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What Technical Leads Can Learn from Great General Managers Throughout History

Courtney Hemphill | GOTO Chicago 2019

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Being a member of a rapidly growing team can feel both exhilarating and overwhelming. Technical decisions become more complicated alongside the growth of the team. Many of us are also thrust into the spotlight of leadership and asked to perform exceptionally given a high degree of ambiguity within an evolving organizational structure. There is no handbook or management school for technical leaders. We learn by experience and from our peers and those that have been through it before us.

This talk looks to great leaders in management over the course of history and shares some core principles and specific techniques to help leaders navigate their own rocket ships and become a force multiplier for their teams.

Who should attend this talk: Any technical leader that has moved into management and realized the need to learn skills around communication, prioritization, making teams more effective, measuring effectiveness of human systems, hiring, and generally being an inspirational leader for technical talent.

Academic level: Anyone can join this talk. It is one part history lesson and one part tactical knowledge.

What is the take away in this talk: A deeper understanding of the skills that can help leaders succeed when their focus moves from technical problem solving to business problem solving. Tactical practices that can help navigate the common tricky situations that arise and problem solve for the not so common as well.

About the speakers

Courtney Hemphill
Courtney Hemphill

Leading technical teams for fast-moving companies at scale