As someone who grew up in a household where servant leadership was modeled well, this concept is what explains my leadership style. However, as I grow in the field, I see that people come at this role with a few different things:
- Solid technical understanding but not sure how to be a servant leader
- Solid leadership skills and rusty technical skills
Because I have seen these and because I know my story is yet another perspective, I created a talk on servant leadership and presented it at CodeMash 2018. The talk was recorded, and if it becomes available publicly, I will pass that information on. These are my slides:
How do I personally stay sharp technologically while leading?
As I have mentioned in my personal blog, I am always afraid that doing talks like these will make me appear rusty tech-wise. So I make sure that I set aside some time to pursue my own technical interests. Whether this means I set time aside to read books, participate in conferences and events, or build new talks showcasing my new technical skills, I find that carving a little time out for me helps keep me sharp.
What am I currently working on?
My current play time involves exploring data science tools with a database of sensor readings for a setup we have at home. I also am looking into “serverless” to see what this really means. With regards to the data science tools, I have an ever-evolving presentation on R and Python in SQL Server, bringing the computation to the data. With serverless, I attended a couple sessions at CodeMash 2018 on the concept and hope to play with the tools a bit more in the next few months.
How do I feel about managing people in a tech world? Is servant leadership applicable?
Management and leadership are all about problem-solving, much like what development and IT work has been for me in my career. The difference is that management and leadership are much heavier in being related to people rather than computers. People and their relationships in the workplace can be difficult problems to solve. However, I love including the sociological, psychological, and organizational factors in problem-solving and not just solving problems with lines of code and software.
As for servant leadership, I find it works well in tech. Whether I was working with my tech support team, junior developers, IT folks, instructors, or others, I have always employed servant leadership techniques. This is what allows me to work alongside my team in the trenches, getting to understand where they are coming from, and making sure they have the tools and support they need to be the best they can be.
We have some people we are promoting into leadership roles and know they are new leaders. Can you help us?
Absolutely! Contact me, and let’s talk about coaching engagements to make sure that your new leaders are equipped with the right skills and mentored as they start their leadership roles.