#32 - Intentional Technical Leadership

Newsletter - Saturday, 19 November 2022

Hey my friend!

Happy Saturday! 🎉

Welcome to another issue of the Intentional Technical Leadership newsletter.

I hope you've had a fantastic and stress-free week.

I've spent most of mine working on a better way to manage team processes.

In previous roles I've not needed to do as much project management as I often had peers in this role. I've become chief "GitHub project wrangler" and I've kind of enjoyed it!

I also managed to reconnect with an old colleague and friend who I haven't spoken to in a while. She is a wonderful technical leader who I always learn a lot from. It's wonderful to talk to like-minded people who can help to ask the hard questions and get you thinking about how you're managing people.

So onto the technical leadership articles. Here's what I've found this week.

🔖 Interesting Reading

20 Habits of Healthy and Productive Remote Teams

As I work for a 100% remote company, I'm always really interesting in iterating on our team processes. How can we ensure that everyone is healthy and happy while working remotely?

This article shares some great insights into building healthy team habits when people don't work in an office together.

One of the key takeaways from me is that you really need to be intentional about remote working. It's easy to just let things happen but you need to be proactive about ensuring that everyone is happy and healthy.

I always thought I was great at managing a team remotely but I'd only ever done this in a single time zone. Now that I manage people across multiple time zones, I'm always looking for ways to improve my asynchronous ways of working. Some of the tips in this article are really useful.

Combating burnout, isolation, and anxiety in the remote workplace

I'm really keen to talk about mental health in the workplace and I'm really glad that articles like this exist. I think it's really important to talk about mental health and to ensure that we're all looking after ourselves.

In this article, GitLab shares some great tips on how to combat burnout, isolation, and anxiety in the remote workplace. They're a 100% remote company who has led the way in asynchronous remote working.

I've found that I've struggled over the past few months with a lot going on outside of work. Having a supportive manager has been really helpful and I'm really glad that I have someone to talk to about how I'm feeling.

This article shares some tips to ensure you do the same with your own team. Regular check-ins and 1:1s can help to ensure you know if your team aren't feeling great. Make sure you do this regularly and don't just do it when you think someone is struggling.

If anyone reading this is struggling and needs to talk then just drop me a message. I'm always happy to chat.

How to Run an Asynchronous Retrospective

In looking at my team's processes, I've been thinking about how to become better at asynchronous working. My team run a regular retrospective but it's been a synchronous Zoom call.

This blog post from Parabol shares some ideas on running an asynchronous retrospective. This is especially helpful if your team spans multiple time zones which aren't always online at the same time.

I like the idea that this gives the team more time to reflect and be intentional about their feedback over a longer period of time.

Have you ever run a completely asynchronous retrospective? I'd love to hear how it went.

10 things you should know to run successful remote meetings

I think you can tell that there's a theme to this week's articles! I'm really interested in remote working and how we can make it better.

Meetings can often be painful. I've definitely sat through a lot of meetings that could have been an email or a Slack message.

While I don't agree with everything in this article, I do think there are some useful ideas that you can bring into your own meetings. I definitely need to get better at facilitating my own meetings so I'm always looking for ways to improve.

🌶️ Hot Take

Burnout is caused by 6 things

A lot of us have been feeling the effects of burnout over the past few years. I've definitely felt it and I'm sure many of you have too.

This tweet by Jenplusplus really resonated with me as it points out that it's not just overwork that causes burnout. A lack of control and a lack of autonomy have caused it in my own life in the past.

One big cause of burnout for me is a lack of, or constantly changing, direction. Not understanding why we're doing something or what the end goal is can be really demotivating.

Have you felt burnt out over the past couple of years? Why was this? I'd love to learn more if you're comfortable sharing.

I hope you enjoyed this week's selection of intentional technical leadership articles.

Hit reply and let me know what you think.

Feel free to send me any interesting articles or podcasts you've found as I love hearing from my readers.

Have an amazing week and be excellent to each other!

Speak to you soon,

Senior Engineering Manager @ Netlify

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