminds me, I have Read the article >>
The Hot Seat

The Hot Seat

As a startup CTO, one of the most challenging parts of my job is being on call.  As the teams technology lead, I am responsible for all aspects of our technology, and that covers DevOps. When the site is experiencing abnormally high load, and you get paged, it's time to jump into the fray.  Into the hot seat.  Where every second counts.  I often chat with DevOps engineers at meetups, each has Read the article >>