On October 1st 2020, I joined Yoast as the team lead for a group of amazing people. Needless to say, I am over the moon.
The new role came with the desire to give myself a more structured education about things that I have been doing informally for years now: managing people and processes.
In addition, since August 2019, I got more involved in WordPress Core: I co-led a couple of releases, became one of the team reps, and finally started mentoring new contributors.
In other words, whether I like it or now, I am a leader* in the WordPress community.
So, what’s a girl to do? Read books about leadership, management and processes!
I always say that my management style is “Mama Bear”.
- I’ll protect my team members above everything else.
- I will not tolerate any gossip about them or attack on them.
- I will always take the blame if they do something wrong. I will talk it through with them in private so we can both learn.
- I will teach them everything I’ve got.
While I intend to keep doing that, I also want to learn how to move things from a visceral level (mama bearing is) to a more structured approach in order to be more effective and helpful for the team and for my own growth.
At this point, I don’t have many teachings to offer, but I sure have lots of questions and resources bookmarked for my continuous education. Sharing them seems like the most logical thing to do.
Books on leadership, team-leading, and processes
These are the books that have been recommended to me in the past few months (and yes, they are Amazon affiliate links, since at home I have a hungry teenager and a hungry cat).
- The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
- The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
- The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging
- The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
- Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth
- Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts
- Knowing How: 20 Concepts to Rewire the Brain
- Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
Books on conflict resolution
Communication in open source is hard.
Communication for a hot-blooded, non-native English speaker Italian woman that struggles with written communication, usually uses swear words to reinforce her point, is incredibly verbose and has a tendency to think that everyone hates her, is extra hard 😉
- Conflict Communication: A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication
- Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader: How You and Your Organization Can Manage Conflict Effectively
- Everything Is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution
- Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution
- The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict
What’s the reading status?
|Measure what matters||Finished. An interesting read indeed, some good ideas for everyone, but the model will work only if embraced by the whole organisation.|
|Changing the conversation||Finished. It’s on my desk and I refer to it multiple times a day. Practice makes perfect.|
|Dare to lead||Starting it this weekend|
My plan is to read one a month. Probably not all of them: they are not all appealing to me at this stage, but who knows what the future has in store for me?
*The word leader vs lead is a whole different topic and I am struggling with it quite a bit. A friend recently offered this definition “leaders are people who have others looking to them for guidance“. I can live with that. But then I want to be called a servant leader. Or a mentor. Maybe your guide to unexplored territories? I’ll mull over this one a bit more.