I wanted to share a few books and blog posts I’ve been reading or listening to in my spare time. I’ll be updating this page as I read more books.
- The Four Layers of Communication in a Functional Team – Clarifying the differences of execution, tactics, strategy and mission. Written by Cate Hudson!
- You’re Just Not That Strategic: Seven Objections You’ll Have to Overcome to Get to the Top – Written by Bridget Frey, a former co-worker of mine. This is likely more applicable for division leads rather than team leads, but still a great one to understand!
- 8 Things Remote Leaders of Remote Companies Do Differently – I especially like “the write it, don’t say it” section.
- The care and feeding of software engineers (or, why engineers are grumpy) – A great read for non engineering leads who manage developers. This one really resonated with me. This post touches on what drives most software engineers (building useful things) and uncovers why we say ‘no’ so quickly.
- The Engineer/Manager Pendulum / The Pendulum or the Ladder – Why management is not a promotion, and how the best technical leaders in the world are often the ones who do both. Back and forth. Like a pendulum.
- The Manager Flywheel – A great piece by Camille Fournier. Turning around a team feels like getting this flywheel spinning. With big problems start small and build momentum.
- Three Important Things – I suppose I should also plug my own post that has advice for new Team Leads.
Working With People Books
- Radical Candor – Because giving feedback is hard but a necessary part of leadership.
- Multipliers – A really excellent book that talks about two types of leadership styles: diminishers who accidentally stifle people’s growth and problem solving potential, and multipliers who create great working environments and invest in people to get great results. This one is harder to apply, but I like to re-read this one every so often.
- The Manager’s Path – Great for engineers to read as well, since it walks through roles and responsibilities from individual contributor to CTO.
- The Male Factor – Uncovers some observations of how men tend to think and some “secret rules” of the workplace. Great read for both men and women. I personally also tend to separate things out to a “work world” and “personal world” myself.
- Scaling Up – I wanted to get a better sense of the challenges my Company faces as we grow. This one is rather condensed but focuses on the four key items used to accelerate growth: people, strategy, execution and cash. Good to read if you’re wondering why C-level folks are very concerned about specific numbers.
- Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. – Maybe a more practical look at human vulnerability, taming personal gremlins, and what it might look like to live with your values.
- No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work – Also another good book for both leads and individual contributors to read. Easy to read with great illustrations.
- Designing your Life – Are you feeling lost and not sure of what next steps you should take? This book may help you zoom-out to help get a new perspective.
- Southern Reach Trilogy – I really dig Jeff Vandermeer’s imagery and atmosphere building skills. Reminds me a bit of Shirley Jackson.
- Ancillary Justice Trilogy – The first book is the strongest, but overall the series is pretty fun. The protagonist has difficulty telling apart genders, which really lends itself to that feeling of navigating different cultures/language and that otherness and weight of not quite fitting in.
- The Steerswoman – This series is really not well known, but it’s worth a read. In a fantasy setting, imagine a sect of observant, truth-seeking and sharing librarians.
- Sourdough – Tired of the tech industry and like baking bread?
- The Rook – Mix an unrealistic rendition of MI6, X-Men, and Buffy together. Then shake vigorously.
- Too Many Curses – Just really fun and light. Even better if you like fantasy or D&D elements.
- Semiosis – A sentient plant and colonists. Pretty unique.