Is your approach to leading tech teams more hands-on or hands-off?


1.8k views1 Upvote10 Comments

Senior Vice President, Product Design and Data Analytics in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
There’s nothing more fulfilling than participating in problem solving. As a data leader, one must remember not to have the first or last say in a huddle. With build processes, however, clarity in terms of specifications, completion and acceptance criteria, and rigorous testing are a few things that are critical to success. 

While you need to play the role of a mentor at times, it is wonderful to see how coaching empowers people especially when they discover their own path. If one were to look at the schedule of a data leader, it may involve setting the course or prioritization, understanding business, clearing bottlenecks, brainstorming for solutions, branding initiatives and sharing progress.
Senior Director in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Mostly hands off. The technology has long past me but the basics of programming still exist. I still enjoy working through issues, where depending on severity I will be involved. Otherwise the team gets direction from me but I rely on their expertise to get the job done.
CTO in Healthcare and Biotech, 2 - 10 employees
Hands off. Spending more time up front to hire self motivated and curious coworkers always pays dividends. 
Vice President of Software Development in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I believe in being situational. This means we need to be hands-on, however, jump in only when needed. Irrespective of being hands-on or not, we should not disempower the team. We need to let them fail and recover instead of stopping them from failure. Also, have a sense of the situation and jump in when needed without being asked, while not stepping into the rights of the team.  Secondly being hands-on, will have the ability to be able to critique and validate the work. While we do empower the responsibility we should not forget the accountability.
Earlier CIO in Manufacturing, Self-employed
I have mixed approach.  Whenever, I have a task or project running, I first ask the team to provide the solution roadmap.  We go through it together.  Wherever, I find that the solution is not up to the mark, then I get hands on to demonstrate the right solution to be provided.  If the solution provided is upto the mark or better than what I thought, l let the team deploy the solution
Vice President Global Head of Value Engineering in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Mostly hands-off to provide them autonomy and a sense of empowerment to get the job done efficiently & effectively. However I will intervene should the need arise to provide sense-checks, periodic reviews and best-practice sharing in the spirit of kaizen. I am a firm believer in teaching people how to fish and not securing the fish for them.
CTO in Transportation, 11 - 50 employees
Mostly hands-off but making sure I am available for consultation at any moment and to help unblock the teams. Provide guidance at the highest possible level and make sure I encourage independent thinking.
Chair and Professor, Startup CTO in Education, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
I am hands-off. Technical people know what they are doing and giving them the freedom will generally increase productivity. For new employees, though, more mentoring will be needed. 
Director in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
Hands off, but I have learned that you can err on the side of this as well.  I focus on communicating what is needed and why and leave the "how" up to the team, but still need to be able to check in and make sure that my understanding of the situation and progress is current

CTO in Education, 51 - 200 employees
It depends on the situation. I'm hands-on when it comes to solution design, problem-solving and decision making. That does not mean I dictate these, it means I'm involved in the process with my team. I'm not hands-on anymore when it comes to writing the code or setting up the systems. I trust the team to be able to do their jobs and not micromanage their day-to-day.

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