Community-Produced Leadership Training for Technology Professionals

Say the words "bad boss" and everyone has a story to share.

We've all worked for a bad boss, but the funny thing is none of those bad bosses aspired to become a bad boss – well, very few do. Most of those bad bosses are good people trying to do right by their organization and team, they just don't know how.

In software development and other technical roles, a lot of us asked to lead because nobody understands what we do. Unfortunately, we rarely get any leadership training and are left to figure out our new jobs on our own, so too often we become a "bad boss."

My name is Scott Drake, and that was my story. I was the best developer on the team, so I became the lead, but I had no idea how to lead people or projects. I was promoted because I was the guy who could solve any problem, so I thought my job was to keep solving problems. Before long, I was the bottleneck that every problem had to go through, and I had a very bored and unchallenged team. I was working day and night and my team was showing up late and leaving early because they were bored. I had no idea how to work through others, so I fell into micromanaging. I was a bad boss, and looking back, I still feel bad for that team, but I didn't know any better.

My story is not unique in tech. Many great technologists are asked to lead, and are somehow expected to just understand they need to immediately stop doing the very things that got them promoted. Making the mind shift from contributor to leader is a struggle for many of us and our teams and projects suffer.

Fast forward 15 years and I've become a good leader for the level I'm at, but if I want to keep growing in my career, I need to keep growing my leadership skills. I now write books and speak at conferences in hopes of helping that younger version of me have a development plan and make fewer mistakes along the way. I'm sure there's someone out there 15 years ahead of me who would be happy to sit down and share a development plan with someone like me. There just hasn't been a good place to do it. Until now.

LearnLeadership.org was created to help great technologists become great leaders.

We assemble volunteer working groups of leaders and contributors to map out leadership development plans for technology professionals, we curate references to the best leadership learning tools and materials, and in time we will produce learning tools and materials specifically for technology teams.

What if you became a better leader? Would your projects have a better chance of being finished on time and on budget? Would you be better at hiring for your real-world needs? Would your team be more motivated to work on your projects?

What if you knew the specific areas you needed to grow to take the next step in your career? Would you be happier and more successful? Would new doors open for you?

What if we scaled this way up? What if in the next three years, we helped one million great technologists become great leaders? How would that impact the industry all around the world? How would that impact the organizations and the people we use technology to help?

Let's make it happen.

This is not a zero-sum game. By sharing what we know and learning from each other, we all get better and amplify our impact.

We're just getting started and need your help. Learn how at learnleadership.org/get-involved.

Scott Drake

Founder, Curator, Leadership Coach
VP, Technology, ScholarRx
Author of The Programmer Hiring Playbook: A Crash Course in Interviewing and Hiring for Your Real-World Needs
@tscottdrake
tscottdrake.com