Lead by Example, Not by Experience



OK so what am I trying to explain here is pretty simple. I am a developer with an ambition to someday lead a team of Developers, Analysts and Testers. I work very hard every day to meet my expectations and also the expectations of my managers. With my experience in technology stacks and analytical mindset I have created a good reputation with my client. All these years working as a developer I have been the best on every assignment I worked on. Now its my time to look forward to become a lead and prove my years of expertise in my next assignment. What else do I need, a good pay, a good role and a perfect establishment in my organization. That’s it….

Do you realize where I am going wrong. All I am trying to do is to become one selfish individual all the way only to prove myself that I am the best. All I am trying to achieve here is to lead my life with my experience rather than setting an example for others and let others grow.

When you realize the fact that you are travelling to another horizon of becoming a lead, it is very important to change your mindset from a developer and convert yourself to someone who can be a guide, a mentor and create a platform for others to grow. Its important to realize that there is a world outside your coding world where the team rely on you and you need to create that single trust and belief that “YES”my lead is always there for me in every situation as a guardian, protecting me and guiding me in every possible way he can.

To be a good Leader you need to be someone with the following attributes.

  • A Good Listener – You need to hear the voice of others because until you hear your team how will you solve their problems.
  • A Good Practitioner – Yours patterns and day-to-day practices are the ones that your team follows. If you be a good practitioner, your team will always follow your path.
  • Be a Motivator and not a Dictator – Your client have demands to fulfil and they keep high expectations on you that you will fulfil their demands whatever it takes. Rather than proving yourself to keep up the expectations, you need to analyse the strength and weakness of your team and not become judgemental. Remember all five fingers are not equal and if one of them is broken, the rest will not work because there is a synchronization effect between these five fingers. First of all calm down and take a deep breath, strategize yourself to handle the situation and rather then becoming a dictator become a motivator for the team so that your team get sometime to realize the situation and help you meet the expectation.
  • Don’t overcommit to your client – This aspect is very important when you know you are dealing with not a single individual but a whole team of people and not everyone are same in their knowledge, experience and mindset. You need to prove your team and not yourself when you are a lead.
  • Set some examples to help your team – Each and every member of your team need your guidance and support. Feel the difference between the world of writing few lines of code and the word of handling crisis and taking managerial decisions that will build your team effectively. Creating your own pod-casts, writing technical blog, collaborating with external and internal dependencies, mentoring your team members in every aspect, effective communication and clientèle management are few of the aspects that can be set as examples for your team.
  • Be a Preacher and not a Teacher – Remember a preacher is someone who is dealing with varieties, different mindset, believers as well as non-believers while a teacher is dealing with one single entity of people of same mindset. As a preacher you are dealing with wide range of people some highly motivated and some completely unmotivated while as a teacher you are dealing with only motivated individuals. All team members are not same so you need to be a preacher and not a teacher.
  • Acceptance and Denial – As a lead we are always try to keep a motto of life, people should accept me and my changes and we cannot accept the denial aspect from people. You need to let go of these kind of feelings or change your mindset from this. Don’t try to live with these words when you are dealing with a team because some will accept you and some will deny. Vote of Confidence is the only one aspect that you need to get from your team. If your team is confident on you, what else you need to make your project a successful one.

Last but not least read some good books. I try to find some time from my busy schedules to read some good books where I can learn and I can help someone also to learn. Be a change for yourself and you will see the change you have in your life. Be a good leader, help others and then only you can help yourself.

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