I actually wanted to tweet about this but felt its more important to be just addressed as 140 characters. My entire career has been in the tech industry working/supporting engineers, hence I can’t speak much to how other industries, in particular the leadership culture is defined/derived.
Chalk it up to human nature or chalk it up to engineering culture in tech, one thing that has constantly jumped at me is when an IC moves to the different role of engineering management is how difficult it is for us to (a) delegate and (b) be inclusive.
An engineering manager/leader for that matter doesn’t have the luxury not to be inclusive. It doesn’t matter if an engineer within your team or any other team has a question/request of you, its your responsibility, in fact its your moral obligation to ask questions to understand where/why that person(s) is coming from. The more you ask questions the more you get to the root of the discussion, the more you understand the underlying problem the easier/faster it is for you address.
The inclusivity part, especially for many first time managers who for some amount of time (short/long doesn’t matter) have been IC’s, doesn’t come that easily or naturally either. IC’s (for most part) work in isolation or isolated areas of a big pie that the mentality/approach of “let me impart a quick answer and move on as I know what the problem here to address is” is inherently ingrained in us.
That does not work when the IC moves into management, this is especially true or at least this is my very opinionated opinion (yea i wrote that i know) engineering leaders have to be inclusive within and more importantly outside the team you support. Otherwise you are not helping your team, your org and finally yourself.
As I write this, I know I am a WIP and this is something that I need to be better at.