5 Whys is a blog about technical leadership in the software world.

A Manifesto For Software Team Leaders - Take 1

It occurs to me that a manifesto for a software team leader is not a bad idea. And, I intentionally not want it to be an "Agile" related manifesto, but more of a management/people/leadership manifesto that applies to the software industry.

Perhaps later we can say that it applies to a broader scope, but software is where I am focusing, until proven otherwise.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what items would appear in such a manifesto. Here are some things I would think would make a good fit, but I don't think I can articulate them well enough to be concise and to the point enough to make a manifesto:

  • Adjusting leadership to the problems the team is facing, over blindly leading in your preferred manner
  • Experimenting with humans, over status quo
  • Challenging yourself as a leader to become better, over staying safe
  • Embracing yours and your team's fear and discomfort as learning, vs. staying in safe, calm and cool waters
  • Spending more time with your team , vs spending more time in meetings
  • Also Focusing on People Skills vs. just learning methodological practices
  • Taking Personal Risks vs. keeping status quo
  • Challenging and teaching your team to solve their own problems vs. Solving everyone else's problems yourself
  • new: everyday - you and your team are better at something, than you were yesterday

Dear reader - if you think you have more ideas, or that some of these are crap - I'd love to know, and why. if you think you can word these better (and I'm sure that should be pretty easy) - please help me out in the comments.

Trying this out in real life

In my upcoming team leader course in Norway next week, I will try to create a shared manifesto like this for the first time. We'll see what we get…!


I'll be pondering this out loud in the Upcoming Leadership Summit in Stoos. I'm honored to have been asked to attend,and if you read that blog post carefully, you'll see that one of the things he writes there is "probably not another manifesto". so, there - our first disagreement? should be interesting!


Don't be afraid to become management

Stavanger Norway Elastic Leadership Course