Curiosity > Judgment + Experience

Hey Tech Leads,

Hope you had a great week last week. Don’t know what you’ve got going on this weekend, but I was doing a little studying, thinking, and dreaming on a beautiful, sunny Los Angeles January today.

I was thinking about curiosity. It’s such a powerful trait and attitude to have as you approach almost anything in your role as a tech lead:

  • Why did the managers set the goal they did?
  • Why did one of your engineers make a choice totally different from what you have done?
  • What are some ways your team could work better together?
  • How would you know if they are?
  • Etc., etc., etc., etc.!

So often we get so caught up in the user stories, deadlines, toxic standups, and rushing around that curiosity seems like a luxury.

And besides, we think we already know the answer. We have experience. We have judgment. We already know the answers and we know why the team isn’t doing the right things. We already know why our engineers aren’t performing. The only thing to be curious about is why won’t they execute the way you told them to??

But you know what kills curiosity? That very judgment and experience. Relying solely on your judgment leads to all kinds of problems:

  • Mistakes
  • Impatience
  • Ineffective teams
  • Missed deadlines
  • Poor performance
  • Ineffective products
  • Misunderstandings
  • Etc., etc., etc.!

So what do you do with all that experience and judgment — the very judgment and experience that got you the role in the first place? Easy. Use it to ask better, deeper, and more insightful questions. Let that wealth of experience and good judgment fuel your curiosity.

See you next week!

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein

Photo by Tina Floersch on Unsplash

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