Career Pivots

Richard Branson with his parents

Richard Branson with his parents

Richard Branson recently wrote about career pivots – if you aren’t doing well on your chosen path, pick a different path.  “Everyone has something valuable to bring…”, where he shares a couple of stories about people that did exactly this, and turned adversity into an asset.

Building this site and the leadership course is a bit of a pivot for me.  I’ve been coaching and mentoring upcoming leaders for a long time, but on an individual basis – as part of my job as a leader working for a large corporation.  I’ve decided to take my favorite part of my profession, and make that my full-time occupation.

Often, we aren’t happy with our current situation, the job itself might not be fulfilling, a bad boss, a mis-match between the company values or even just a long commute.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently showed that people change jobs almost 12 times during their career, and that study was pretty narrow and reflected baby-boomers in the US.  I imagine the average will increase in the future.

I remembering seeing a Venn diagram (nearby) about how you should feel about your job. You really want to find a role where you enjoy the work, you are good at it, and it pays sufficiently.  This view helped me make several career changes.

Venn Diagram showing your ideal job: Pays well, you enjoy doing, and you are good at it.

Your Ideal Job –

If you are considering a career pivot towards management, please check out the training available with the Software Leadership Academy.  Moving into management usually pays better, and you can take training to learn how to be good. The last bit, do you enjoy it? That will usually take giving it a try.



Status Update: Rebooting this effort

Wow, its been a while since I’ve done an update and a lot has changed. I’ve made some changes in my personal life that will allow me to spend a lot more time developing this course.  I’m hoping to have it in place, and do a launch in early January.

If you find this site, please check out the course.  I’ve marked it as free while I develop the materials, hoping for early feedback.  Jump in while its free, I only ask for your honest feedback.

The home page has been updated with the new focus, helping engineers or new managers learn the skills to be a front line manager.  This follows the 4 P’s, and a T model that I’ve been using for years. People, Product, Process, Project, and Technology.    The first iteration of the course, SOEPPL (Strategy, Organization, Execution, Process, Product, and Learning) was more focused on a second-level leader or director.  Hopefully, this new direction is more focused and useful.

Another change, I’m using a training course provider,, to handle much of the stuff that isn’t related to delivering useful content (hosting, authentication, billing, etc.).  Check out the course:

My focus over the next few weeks is creating the content, building awareness of this site and content will follow.


Status Update: Assessment Videos are up

The first step in building an effective strategy is to do an assessment of your current situation. A comprehensive assessment will cover a number of topics:

  • Technology & Industry trends
  • Strategies for your wider organization
  • Strength of your team
  • Quality Practices & Outcomes
  • Technologies used by your system

The first set of videos for The Software Leadership Academy Test Leadership Class were just uploaded to the Strategic Leadership section of the class. These videos show how to conduct this assessment and be prepared to create an effective strategy for your organization.

Next up will be the videos and templates to create the strategy.  Following that, we have videos close to completion in the Organizational Leadership, Execution, and Process leadership.



Goals for the Software Leadership Academy

This is the inaugural post of the Software Leadership Academy blog.  Welcome to the site, and if you have read all the way to the bottom of this blog, congratulations, you found the first post.

I started the Software Leadership Academy to help prospective leaders in software engineering develop the leadership skills to be an effective leader.  I have over 30 years in this business, with more than 20 in leadership positions.  I’ve studied business formally, earning an MBA, and have been through many leadership development programs conducted by my employers.  All of these lessons have been tested in reality.

I’ve also coached, mentored, interviewed, hired, and promoted many leaders though these years. The content of the Software Leadership Academy is drawn from all of this education and experience. These are the same lessons that I’ve learned, and taught to new engineering leaders.

My goals for this site are to teach you the leadership skills and mindsets to be an effective leader for your team and your organization. If you are an engineer aspiring to become a manager, my goal is to teach you the skills to be a front line manager. If you are already a manager, my goal is to help you become a better manager (actually, a leader, and we will discuss the difference).  People who are already managers should learn the skills to become senior managers or directors.

This blog will introduce many of the topics that are available in the course, you should benefit just from reading this blog. For deeper lessons, with downloadable tools and a community of leaders, do consider signing up.  (its free for now, while I’m developing and refining the materials).