Should your senior leadership team be diving into technical details?
A lot of times people say that your thought process and idea-generating part of brain will be subconsciously limited or throttled down if you get into the low-level technical details that your job does not require. Yes, there is something to be extrapolated out of this, but this is not entirely true.
Let’s use product managers/owners as an example. Nobody should be stopping you from dreaming and coming up with requirements and direction that may not look closely feasible. That’s ok; this exercise is definitely needed and that’s how a lot of great ideas were kick-started; however, kick-starting an idea is not enough. Sometimes you are required to come up with something that is a short to mid-term dream but very feasible and in order to achieve that, as the product manager you would need to understand the low-level technical details.
The same applies to our senior leaders. As a leader you need to be occasionally diving deep, figuring things out and coaching your team, and then surfacing to the top and making executive decisions.
This reminds me a bit of the show “Under the cover boss”. It should not happen as it happens in that show, but you understand my point. The bosses that roll up their sleeves when necessary create an open culture that allows employees to relate to them better and feel more open to share the information. I have been in a number of situations when members of my senior leadership team stayed with me at work in the early morning hours helping me out in the last stretch of critical projects. I even remember the 24–30 hour shifts when we got support from leaders several levels above us. They were there to listen, to understand and provide input when needed.
Going back to the original question. Should these senior leaders be diving into technical details when necessary? There is no right or wrong answer but in my personal experience, I appreciated the technical and moral support from the senior leadership team in the 11th hour of our projects.