Start with yourself

Last week I was at the Lead Developer conference in London. It was fantastic to meet some of you fine people in person. If you’re able to go to this conference next year, I highly recommend it. You can find out what you missed on the conference site. Videos including my own short talk about the long-term costs of single-page apps will be up soon.

One of the common themes across all the talks was to work on yourself first.

Jenny Duckett (@jenny_duckett) spoke about the importance of working on your own ability to build relationships and foster autonomy in your team. This is a long-term investment that will stand you in good stead for an uncertain future.

Christian McCarrick (@cmccarrick) focused on the importance of developing your communication, time management and delegation skills as key ways to scale your own impact on others.

Alicia Liu (@aliciatweet) gave an incredibly honest and vulnerable talk about the personal challenges of moving into a leadership role, her struggle with burnout, and how she broke the cycle of insomnia and depression through healthier daily habits.

Melinda Seckington (@meckington) presented a practical framework for discussing personal goals with team members, exploring personal values, future wants, their current role and current skills. These are then used as a basis for a more structured discussion that just ‘where do you want to be in 5 years time?’

As I flew back to Edinburgh and the flight attendants carried out their safety presentation for the 7,000th time, they urged us to put on our own oxygen masks before helping others.

Keep yourselves in good shape to lead others, people. You owe a duty to yourself first, but fortunately this also helps those that look to you for inspiration.

All the best,

– Jim

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