To be a tech lead, you need to be influential. What does that mean??

The truth is, I’m not sure yet. But I have some ideas.

Anything you do in your role as a tech lead requires influence, from the grand to the mundane.

If you want an engineer to take on a task or user story, that takes influence. If you want to convince your engineering management that time needs to be carved out to handle tech debt next sprint, that takes influence. If you’ve got an underperforming engineer who you know can do more, that definitely takes influence.

I have a general purpose model or framework for tech leadership that works in most situations no matter whether they’re big or small. But the effectiveness of the model will rise or fall on your own personal influence.

The center of gravity for “influence” is your ability to communicate effectively within the context. (Notice there are two parts to that: effectiveness and contetx.) The tech lead model will organize your thoughts and strategies, but if you can’t communicate those thoughts and strategies effectively within the context then every model will fail you.

Communication is hard for techies, but it seems like it’s job one to be influential. Let’s start talking about it.

Photo by Diz Play on Unsplash

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