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The biggest thing holding your team back isn't technical.

As teams experience success and grow, there's a common nostalgia for those good ol' days, when a handful of engineers achieved seemingly impossible feats of speed and execution. It used to be so easy to know what everyone was working on. There was no communication overhead or process, and you felt comfortable giving anyone feedback and input on their work.

Remember when your team could conceive of a feature one week and ship it a few days later? When you didn't have to have so many meetings. When everyone just did whatever needed to get done.

For earlier engineers on the team, growth can feel overwhelming and confusing. What is their role now, especially if they don't want to be a manager? The burden of reviewing code and carrying the technical context for the team can feel unmanageable, tiring, and definitely not that joyful. They may wonder, “Am I even getting anything done at work anymore?”

You have a team of technically talented engineers that thrived in the smaller environment.

Now you want them to step up and lead.

You're counting on them to mentor and educate incoming new hires, to speak up with product opinions, to take initiative and handle the myriad things that can go wrong. You want them to show impeccable judgement in balancing speed with quality and feature work along with long-lasting systems.

The relentless pressure to move more quickly is a constant reminder that your team needs to hit certain milestones just to stay in the game.

You want to be able to depend on your team to build clarity and cross-functional alignment before embarking on large projects, to motivate engineers behind company goals, and to support and lean on each other as emerging leaders.

And you want to build a culture that supports all paths forward — whether that's into engineering management, or technical leadership, or architectural depth.

That's what we want for you, too.

“In just a few weeks, Edmond and Jean transformed fifteen Quip engineers into empowered leaders. After going through the program, the engineers spearheaded initiatives to improve team processes around new hire onboarding, product review, and code deployment. I also notice that my reports who went through the program are more comfortable broaching difficult topics with their teammates to build alignment. Even months later, I see the engineers self-organize at lunch to support one another as they propose solutions to the challenges facing our team. Edmond and Jean helped our engineers build a close community, discover a shared vocabulary for approaching interpersonal challenges, and practice wielding their influence to improve our team’s culture.”

Nikrad Madhi - Engineering Manager at Quip

“For each of my reports in the Co Leadership program this year, we designed strong alliances that enabled us to more deeply understand one another from a professional and personal perspective. The program helped each of them to take a step back and examine their career ambitions and how they might work toward them more intentionally — and, as their manager, I felt more empowered to help them to evaluate their progress toward those goals. At the end of the program, the team undertook initiatives that turned ideas into concrete action with a thoughtful group-architected proposal. We've been able to realize significant improvements to our engineering and product organization as a result.”

Lindsey Simon - Engineering Manager at Quip

The Co Leadership dream

We founded Co Leadership to transform engineers into leaders.

Co Leadership is unique in the combination of our decades of startup and tech company experience in Silicon Valley, our leadership coaching, and our co-creation to bring customized programs to your team.

We meet engineers where they are, and use the language and skillsets they already have to bridge the gap between engineering work to authentic and impactful leadership. Through demos, experiential practice, and case studies, we leverage what people already know about technical infrastructure, systems, and interfaces and apply it to relationships and communication.

Our dream is that the people who work in tech will live and work authentically according to their core values, because that's when they'll do their best work.

We dream that they will go to work feeling supported by their managers, tech leads, peers, and product managers. That they won't have to choose between a supportive manager, meaningful work, and a great team. We believe that focusing on the people first is by far the best way to get the best business results on product and engineering.

“This is not your typical training program! Others seem to be a long list of tactics divorced from real life. This workshop series shared useful tactics contextualized in self-awareness, with concrete actions our current and emerging engineering leaders could incorporate into their day-to-day work.”

Madeline Bermes - Head of Engineering Operations at Medium

“I work with a team that is extremely diverse in their level of experience and communication styles and struggled to find a leadership style that serves them all well. The Co Leadership workshop taught us better ways to communicate one-on-one and to align on values. By far the largest impact the workshop had was that it empowered a new group of people at Medium to change and improve things within the organization.”

Kyle Mahan - Tech Lead at Medium

Past Company Leadership Programs

Clients

Engineering Leadership Program

7-week intensive leadership program for 15 engineers, PMs, managers, and tech leads.

July - August 2018

Program consisted of immersive half-day workshops as well as ongoing leadership pods that met and provided accountability and support for biweekly leadership challenges. Participants gained tools around how to be explicit about their expectations of others; how to deliver feedback in a way that builds trust, improves performance, and provides opportunity for growth; and how to explicitly design and distribute shared team responsibilities and ensure that gaps get filled.

