Becoming a Technical Leader
Becoming a Technical Leader
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Becoming a Technical Leader

Last updated on 2016-02-18

About the Book

Becoming a Technical Leader is a personalized guide to developing the qualities that make a successful leader. It identifies which leadership skills are most effective in a technical environment and why technical people have characteristic trouble in making the transition to a leadership role. For anyone who is a leader, hopes to be one, or would like to avoid being one

This is an excellent book for anyone who is a leader, who wants to be a leader, or who thinks only people with 'leader' or 'manager' in their title are leaders. The book can be described briefly as a guide to developing personal leadership potential, but it is much more than that . . . it is filled with useful insights into personal growth as a professional

Readers say it's always fascinating, and "focuses our attention on what it takes to make teams of thinking technical people work effectively together." Moreover, they say "it's always extremely practical and down-to-earth.

Becoming a Technical Leader is the "textbook" for Jerry Weinberg's world-famous Problem Solving Leadership Workshop. It consists of twenty-four well-reasoned, thought-provoking chapters on making the change from technical star to problem-solving leader.

About the Author

Gerald M. Weinberg
Gerald M. Weinberg

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.

I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books that are not yet on Leanpub may be found as eBooks at <http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JerryWeinberg>; on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000AP8TZ8; and at Barnes and Noble bookstore: http://tinyurl.com/4eudqk5.

Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for my writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.

But the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.

Bundles that include this book

Are Your Lights On?
What Did You Say?  The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback
Exploring Requirements One
Exploring Requirements Two
Becoming a Change Artist
7 Books
$66.93
Suggested Price
$49.99
Bundle Price
Perfect Software
Handbook of Technical Reviews, Fourth Edition
General Systems Thinking
The Aremac Project
Are Your Lights On?
8 Books
$83.92
Suggested Price
$49.99
Bundle Price

