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Technical Leadership

This 1-day masterclass is designed to explore concepts, understanding and skills that help technical leaders be more effective.

Personal Effectiveness

Technical leaders are looked to for direction setting and guidance, and decisions are of great consequence both for the business and for development teams. Before we can lead others, we first need to have self-awareness, confidence and humility. Here we consider core personal effectiveness topics and strategies:

  • Self-awareness, self-management
  • Empathy, compassion, humility
  • Cognition (embodied, enacted, extended, embedded), cognitive amplifiers, fallibilities, (logical) fallacies and biases
  • Curiosity, observation, opportunity discovery, problem solving, and problem understanding and (re)framing, finding and exploring alternatives
  • Introduction to a broad landscape of related topics (emotional intelligence, perception and meaning making, ...) and writers/works, including William James; Daniel Kahneman, Indi Young, Daniel Goleman, Edwin Hutchins.


Preview Material

To give a sense of the coverage and calibre of the material, we have put a chapter/module online [pdf]: Decisions and Technical Leadership



We held the inaugral masterclass in Indianapolis in July, 2019. Some responses (public, on twitter):

"I’ll be back! I enjoyed every minute and the materials are fantastic" -- Paula Paul

"@ruthmalan and @DanaBredemeyer ’s technical leadership masterclass has meaningful material delivered with context that’s both relevant and thought provoking for rising leaders. Their sage wisdom with references has altered my professional reading list for several months to come." -- Michael Wojciechowski

"the class, format, and the materials were fantastic. I learned immensely and also validated some previous thoughts. Already using the learning and the materials for a Tech Lead group I run at work. Looking into the architecture class in Chicago in October." -- Martin Bertolino

Organizational Effectiveness

Work that impacts many people and multiple teams (e.g., across a product family, or teams of teams for more complex systems), raises challenges of leadership through transitions, participation and consensus-building, communicating, and more. This focal area addresses those challenges:

  • Considerations for leading successful teams
  • Leadership styles; fractal and participatory leadership and design
  • Building relationships, trust and safety
  • Collaboration, and fostering the best work in others
  • Working across the organization, bridging strategic/business, and development/technical; as well as working across technical teams with differing charters and priorities
  • Decision making, judgment, effects of groups, confidence,
  • Communication, listening, storytelling, interviewing
  • Organizational dynamics or politics, and magnifying the ability to get things done, working with and through people; architectrure transitions
  • Persuasion and Influence; Negotiation, Disagreement and conflict;
  • Culture; Nudges, enabling constraints
  • Coaching and facilitating, feedback
  • Ethics
  • Introduction to a broad landscape of related topics, writers and works, including Norbert Wiener, Chris Argyris, Peter Drucker, Edgar Schein, Bren√© Brown, Mel Conway, Michael Useem, Peter Senge, David Marquet, Jeffrey Pfeffer



Anyone in technical leadership, including architects, product owners and product managers, senior UX designers,and senior developers. CTOs and CIOs may be interested, as it creates a common basis of understanding with other technical leaders on their teams..

Open Enrollment Masterclass

Upcoming in 2019:

  • Raleigh, NC, November 19
  • San Francisco, CA, December 9
  • Seattle, WA, December 11
  • Chicago, IL, December 16

This schedule depends on enrollments, so enroll soon not just to take advantage of early enrollment discounts, but to help reach critical mass for a location you don't have to travel (as far) to. So far, NYC hasn't shown any interest, so Boston may get a shot at that slot on the schedule. We will consider any location, and critical mass/go decisions is generally around 10 people; taking into account overhead such as venue/catering and instructor travel costs, as well as sufficient opportunities for co-learning/collaborating together.

Instructors: Ruth Malan and/or Dana Bredemeyer

Start and end time: 9am--5:30pm

To enroll

Please call us at (812) 335-1653 or email for more information. To enroll, email us your contact and billing info, so we can get the invoice to you and you can pay (credit card, company check, etc.).


The cost for the 1-day open enrollment masterclass is US$600.00 per student. 20% discount on enrollments completed by August 30, 2019 for Chicago, September 11 for all others. Early enrollments help us with venue planning, and it hopefully helps to encourage colleagues to enroll sooner.

In-House Masterclasses

Most of our training is on-site at client organizations. Pricing depends on number of students taking the class. Please contact us for details.

We also run shorter versions, focused on Technical Leadership, Systems Design for multifunctional teams, etc.



Alternatively, you can contact Ruth Malan on twitter.


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Page Created: November 1999
Last Updated: January 16, 2019