Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

    Be their shit umbrella

    On this week's Senior Mindset Mastermind, we talked about what ownership and leadership mean to you. And I weaved why they're the impactfulest feature you can add to your career through the conversation.

    Lots of great ideas! Daniel L's "shit umbrella" suggestion was my favorite. Resonates with Simon Sinek's Why Leaders Eat Last talk.

    Sinek likes to add a bunch of mumbo jumbo about smartphones and hormones and distraction because that's his spiel. My take is that leaders go to bat for their team. That's it.

    When you're there for your team, your team will be there for you. And that's what makes a team.


    The way you go to bat for your team is ownership. At all levels.

    "What can I do to improve this situation?"

    That mantra is the core lesson from Jocko Wilink's interview on the Tim Ferriss podcast. A great ownership 101 overview.

    Part of ownership is adopting a finisher's mentality. Your work isn't done until it's done done.

    Did you think of every edge case? Did you generalize the ask to every situation? Did you follow up and get reviews? Did you get it to production or scheduled for deploy? Did you follow up and made sure it's deployed? Did you ask if it proved useful? Did you ...

    And don't let work in progress pile up. Finish. WorkInProgress kills your progress

    The perfect steak dinner sitting on the counter without potatoes[1] serves no-one. The customer stays hungry.

    Be The Expert

    I don't have a good catchphrase for this yet, but another part of ownership is to Be The Expert. You know the problem best. You know the codebase. You've been thinking about this detail longer than anyone else.

    Help them solve the problem. Don't just be a pair of hands.

    And the more of that you do, the more responsibility and ownership gloms on to you. Automatically. You won't even have to ask.

    I think this mentality is the secret behind Silicon Valley success. Distributed ownership. Everyone owns their piece of the story.

    Further reading

    Extreme Ownership and Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Great books, I enjoyed them on audio.

    Goes into way more detail ✌️


    PS: in case it isn't obvious, ownership and responsibility are where the big bux and fun challenges are hiding :)

    [1] I actually eat steak with just salad, it's a metaphor

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Published on February 16th, 2022 in Mindset, Ownership, SeniorMindset,

    Want to become a true senior engineer?

    Getting that senior title is easy. Just stick around. Being a true senior takes a new way of thinking. Do you have it?

    Leave your email and get the Senior Mindset series - a series of curated essays on the mindset of a senior software engineer. What it takes to get there, what should you do when you're there, how to change the way you think.

    The Senior Mindset series

    Get a series of curated essays on the mindset of a senior software engineer. What it takes to get there, what should you do when you're there, how to change the way you think.

    it describes my days in a way I have not read before.

    This was a very enlightening article about being a senior engineer.

    Join 15,883+ engineers learning lessons from my "raw and honest from the heart" emails.

    4.5 stars average rating

    Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.

    Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.

    Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.

    Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev

    Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

    Want to get my best emails on JavaScript, React, Serverless, Fullstack Web, or Indie Hacking? Check out swizec.com/collections

    Want to brush up on modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog

    Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️

    Created by Swizec with ❤️