Sunday, May 13, 2018

On leadership and male allies...

Much has been touted about leadership and leadership styles - certainly in Silicon Valley over the last several years.

Here's an article that seems to finally cut through a large extent of the BS and focus on what really works, based on history and the fact that we live in an imperfect world full of imperfect people who may or may not have their own short/long-sighted agenda's and have varying degrees of commitment and persistence to pursue their goals.

I haven't read all these books yet, but, would certainly like to.

I get preached to by a lot of senior management and, sometimes, executives with varying degrees of success.  Some say that I don't listen to "direction", some say that I'm "perceptive, visionary, resilient, gritty..."  blah blah.  Whatever.

I say, what are you telling me that will help me reach my goal?  Do you even understand my goal and the challenges that I (and people like me) face day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year?  Are you able to advise and help regarding the specific challenges I have?

If you don't, then no amount of talking to me and "guiding"/"directing"/"advising" me is going to work - it boils down to lip service.  Which means, yes, I will probably not listen to your well-intentioned advice because it does not make any sense to me and it certainly does not help me or others.  Which, also, means that you did not do your homework before providing "advice"/"direction".

For male allies (or those that tout themselves as such), here are some resources to get under your belt and start your journey to building reliability as a male ally (note:  this is just the minimum, baseline to getting started).  It is not easy to be a male ally - you will face lots of opposition from both men and women alike.  But, as they say, nothing that is worth doing is ever easy :).  And, frankly, the experience might help you understand what women engineers and technologists go through everyday.  The subtle behaviors that you might not see/notice, come to the forefront - not always, but,  there's a high probability that you will if you let yourself see it.
  2. Twitter:  Better Allies
  3. NCWIT:
  4. ABI:
  5. SLATE: