This story depicts the essence of technical leadership and its 3 key attributes: (1) independent decision making (2) Influencing (3) Leading initiatives (what I refer to as 3-I model). Dr. Sreedharan had a strong view about the technical decision pertaining gauge. He had the ability to influence decisions on subsequent Metro rail projects and he lead the DMRC project successfully in spite of technical challenges. If you want to assess yourself as a technical leader, ask yourself (1) When was the last time I felt strongly about a technical decision? (2) Which key technical decisions am I influencing? (3) What technology initiative did I lead recently?
I have been facilitating a 1-day workshop on “Becoming a successful technical leader” for the past 2 years and the workshop is now 25+ sessions, 25+ organizations and 400+ participants old. During the workshop, we explore various aspects of technical leadership through case studies especially in the context of IT industry in India. At the end, participants prepare an action plan (what I call Systematic Investment Plan - SIP) for themselves. See the slides below.
I will be facilitating an open program on 25th March 2009 in Hotel Royal Orchid Park Plaza in Bangalore. You can download the registration form (yes, there is an early bird discount). You may want to see a consolidated list of my articles on technical leadership.