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Becoming a Technical Leader: An Organic Problem-Solving Approach [Paperback]

Gerald M. Weinberg , Ken Orr
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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"...extremely practical and down-to-earth...." -- CAUSE/Effect

"it is filled with useful insights into personal growth as a professional." -- Journal of Systems Management

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's a method that works! Sept. 13 2000
This book resonates in me more than any other book on the subject. Weinberg forces you to participate in the exploration of how a technical leader is created, and he provides *real steps* on how to get there. He also provides many short exercises for you to test your progress in your day-to-day activities.
While reading this book, I had several major realizations about work relationships, why people react they way that they do, and how to motivate them. The title of the book uses the term "Organic" to describe this process, and it is a very valid claim because many of the leadership qualities are not masks that you put on or tricks that you acquire. Instead, they are internal realizations and shedding of misconceptions and assumptions that currently prevent you from being an effective leader. Cathartic in a self-help kind-of a way.
This is highly recommended reading for technical folks in leadership positions, or those who are looking to become technical leaders. Weinberg includes many stories and examples which carify each chapter. The book is a very easy read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A gem. Powerful and life-changing. Does the job! Oct. 28 1995
By A Customer
A life-changing book. The best one I know about becoming a manager or supervisor. Written for any person who is competent in a "technical field" (e.g., medicine, law, computer programming) who is now being given managerial responsibility. Each chapter has brief but powerful journaling exercises to focus your observations and support your development. Unusually clear. A great resource on power and leadership; problem solving and innovation; vision and motivating others; leadership styles; and much more. He concentrates on increasing your mindfulness of the demands of your new role and sharpening your self-awareness of personal beliefs, behaviors, and traits that affect how you affect others. If you can't buy it, track it down on interlibrary loan
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get it March 20 2008
If you are serious about becoming a leader in a problem-solving environment this book will give you some very important insights. Something you might feel, but can't quite put the finger on.

It's a short book, but the material is high-density. Questions after each chapter are perhaps as important as the chapters themselves. The way the book is structured, you can treat it like a course material. In fact, it requires action on your part.

I'd sum up the book using the concepts from one of the last chapters:
Leaders are graded not by adding all the qualities together, but by multiplying. For example: 20% interpersonal skills * 80% technical = 16% total, not 100% and not 50%.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best guide to becoming a tech. lead I've read Dec 21 2003
Concrete advice about both how to assess where you are today, and what to do to become and be a technical leader. There are also some fun anecdotal pseudo-conversations that work as a nice interlude, and a great description of the tradeoffs between technical and personal strenths.
While a light read, I couldn't help coming away from this book feeling that it was longer than it needed to be -- the information density isn't terribly high. A few of the pseudo-graphs that appeared in the book also seemed to have mislabeled axes, though that may have been corrected in subsequent editions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE BOOK on Leadership Aug. 10 2003
Jerry recently stopped giving the workshop on which this book
is based. I number him among my most valued friends. Our
friendship began in that workshop. If you take the approach to
leadership that this book explains you'll be the kind of leader
that almost anyone would willingly follow, and with good reason.
I'm still trying to assimilate the thousands of tasty bits of
wisdom it contains. Jerry already has. He's been there and back
again, and has buried many of the jewels he discovered on his
journey in this book. BUY IT.
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