Be a better technology leader

Develop the skills you need to more effectively lead teams of technical and creative people.

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Good leadership is not about telling others what to do.

Nor is it about having all the answers.

And it sure isn't about protecting your own ego.

Then what is it?

Leadership is about developing your own personal growth path, and inspiring the personal growth of others. Good leaders model the behavior they want to see in their people. They ask questions. They admit when they are wrong. And most important, they put the needs of others first.

Your path to success as a leader starts with learning how to understand other people better, and how to motivate them to succeed by bringing out their strengths and helping them overcome their weaknesses. The best way to learn about and improve yourself is to serve others. And leadership is a great way to do that.

How did you get here?

There is a good chance you were promoted into a leadership role because you were a particularly good individual contributor. One day the boss called you into their office and said, “I am putting you in charge of such-and-such.”

And boom! You’re a manager.

Now what? You don't get leadership training in most schools by default. And images of bosses from our popular culture are nearly all wrong. You can’t march around shouting and telling people what to do all day. It just doesn’t work. But you do need manage people toward accomplishing their common goals.

Generic leadership training doesn't fit your situation.

Managing teams of creative and technical people is hard. Product development is its own unique context. Most leadership training out there is basic and generic.

It doesn’t apply to the unique context of fast-moving and dynamic technical companies.

It doesn't address the complex workflows in today's digital product companies.

It is designed for people in more traditional roles.

Technology leadership is unique.

Product development is a very complex and ever-changing environment. The skillful people who work in this field are particularly demanding, both of themselves and of their leaders.

Leaders of technology and product development groups need to be excellent not only technology and process, but also those incrediby hard so-called "soft skills" too!

That's why I created this master class for emerging technology leaders like you.

This is a 10-week program stuctured around weekly online sessions. Reading materials will be referenced, but are not required.

Topics include:

  • Discovering your purpose and orienting yourself as a leader. Goal setting and professional development.
  • Making change in a large organization. How to lead by influence rather than authority.
  • Learning tools for greater focus and deeper impact. Personal focus, mindfulness, and value-based outcomes.
  • Hiring for culture and future fit. Developing hiring models for retention and growth.
  • Creating a growth-mindset culture, and encouraging psychological safety.
  • How to have difficult conversations. Giving and getting feedback.
  • Mentorship, delegation, and succession planning. Coaching and developing future leaders.
  • How to manage up and influence executives. Tools for enabling transparency and communicating clearly and concisely.

If you’re interested in learning more about the class, submit an application. Don’t wait too long. There is a limit on space in each cohort.

Apply Now

Source Material

No, these are not required. I read them all so that you don't have to. But if you want to skip ahead, here is some reading that will prepare you for the class...


Sam McAfee is an experienced technology and product leader based in Oakland CA, and is the founder of Startup Patterns. He's been working in technology innovation in Silicon Valley since the first “dot­com boom” in 2000. Sam combines strong engineering capability, team and organizational leadership skills, and a keen business acumen with a laser­like focus on core product development principles from leading product development methodologies like Agile and the Lean Startup. He's helped teams at companies like Adobe, Sharethrough, PG&E, SAP, Microsoft, Follett Education, and many more.

He's also a regular speaker at product and technology conferences, and regularly gives public workshops on technology and product topics. Speaking engagements include QCon NY and SF, the Lean Startup Conference, and Lean Kanban North America. He's a frequent speaker for the startup training programs at Product School, Galvanize and InnoWest, and a mentor at Singularity University. His talks are available on Slide Share.

Sam McAfee

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