One of the most challenging aspects of technical leadership, or any leadership
for that matter, is managing complexity. People, plans, markets, and software
systems, just to name a few, are all wildly complex things. Finding ways to
separate the signal from the noise, set reasonable expectations, and observe
results can be daunting.
We’re admonished to “keep it simple, stupid,” and given heaps of tools that
promise to reduce any complexity to its essential, manageable bits. Tracking
systems, dashboards, dependency maps, OKRs, and box-and-whisker plots abound.
Yet history has taught us that seeking simplicity, while often well-intentioned,
can be disastrous. To be the nimble and effective leader who can manage through
complexity with ease, you’ll need to do one thing that many leaders never learn
to do: let go.
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