I am a developer working with small organization from last two years. I have completed some successful projects and organization believe on my technical skill.

Now I get nominated for Team leader position, So how can convince them that I can lead a team ?
What skills I have to show besides technical stuff ?

Any help will be appreciated.

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  • 1
    I am also interested in this answer, as a person of technical savvy, but of leadership disaster. I have tried to learn to lead, but end up in trifles. The leaders I appreciate the most... have a quiet confidence, reserved judgement, and an even keel nature. Hope that helps. Nash – Jack Stone Jun 12 '12 at 6:41
  • Don't have time to give you a full answer, but for me this was a useful read: 5whys.com – stralsi Jun 12 '12 at 7:47
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    Convince the team first. – quant_dev Jun 12 '12 at 8:03

You need people skills, including communication, empathy, time management, delegation etc. Technical skills are actually not necessary to lead developers, although of course it doesn't hurt if you have them. But your technical skills alone won't make you a good team lead. And most likely you won't have the time to keep them up to date, so expect them to slowly but surely get rusty, which means you will need to rely more and more on the expertise of your team members.

IMHO probably one of your greatest challenges (at least initially) will be delegation of tasks. So far you have managed to solve problems yourself, based on your tech skills. Now you will need to learn to delegate tasks to others, and trust that they will do a good job. Some of them may not be as capable as you (think you are :-), still often it is better to delegate to them, rather than trying to do everything yourself. You are now responsible for the work of the whole team, not just a specific tasks, so you must balance to have enough time for the whole team.

As a team lead, you probably need to plan ahead a lot more than you used to as a developer. And on various levels too, for a whole team, not just your own activities.

And last but not least: you most likely need to communicate a lot more than before, with a lot of other people (managers of various sorts, clients, ...) who are not developers. You need to learn to communicate with them effectively, i.e. using a language they can understand. That includes talking business speak to managers who don't understand technical jargon, i.e. focusing on the value a specific feature brings to users, and the costs, rather than the technical details of implementing it.

An absolutely recommended reading for this is Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (Second Edition).


Team leader is first and foremost a role, not a position.

You shouldn't be worrying about convincing the management in the first place, you should be leading the team, which in turn demonstrates that you can do that. You can be the leader regardless of your formal title. If you do lead the team, then you may eventually get a new title to your business card :-)


Leading a team could have different meanings. You may want to start listing the responsibilities of such a role and demonstrate to yourself first, then to management why you think you can do a good job at it.

For example responsibilities may include:

  • Plan one or more projects.

  • Provide estimates for task and project durations.

  • Ability to identify risk and work with the team to mitigate risks.

  • Can do multiple things in the day (Time management).

  • Ability to get to the real cause of an issue (not necessarily technical stuff).

  • Knowledge of how to judge deliverable and general quality standards.

  • Knowledge of how to prioritize deliverable for yourself and for the team.

Add to the above the set of personal skills required to for "People Skills" that @Péter Török, mentioned above.

With all these things, you can put together a good discussion with management and you could give a strong statement about why you can do well.

Personally, I think that not all technical people are cut for management role. You need to believe in the role and you need to dedicate significant time of your day doing things that does not add value to your programming skills. Make sure you want to do this!

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