Table of Contents

  • Reviews of Becoming a Technical Leader
  • Preface
  • Foreword
  • PART_ONE_DEFINITION
  • Chapter 1. What Is Leadership, Anyway?
    • THE RELUCTANT LEADER
    • FACING THE LEADERSHIP ISSUE
    • A CONVENTIONAL BUT FLAWED VIEW OF LEADERSHIP
    • CONTRASTING MODELS OF THE WORLD
    • AN ORGANIC DEFINITION OF LEADERSHIP
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 2. Models of Leadership Style
    • MOTIVATION
    • IDEAS
    • ORGANIZATION
    • THE MOI MODEL OF LEADERSHIP
    • WHAT TECHNICAL LEADERS DO
    • FAITH IN A BETTER WAY
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 3. A Problem-Solving Style
    • UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM
    • MANAGING THE FLOW OF IDEAS
    • CONTROLLING THE QUALITY
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 4. How Leaders Develop
    • PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
    • THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD
    • FALLING INTO THE RAVINE
    • GROWTH IN THE REAL WORLD
    • HOW GROWTH FEELS
    • THE METACYCLE
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 5. But I Can’t Because
    • I’M NOT A MANAGER
    • I’M NOT THE LEADER TYPE
    • I’LL LOSE MY TECHNICAL SKILLS
    • I’M IN GRAVE DANGER OF GROWING
    • I DON’T WANT THAT MUCH POWER
    • QUESTIONS
  • PART TWO: INNOVATION
  • Chapter 6. The Three Great Obstacles to Innovation
    • ARE YOU AWARE OF WHAT YOU HAD FOR DESSERT?
    • SELF-BLINDNESS: THE NUMBER ONE OBSTACLE
    • NO-PROBLEM SYNDROME: THE NUMBER TWO OBSTACLE
    • SINGLE-SOLUTION BELIEF: THE NUMBER THREE OBSTACLE
    • SUMMARY
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 7. A Tool for Developing Self-Awareness
    • A TEST OF YOUR MOTIVATION
    • YOUR INITIAL REACTION
    • YOUR PERSONAL JOURNAL
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 8. Developing Idea Power
    • THE PROBLEM-SOLVING LEADER’S CENTRAL DOGMA
    • CREATIVE ERRORS
    • STOLEN IDEAS
    • CORRUPTED STOLEN IDEAS
    • COPULATION
    • WHY IDEAS SEEM WICKED
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 9. The Vision
    • THE CAREER LINE
    • THE EVENTS DON’T MATTER
    • CAN SUCCESS BREED FAILURE?
    • THE CENTRAL ROLE OF THE VISION
    • WHY THE VISION CREATES AN INNOVATOR
    • FINDING THE VISION IN YOURSELF
    • QUESTIONS
  • PART THREE: MOTIVATION
  • Chapter 10. The First Great Obstacle to Motivating Others
    • TESTING YOURSELF
    • AN INTERACTION MODEL
    • THE MANIFEST PART OF AN INTERACTION
    • THE HIDDEN PARTS OF AN INTERACTION
    • SATIR’S INTERACTION MODEL
    • UNDERSTANDING WHY COMMUNICATIONS GO AWRY
    • A WAY TO START CLEARING COMMUNICATIONS
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 11. The Second Great Obstacle to Motivating Others
    • WEINBERG’S TARGET
    • PLANNING AND THE FUTURE
    • THE SECOND GREAT OBSTACLE
    • THE LEADER AS A PERSON
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 12. The Problem of Helping Others
    • HELP SHOULD BE NATURAL
    • TRYING TO BE HELPFUL: AN EXERCISE
    • SOME LESSON•S ABOUT HELPING
    • HELPING AND SELF-ESTEEM
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 13. Learning to Be a Motivator
    • ALWAYS BE SINCERE (WHETHER YOU MEAN IT OR NOT)
    • SURVIVAL RULES
    • META-RULES
    • TRANSFORMING RULES INTO GUIDES
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 14. Where Power Comes From
    • POWER AS A RELATIONSHIP
    • POWER FROM TECHNOLOGY
    • EXPERTISE AS POWER
    • KEEPING POWER
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 15. Power, Imperfection, and Congruence
    • A MECHANICAL PROBLEM
    • MATURE PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR
    • DEALING WITH YOUR OWN MECHANICAL PROBLEMS
    • THE PAYOFF FOR BEING CONGRUENT
    • QUESTIONS
  • PART FOUR: ORGANIZATION
  • Chapter 16. Gaining Organizational Power
    • CONVERTING POWER
    • USING POWER
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 17. Effective Organization of Problem-Solving Teams
    • A SPECTRUM OF ORGANIZATIONAL FORMS
    • MIXED ORGANIZATIONAL FORMS
    • FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION
    • APPENDIX: SCORING THE RANKING
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 18. Obstacles to Effective Organizing
    • FIRST OBSTACLE: PLAYING THE BIG GAME
    • SECOND OBSTACLE: ORGANIZING PEOPLE AS IF THEY WERE MACHINES
    • THIRD OBSTACLE: DOING THE WORK YOURSELF
    • FOURTH OBSTACLE: REWARDING INEFFECTIVE ORGANIZING
    • ORGANIC ORGANIZING
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 19. Learning to Be an Organizer
    • PRACTICE
    • OBSERVE AND EXPERIMENT
    • LOOK FOR INCONGRUENCE: THEY’RE DOING THE BEST THEY CAN
    • LOOK FOR CROSSED WIRES
    • LEGITIMIZE DIFFERENCES
    • USE YOURSELF AS A MODEL OF THE TEAM
    • CHANGE AS YOU SUCCEED
    • QUESTIONS
  • PART_FIVE: TRANSFORMATION
  • Chapter 20. How You Will Be Graded as a Leader
    • THE PROFESSOR’S FIRST DAY OF CLASS
    • A STRATEGY FOR IMPROVEMENT
    • CAN TEACHING AND LEADING BE LEARNED?
    • GRADING ON THE FIRST DAY
    • A POSSIBLE SOLUTION
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 21. Passing Your Own Leadership Tests
    • A TOP EXECUTIVE TEST
    • THE ABILITY TO WITHSTAND TESTS
    • HOW TO HANDLE AN INTRUDER
    • WHAT’S THE RIGHT WAY?
    • USING AND ABUSING TESTS
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 22. A Personal Plan for Change
    • AN EXPERIMENT
    • THE MENTAL CLIMATE FOR CHANGE
    • A PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT PLAN
    • CAN IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
    • ELEMENTS OF A PLAN
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 23. Finding Time to Change
    • STAYING ON TARGET
    • DOING TWO THINGS AT ONCE
    • THE CHEAPEST TUITION
    • QUESTIONS
  • Chapter 24. Finding Support for Change
    • A SUPPORT SYSTEM
    • TECHNICAL RESOURCE SUPPORT
    • SUPPORT THROUGH CRITICISM
    • SUPPORT FOR GROWTH
    • SUPPORT FOR RECOVERY
    • EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
    • SPIRITUAL SUPPORT
    • QUESTIONS
  • Epilogue
    • ROSY’S RESPONSE
    • DAVE’S DEVIATION
    • LISTING ASSETS AND LIABILITIES
    • TREATING YOUR OBSESSION
  • Bibliography

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