Newsletter #106 : The Art of Delegation and How To Let It Go

June 14, 2021

CTO Academy deliver tailored leadership skills training and career development services for global tech leaders.

Happy Pride Month 
Hey everyone, welcome to another 5 Minute Tech Break – coming out slightly later on a Friday than normal but I hope finding you well.

Great article this week from Sanjay looking at a topic which many in leadership roles, and particularly it seems in tech leadership roles, can struggle with and that’s the art of delegation.

TBH it’s not something I’ve truly mastered myself and might be one of the reasons I’m still sitting here late Friday afternoon drafting this intro …. note to self, action some key points from Sanjay’s article.

It’s Happy Pride month as we celebrate diversity in all its gorgeous variety and colour. May everyone continue to embrace every part of your personal story and your truth. Special shout out to those in the LGBTQ+ community.

Wishing you a great weekend. Switch off the tech and enjoy some simple pleasures. 

Time To Let It Go…

Sanjay Mistry is not only an experienced CTO/COO and Leadership coach, but he is also a Father. This week he has highlighted the importance of letting go, not only as you help your child learn lessons but also when you are developing a team.

“So here is the scenario …I’m running as fast as I can alongside my 5 year old son’s bike, initially holding onto his seat to make sure he does not fall. I’ve made sure we are on a quiet road and there are no cars or obstacles for him to seriously hurt himself.  Now it’s all about knowing when it’s time, time to let go, time to let him ride off himself.

What I do know is that this setting will allow him to learn in his own way and whilst it’s tough for us to let our kids go out into the world and learn by their mistakes, it’s also the aspect of parenting you accept and almost naturally absorb, despite the reservations.  Strangely I have seen tech leaders (including myself) forget that we have to apply a similar approach to the development of our teams…”

You can read the full article here.
Articles That Caught Our Eye This Week

I was a control freak. Here’s how I let it all go and became a better leaderTzury Bar Yochay, founder of Reblaze explains that one morning, he sat down in his company conference room for what was to be an hour-long meeting with several of his colleagues to discuss a product-related matter. Since he had strong feelings and also had overheard a few corridors talks about the issue, he was sure he had the right solution. So he didn’t intend to stay long.

“Listen, everyone,”  He said. “This meeting shouldn’t be any longer than five minutes. Here’s what we need to do.”

Spoiler alert: The meeting didn’t end happily. As the co-founder and chief technology officer of his cybersecurity company, Tzury figured he had all the answers, and so he thought he was being helpful by cutting to the chase and saving them all time. But did he seem open to other ideas? Did those in the room feel empowered to express them? Did they leave the meeting feeling motivated?

Of course not. As he now knows, he was suffering from a syndrome common to company founders (especially first-time ones like himself) and that he had a particularly acute case of a tendency toward controlling behavior. Though many loath to admit it.


API Security By DesignStephen Withers states achieving API security starts with the design and architecture, so jumping in and writing code immediately is a mistake. Unfortunately, starting with a completely blank slate is unusual, and some code will likely already exist. In that case, it is especially important that the design makes provisions for possible weaknesses. If you want secure APIs, then ensure that everyone working on the project – architects, developers, testers and so on – are “very security savvy,” said Matias Madou, Co-founder of Secure Code Warrior.

The need to improve skills is often triggered when the company or one of its competitors experiences a problem. So teams should work to identify any existing problems, realize they need to proactively avoid the underlying issues, and undergo appropriate training, he says. The trouble is, “security and developers are not often the best of friends,” Madou said. So, developers tend to think that security is the responsibility of their security colleagues. But there should be a common goal: making reliable and secure software.


If You Want to Improve Employee Satisfaction, Try This Controversial Practice… Nigel Green suggests career dissatisfaction is something that we all struggle with from time to time. We’ve all had situations where we thought our lives would improve if we only had that one thing that was missing.

If you lead a team, there’s a high chance that you’ve encountered difficult situations where an employee wasn’t satisfied with how much they earned, their title, or with an organizational change. When employees are discontent, their focus shifts from doing their job to worrying about themselves — and the quality of their work could suffer. How you address these scenarios will define you as a leader. Sometimes the discontentment is easily resolved with a raise or a promotion. Other times giving in to an employee’s feelings of dissatisfaction is a trap. Either way: The faster the situation is resolved, the better for you, the employee and the business.

Consider the practice of an annual interview with another company. Encourage each of your employees to interview with another company every single year. It may seem scary or unfamiliar, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Here are just three of the many ways this practice will amplify your leadership.

Here are 5 ways that leaders can learn to embrace new ideas…When Wharton management professor Adam Grant sat down to write his new book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, he wanted to make the case for why executives should reconsider their approaches to how to manage people in a modern workplace and embrace new ideas, based on systematic evidence.

Grant is an internationally recognized thought leader in the management and workplace dynamics, best-selling author, and co-director of Wharton People Analytics. In an Ivy Exec webinar called “Inside the Mind of Professor Adam Grant” sponsored by the Wharton MBA for Executives Program, Grant sat down with Wharton Dean Erika James, an organizational psychologist herself. The two discussed the importance of questioning your assumptions regarding how to engage and communicate in the workplace, in order to become a more evolved leader.


Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t know 
#1 New York Times bestseller, Adam Grant examines the critical art of rethinking: learning to question your opinions and open other people’s minds, which can position you for excellence at work and wisdom in life. Think Again reveals that we don’t have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. It’s an invitation to let go of views that are no longer serving us well and prize mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.

Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. The pandemic has forced us all to reevaluate our assumptions about health and safety and multiple acts of police brutality have challenged most of us to reconsider our responsibility for fighting racism. Yet in our daily lives, too many of us still favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard.

“In the book “Think Again” the Author takes us through the process of why in life, we need to think about our brief systems, our confidence in certain subjects and use this in business as well as our social life. If we all thought more deeply, while we might agree to disagree, maybe thinking again would help us understand other people better.”


Indra Nooyi…On Being One Of The Longest-Serving Female CEOs



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