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.
I recently read “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande. He is a surgeon in the US and I think now part of the Biden Team’s Covid response team.
The book is not really much about managerial systems but about systems itself and some inbuilt minor change of habits having good or bad implications.
I found it very useful at my new gig where I am a senior member of a team.
Thanks Aditya! I might do a followup, with productivity books 🙂
Congrats! 😉 Also the Resilient Management by Lara Hogan is a good read.
Thanks! Added to my reading queue 🙂