Scala school was started as a series of lectures at Twitter to prepare experienced engineers to be productive Scala programmers. Being a relatively new language, but also one that draws on many familiar concepts, we found this an effective way of getting new engineers up to speed quickly. This is the written material that accompanied those lectures. We have found that these are useful in their own right.
The problem is that leadership isn't about being the person with the answers, it's about being the person with the questions. You have to shift your mindset from answering questions to asking them, even when faced with questions.
Del had what he called "the Eleven Commandments" of improv, encompassed, more or less, by this list:
You are all supporting actors.
Always check your impulses.
Never enter a scene unless you are NEEDED.
Save your fellow actor, don`t worry about the piece.
Your prime responsibility is to support.
Work at the top of your brains at all times.
Never underestimate or condescend to your audience.
No jokes (unless it is tipped in front that it is a joke.)
Trust… trust your fellow actors to support you; trust them to come through if you lay something heavy on them; trust yourself.
Avoid judging what is going down except in terms of whether it needs help (either by entering or cutting), what can best follow, or how you can support it imaginatively if your support is called for.
When a project launches or an assignment wraps up, it's tempting to avoid the post-mortem meeting. Tempting because it feels like a downer, a place to identify mistakes, bury errors and mourn the passing of a project.
Perhaps it's more interesting to think of it as a pre-natal meeting instead… After all, the doors you just shut lead to open ones right down the road.