Leadership. By the Numbers.

This is the second of a twelve-part series covering the sessions from Calibrate, an engineering leadership conference held September, 2015 in San Francisco.

Today we’re featuring Rands’ keynote: “Leadership. By the Numbers.”

One of the challenges new managers face is the apparent exceptionalism of each situation. As you adjust to your role, the novelty of each experience poses a challenge to the engineering mindset you developed over the years. That time you looked at a bug in the distributed clock synchronization code, and just knew it was a threading problem? It took years to develop that intuition, and it’s going to take years for you to to develop your management intuition as well.

Until you acquire that knowledge, leadership guidance may frustrate more than enlighten. As discussed in the Welcome, there’s little in the way of advice, general or otherwise, pertaining to contemporary engineering management. Second, your problems depend upon so much situationally-relevant context that general advice seems to have little utility. Third, because you’ve only just started to hone your manager’s pattern-matching ability, it won’t be easy to extract the most helpful, relevant information.

Soon you’ll identify some core components to the work you’re doing, fundamentals that prove relevant across challenges, teams and organizations. In “Leadership. By the Numbers.”, Rands tackles these specific fundamentals for the new (or returning!) engineering leader.