I did a post the other day where I spoke about “technical leadership” and a few people asked me to define just what that is, so here we are.

The principle of any type of leadership in business is that you need to have someone “find the path” to where – strategically – the business needs to get to. The others in the business then follow that person who finds the path. Ideally, you want that person to optimise and find the “easiest path” to the “best” place.

The “best” place in this context involves interpretation of the business’ objectives/strategy within medium and long-term settings.

What the business is trusting the technical leader to set things up such that when the business needs to do a thing, all the pieces are in place or very nearly in place to allow that thing to happen.

The reason why this is hard is that there’s only one person who understands how to align all these technical pieces, and it’s – usually – the CTO. Taking responsibility for aligning all of these pieces behind the scenes, cognisant of the broader business strategy – that’s the definition of “technical leadership”.