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What qualities make a top-notch software team leader?

I have worked in some of the best tech companies in the world, which are able to attract the best of the best software engineers with remarkable skills. Despite so, it is sometimes very sad to see that they are not reaching their full potential or even leaving such great organisations.

There is a lot reasons behind this, and one of the main reasons is they have managers that suck.

This begs the question. What makes a top-notch software team leader?

A great manager watches for your back, he/she is person that you could rely on and this builds a strong foundation of trust.

A great leader cares about his/her team, spend time with you to understand your goals and mentor/teach you to grow and learn. He/she knows if his/her people are taken care of, the team will be successful at the end. All team members are on the same ship with the leader. The captain of the ship is responsible for the ship direction and the sailors, which leads a successful voyage. And this why it is very important for the leader to set up a successful example, because every action from the leader is watched very closely and mimicked by everyone on the team. The leader defines the culture of the team.

A bad manager on the other hand, only cares about his/her own self-interest and career advancement. In order to advance, he/she hand you over load of work disregarding your interest. Sabotage and manipulate you to an extent where you are so confused and doubt yourself. This manager led to the environment eventually become very toxic. I advise you to leave if you realise this is the case, life is too short to support such values/behaviours, change while you can before you get burn out. If you stay long enough in such place, you might even become one of them unconsciously as you pick up your habits from your surroundings.

Passion, humility, empathy and integrity are the most important attributes that I look for in world-class leaders because I believe these attributes determine he/she is going the right direction, and eventually lead to success.

This post is also on Medium