Humans are sometimes very simple beings. We see a problem, and we rush to try and solve it. I’ve written in the past about the tendency to solve problems for our teams, instead of learning to provide them with guidelines, and it’s a big part in helping your organization gain autonomy, as I describe in The Tech Executive Operating System.

Nevertheless, there are other cases where we shouldn’t just rush into implementation mode, and that is when the problem might be better served by reframing it one level higher. These are cases where genuinely solving the problem in the best…


When I first started thinking about this topic, I felt that I was exaggerating how common it is. However, with time, I realized that this is somewhat of a natural phenomenon. There are two typical scenarios where I notice executives that seem to be in limbo. They are not taking the initiative when it comes to improving their organizations or coming up with plans. They are not actively making improvements or plans. They seem stuck in some sort of autopilot.

This is because somewhere in their minds, they treat their leadership as temporary. One type is when startup cofounders believe…


In a famous Sherlock Holmes tale, the fabled detective cracks the case by realizing that the dog didn’t bark at midnight as the crime happened. Therefore, he concluded that it was elementary: the dog knew the perpetrator. I regularly train my clients to be attuned to the quietness around them. Every post-mortem should include the question, “why didn’t the dogs bark?”

Your team likely consists of bright and talented people that you’ve put a lot of effort into hiring (and whom are paid copious amounts of money every month). It is likely that for every issue that is unfolding, someone…


A recurring theme I’ve heard a lot lately from tech executives in unicorns is that their management team is their weakest link. You feel like you-as the one running the show-have your act together and that your ICs are great. If only you could get your managers to do things correctly, you’d be thriving. Right?

There are logical reasons for why this is coming mainly from unicorns. That’s about the team size where even competent executives can no longer fill in for all the gaps in their organization. You can act as a crutch for only so long. …


We’re all pretty fatigued about “learnings from COVID,” but there’s one thing that I saw happening prior, and over the course of the last year, I believe it created a noticeable chasm between those who get leadership and those who don’t. I think that the pandemic, whether it made your team move to work-from-home or not, fleshed out those leaders who don’t grok their role. It is now far easier to spot people who are “going through the motions” without grasping the reasoning behind it.

For example, most managers and execs I talk to nowadays will say that they have…


I’m going to allow myself to talk about this problem because I was once one of these precious snowflake engineers. Acting like a snowflake hurts everyone involved. In my work with tech executives, I see this originating from sympathizing too much with your staff or a tendency to put your people on a pedestal because the market is crazy and you fear angering someone.

Nevertheless, this extra coddling has the bad effect of slowly degrading the R&D team’s ability to move rapidly and provide a decent ROI. Letting things go on like this might be easier right now, but that’s…


Any person that cares about coaching has to be familiar with the concept of a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset. When I first heard about it years ago, I had a genuine eureka moment-it instantly made me know myself better and realize how different issues in my past related to my mindset. If you’re working on coaching others or want your own coaching to be effective, you have to incorporate viewing things with a growth mindset.

Having dubbed my own mission as tripling impact-per-engineer with my clients, I have grown to view the growth mindset as one…


Over the past weeks, I’ve had a lot of talks, webinars, and podcast interviews (the launch of The Tech Executive Operating System is going well, thanks for asking!). I often talk about the magic that happens when you incorporate regular innovation into your team’s schedule. Unsurprisingly, I notice the same sorts of objections again and again from leaders all over the world and of teams of all sizes. They all seem to have the same knee-jerk response, full of incredulity, “you mean we should just let them do what they want??”

I have thoughts about tackling this objection in the…


CTOs and VPEs tend to come from a technical background, naturally. That means that some patterns of thought have been engraved in their mind. Sometimes those act like superpowers. For example, the critical thinking skills you gained learning how to debug a production issue effectively and pinpoint the culprit rapidly can often be translated to assessing issues of strategy or executive decisions.

Nevertheless, that technical background can have a counterproductive effect on our ability to operate as executives. The habits of decoupling, specifying APIs, encapsulation, and abstraction are great for a codebase but less effective at directing the day-to-day actions…


Having had the opportunity to work with dozens of teams and companies globally, I’ve spent quite some time considering what seems to set the best ones apart. Given that my personal mission is to create world-class engineering teams, knowing how to achieve that is a prerequisite to reliably replicating them.

I believe that the extraordinary teams around are not those where every single engineer is extremely senior and wields every keyboard shortcut their IDE supports effortlessly. Obviously, these can help, but there’s a clear cap to how fast you can type away on your keyboard. My realization is that the…

Aviv Ben-Yosef

Tech Executive Consultant, I help create autonomous teams that deliver @ https://avivbenyosef.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store