Leadership Development. The words never really stood out to me until I was part of a leadership training exercise some days ago. It was a great session, and not just because it inspired this. In the session, the facilitator made a remark that had me thinking in the lines of what this blog is about. He said, “Leaders are developers”. It got me thinking: “What leadership lessons could I learn from a developer, a software developer.” Here is what I came up with:
1. LEADERS SOLVE PROBLEMS
The systems and software developed are usually in response to a problem or challenge. There was a need for a portable GPS solution, and voila, an app was created for our smartphones. We needed a way to recognize random fonts we couldn’t easily identify, and voila, we got WhatTheFont! Leaders solve problems. The main reason why we have some people leading the pack is simply to coordinate the charge in the direction of solutions. If you are not solving problems or meeting a need, you are not a leader. It’s that simple.
2. DEVELOPERS DESIGN THEIR SOLUTIONS
Software design—backend coding—is the structure that holds up the celebrated applications. I do website design and development, and if there is anything I have come to appreciate even more, it’s the fact that behind every wonderful application, is a fortified and elaborate system holding it up. As leaders, we owe it to ourselves and the organization to build systems that hold up our awesomeness. True growth never happens until the bones are fully fitted and developed. Leaders fit the bones together. Leaders write the code—DNA—of their organizations. Just like no one randomly celebrates the DNA of a pretty lady or handsome man (they celebrate the results of the DNA), our structures and systems might not be celebrated, but that doesn’t make them any less pivotal.
3. LEADERS CHOOSE A PLATFORM (FRAMEWORK)
Java, .NET, Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless, Silverlight, and Oracle Database are all some of many software frameworks. They are the launching pad. This is where all the magic happens. That is what everything revolves around. As leaders, our platform is our vision. Our vision is what everything revolves around. It is the launching platform for all the systems and structures previously discussed. As leaders, we cannot begin coding, designing or solving problems without deciding what our platform is. What is all your development going to be formed on? For me it’s Purpose, Excellence and Leadership. What’s yours?
We continue this thought in my next post.