The journey of the technical leader is probably the most challenging to navigate. You’re facing pressure in many directions (including sometimes feeling a little pushed into management or other roles) and it can be difficult to either understand your role or reconcile the expectations you’re hearing with your own aspirations.
This applies to every kind of leader I talk to, but doubly so for technical leaders; the path from team TL to staff engineer to architect to CTO (if that’s even what you want) can seem daunting and contain pitfalls and dead ends, because each of those jobs are fairly fundamentally different.
For technical leaders, the challenge to be an exemplar while balancing other expectations (including ones you impose on yourself) can easily lead you to stagnation or burnout. Thankfully, you’re not alone! This is a journey many people are on, and I’ve spoken to a not insignificant number of them :-)
As with any of the engagements around coaching, the conversation is driven by you; we could cover subjects such as:
- Staying Technical; The right amount of technical, that is. Scratching your hands-on itch while continuing to sponsor others.
- Being Giant; Letting people stand on your shoulders, developing others around you, being comfortable with doing that and tools to maximise these outcomes.
- Levelling Up; Going from a small team TL to a CTO or Technical VP contains several fairly discrete jobs in between. Figure out where you are, where you want to be.
- Aiming Accurately; Knowing what you want to keep on doing, and targeting your career outcomes toward that.
…and so forth. As with any engagement, we start with a blank slate that may not include any of these examples. The goal is to figure out the outcomes you aspire to, why they’re important to you, and to move toward them.