$1B+ revenue Silicon Valley company

Effective Technical Leadership

6-week leadership program for 24 current and emerging tech leads.

July - August 2018

Program consisted of immersive half-day workshops as well as ongoing leadership challenges to practice and deepen the learnings outside of the workshop environment. Engineers learned powerful skills for effective tech leadership including how to explicitly design their work relationships as alliances, prioritizing for team impact, and navigating cross-team dynamics.

Clients

Leadership Foundations

4-week leadership program for 15 engineering leaders.

January 2018

Program consisted of three half-day workshops paired with actionable next steps and challenges to deepen the learnings. Participants left empowered to lean into the unique superpowers they brought to the engineering team, equipped with powerful 1:1 tools to design relationships as alliances around what's important, and motivated and supported to notice and fill gaps at the organization that held the company back.

Email workshops@coleadership.com to learn more about our custom leadership programs.

“As a tech lead, I have struggled with deciding what to spend my time on. I have often felt that every minute not spent writing or reviewing code is an inappropriate use of time. I have tried to make sure that my plans are as perfect as possible before sharing them to reduce the amount of feedback. This often backfired.

The leadership program has helped to me to reach clarity on my role. I realized that I can bring more value to my team by focusing my energy on what I’m good at; for example, setting and communicating strategy. It also helped me to realize the value of understanding and acknowledging what is important to other people before creating a plan.”

Taylor McIntyre - Tech Lead at Dropbox

“I really enjoyed participating in this program. The interactive case driven nature taught me broadly applicable strategies for cross and within-team interactions. At the same time I also learnt concrete scripts that I could use to collaborate with co-workers to better align on shared goals.”

Akshay Bhat - Security Data Scientist at Dropbox

Custom Program Themes

We blend our unique coaching skills, decades of industry experience, and leadership development expertise to create customized programs that deliver on your team's leadership development needs in the shortest amount of time.

Leading Without Authority

Everyone is a leader. We all own critical things. How do you lead and get buy-in from the people around you when you don't have an explicit title or leadership role?

Building Cross-Team Alignment

Cross-team friction can lead to wasted energy, too many meetings, and unnecessary stress. How do you get the most important things out in the open sooner so that alignment gets built upfront?

Maximizing Long-Term Impact

The most successful people have clarity around their strengths, passions, and impact. How do you align what you're great at, what you're most excited about, and what creates the greatest team impact?

Managing Up

Getting things done isn't enough — the work also has to be aligned with business goals. How do you ensure that stakeholders and decision-makers stay aligned and avoid last-minute surprises?

Designing Shared Ownership

When people are empowered to take initiative, they step up and fill any gaps on the team. How do you design ownership of shared responsibilities so that people feel empowered and supported to take action?

Promoting a Feedback Culture

Many people shy away from giving each other the critical feedback necessary for higher performance. How do you frame feedback so that it is accepted as a gesture of trust and an opportunity for growth?

Communicating Expectations

Implicit expectations that go unmet lead to friction. How do you explicitly design and communicate the expectations in a working relationship to reduce team friction?

Building Trust Quickly

Trust is a key ingredient of high-performing teams that gel well. How do you intentionally accelerate the building of trust, so that it gets built in moments rather in years?

Motivating Personal Growth

When people are excited to learn and invest in themselves, they find more motivation and energy for work. How do you create experiences that create that hunger for growth?

“Going through the Co Leadership training with my coworkers was a powerful experience. We make up so many stories constantly about each other and operate based on those assumptions and stories without questioning them. The program helped to direct the dialog toward clearing any assumptions and misunderstandings rather than getting people's guards up to defend their actions. By the end of the program, we not only developed deeper understanding and relationships with each other, but also gained vocabulary and skill sets to identify and resolve some of the hardest challenges in our working relationships.”

Yang Su - Tech Lead at Quip

Let's explore how we can work together.

Leadership Experiences

Half-day or full-day immersive in-person leadership events. They're packed with actionable tools, frameworks, and experiential learning.

Leadership Programs

Custom, multi-week, cohesive leadership programs designed for teams. They create powerful, shared context and language and build lasting organizational change.

Team Offsites

Offsite facilitation and workshops for engineering teams or companies. They build connection, momentum, and alignment behind company strategy and goals.

Email workshops@coleadership.com to get started.