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We are Dawn Kuczwara and Jer Lance, technologists, leaders, an people who are often accused of talking too much. Join us as we answer your questions about leadership, becoming a leader, and knowledge work in general. Our answers come from our experience, and arrive with a sense of humor. Email us at questions@leadingquestionspodcast.com (and no, we couldn't find a longer URL)
 
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This episode is all fun and games, other than the parts that aren't... My company moved everyone to WFH when COVID-19 hit our state. It’s been several months and my team has settled into their routine well, hitting their goals. In this time where people feel isolated already, the team is understandably feeling it as well. How do I keep them bonded,…
 
In this week's episode, we answer... My family is a dual income home. My partner is still working, and I’ve been laid off. So I’ve taken over the household and our two young children. There is no in-class school, and there is no daycare, meaning they are with me all day. There are shifts I can make once I go back to work, but the days of the 8 - 10…
 
In this episode... Like many, I’ve been furloughed. I work in the event industry, so being brought back full time is looking grim until spring next year. The company I work for is a small tight knit team that is committed to getting everyone back, and I love working there. There are still some projects and events that trickle in, and they’ve given …
 
This episode, we answer this: My brother works in a manufacturing engineering plant. The company is a week or more behind promised delivery dates to various customers and has been running frantic shifts 7 days a week, to the extent that they are pulling marketing and engineering staff out of their normal roles and having them hand assembly parts. T…
 
In this episode, we answer the question: Each Christmas my team puts together a group gift that they give to me along with a card. Each year, I write a nice card for each of them, but, I don't buy a gift because I don't make that kind of money! Worse, because there are a lot of them, even pitching in 5 or 10 dollars each adds up to a really nice gi…
 
Later than we'd have liked, we answer a question that is very timely and important: How do I talk about Black Lives Matter and the protests and all that with my team? I know we're supposed to leave religion and politics at home, but it feels like I should address this. Should I? If you have questions about this, or feedback about our handling of th…
 
In this episode, we answer: My boss has been trying to transition our team from everybody working all the time, day or night to setting realistic expectations for support and holding us to those. It's hard for me to take her seriously when she answers emails day and night within minutes of their arrival. I'm not talking about just high importance e…
 
Our question for this episode is: I occasionally get invited to do social things with some of my employees and if I'm interested in the event itself I'll go - typically things like video games or even holiday parties. I don't go to every events, but I do go to the ones that sound fun. I'm not playing favorites. But it also means that I have gone to…
 
In this episode, a listener asks: I have a lot of vacation saved up. There are a few reasons for this. First, our company gives us a lot of vacation. But, second, we don't really get to use it. The team is always working long hours without breaks and if you take a vacation everyone treats you like you killed their cat. Plus, when I get back I just …
 
In this episode we answer: At work we have a lot of mandatory "fun" events. If I don't participate, I'm not a team player. However, I don't enjoy them, and I'm here to work. How do I avoid participating and still keep my job? But we also mention Puppy Monkey Baby and Shytown's "Olive Garden"...we're not proud. Join us later this week as we discuss …
 
In this episode we discuss: I have a coworker who very religious--she does regular prayer luncheons at work and talks about her involvement in various Christian charities and programs, for example. As a rule, it's not an issue in any way at work except, she chastises her coworkers for swearing. Not just the "big words" but shit, damn, hell…everythi…
 
In this episode, in between rants we answer this question: My boss hates his job and bitches about it all the time. He doesn't complain to everybody, just to me and a few select others. It's annoying and it makes me not like my job as much. I'm also worried about my coworkers hearing this and it affecting them as well. Stay tuned later this week as…
 
In a very special episode relevant to world events we answer: The work our company does doesn't lend itself to work from home, and the industry we supply to is dead in the water during the pandemic. Because of this, I've been furloughed for at least one month and probably more like three. What should I be doing with my time off? Don't forget to rea…
 
Now that Jer is done being sick, we're back with this question: My work takes referrals and recently I referred a friend of mine that I thought would be a good fit for a position we were looking to fill. He went through the interview process and thought he did really well, but then the company sort of ghosted him. I suggested to my friend that he c…
 
In this episode, we respond to the troubling observation... I think my boss is a racist. He has said things like: "I can't hire someone the team won't be able to understand" about two different Indian candidates He won't send our sole black engineer to client sites because he says it'll make our clients uncomfortable He recently said that given two…
 
In this episode, we answer... As a leader, what is the best way to deal with coworkers who were mistakenly given your salary by upper management? Not only have they disclosed it but it's off by about 35%. How to deal with upper management undermining your leadership without taking a bazooka to upper management and undermining your own relationship …
 
In this episode, we discuss a leader of leaders' struggle with a member of their team over-committing and throwing their team under the bus. I'm a leader of leaders. One of the leaders on my team has what we'll call a bad habit. At the start of a sprint, he will agree to a certain amount of features to be completed. Without fail, halfway through th…
 
In this episode, we talk scrum masters and iterative delivery: I'm a product owner in a team that just started doing agile a few month ago and our scrum master is not great at it. He was a very waterfall technical guy in the past and now he makes it hard to be a product owner because he still acts very waterfally and mostly wants to get involved in…
 
In this episode, we answer... One of the goals assigned to me when I was hired at my current company is to train a new junior systems engineer so he can develop a broader skill set and gain some experience on the systems engineering side (he was performing desktop support duties previously). However, even though the Junior SE doesn't have any exper…
 
In this episode, we respond to... I want to be promoted to a leader role because all of our leaders suck. We need somebody that knows how software is delivered to lead these development teams and stop making garbage decisions all of the time. I have been turned down over and over and over. How do I get that promotion so I can fix things? Stay tuned…
 
In this episode, we answer the following question: You both have talked a lot about letting employees fail, but what if they fail constantly? I teach them how to do things right and they do it wrong unless I'm right there doing it with them. I don't get it. We are currently reading Daniel Pink's Drive, so grab a copy and join us in a few weeks!…
 
This episode, we discuss changes... Many things at my current company are changing, and most are not for the better. The culture and the goals are just not the same as when I joined more than 10 years ago. I've been fighting the changes but I am not winning. When do you know it's time to quit? How long should I keep fighting? Hang out after this ep…
 
This episode's question is... I've recently been promoted to director at work starting very soon. I've never led leaders before. What can I expect? What will be different and what will remain the same? If you're interested in reading along with us, we're currently reading Slack by Tom DeMarco in preparation for the bookclub episode to follow our ne…
 
This episode's question is... When I started in my current position a couple of years ago, I made clear that my expectation was that travel would be minimal. Over time, my role (title) hasn't changed, but both the company and my position have evolved, including a slight increase in the amount of expected travel. Now I'm being told that, because of …
 
This episode's question... I get very frustrated when things change constantly. I plan for so long and then my company just changes direction entirely and all of my plans are useless. How do I stop these constant changes or at least slow them down? Should I even try? Should I just stop planning? Don't forget to stay tuned after next episode to hear…
 
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