Just another leadership blog…


TL;DR – Bill Walsh, an ex-NFL coach, had a leadership approach that transformed the success of the San Francisco 49ers. His ‘Standard of Performance’ covers a wide range of leadership traits that apply across industries. Each point offers learning relevant to leading tech teams today.

There’s no hiding from the fact that results are important. If release targets or customer subscription and retention numbers are not met jobs could be at risk. However, as counterintuitive as it sounds, solely focusing on results will probably have the opposite effect!

“Concentrate on what will produce results rather than on the results, the process rather than the prize.”

Bill Walsh was an NFL coach whose advanced leadership transformed the San Francisco 49ers from the worst sports franchise to a legendary dynasty. The Score Takes Care Of Itself details Bill’s take on leadership which can apply to any industry not only on the football… Continue reading


Recruitment is rarely seen as an exciting process but it should be because this is a chance strengthen your team. The new role could be to replace someone or grow the team, either way, there’s an opportunity to bring in some new skills or experience that will benefit the team as a whole. The technical side adds more challenges to the process, but again, it’s a chance to find the right person while, at the same time, giving them a glimpse into the type of company you are. Recruitment is time-consuming so you want to make that time count and get value out of each stage otherwise it’s a waste of everyone’s time and potentially a damaged reputation.

The process needs to fail fast, don’t waste time on different stages if the candidate is not suitable. What is most important for you in the person? This could be a… Continue reading


Over the years I’ve been part of many teams, both as a developer and leader, some teams worked well, others not so. There can be many reasons why teams struggle, some of these are clearly visible while others are more difficult to identify. Covering all the technical skills in the team goes without saying, but there is another important ingredient to take into consideration – the personality mix! The wrong mix can cause problems.

When I think back to the teams that worked well the first thing that jumps out is the people I worked with, they made it memorable, and enjoyable! Even when the pressure was on the camaraderie in the team helped us work for each other. The teams I’ve been in that lacked that togetherness struggled because there were clashes and disruptions amongst individuals at a time when we need to be united. Different personalities can affect… Continue reading


My list of annoyances is growing a bit (one, two), now number three – having to rush recruitment!

Building a team does take time, investment is needed from the hiring manager to decide the type of person to fit into the team/organisation and then the process needed to find that person. It’s important to get this first part right otherwise the rest of the process could be futile. Even once that’s done and CV’s start coming in that does not send a signal indicating the position will soon be filled! Being told that head count might be lost if its not used quickly sends the wrong message and makes a mockery of what should be a careful process.

One thing you don’t want to do is hire someone for the sake of it, this could cause real problems for the team on the long run. I understand… Continue reading


It can be exciting pretending to be someone else, a chance to forget about ourselves for a moment and get immersed into another character. This can be hard work though, constantly overriding our natural personality would cause a cognitive strain. Actors have the ability to switch between characters, although I’m sure this can’t be easy at times when they get so deep into their characters. This question is – do we put on an act in our workplace? Are we putting in extra work to hide our real self? If so, wouldn’t it be easier to just be ourselves?

Waiting a minute – are you saying I should let people see what I’m REALLY like! That’s a scary thought! The reality is we all put on some sort of mask while we’re at work, and other places, to subdue what we may think is inappropriate….maybe it’s safer for others that… Continue reading


Interviews are a lot like a puzzle you’re trying to solve. In front of you are a candidate and a CV, you need to figure out fact from fiction! Any candidate should be prepared to discuss what’s on their CV so you need to delve deeper to determine whether they have a good understanding or their knowledge is purely theoretical.

In the short video clip below Elon Musk shares how he asks candidates to explain their thought process in solving problems. As Elon says:

ask them to tell you about the problems they are working on and how they solved them

This can really show you if the person has actually worked on the area their describing.

In most cases ‘problems’ are not covered on CVs so it will mean asking them to think about recent issues they’ve had and how they solved them. We all face problems in our… Continue reading