Ready to become the leader your team has always dreamed of?

No one wants to be the heavy-handed, nit-picking, by-the-book manager.  Yet that's all that 90% of management books teach.

What if you could lead with inspiration instead of micromanaging your team into mindless drones who curse you behind your back?

Ask yourself:

Would production grind to a halt if you took a month’s vacation?

Are you exhausted trying to keep up with everything?

Do you have to be in the middle of every decision?

Do you have to push every project forward or it goes nowhere?

Does your team endlessly debate new technologies, without shipping on-time?

Are you coding because you don't know how else to get things done?

Do you know your team's capable of being great, but you're out of ideas?

If this sounds familiar, I've got news for you:

You're dipping dangerously close to being a Pointy-Haired Boss (PHB.)


The problem is that you're managing when you should be leading.

Pause for a minute and consider the difference.  Managing applies to things, which is why we say that we "manage our money", "manage our time", "manage our code", "manage our website content", etc.

No one ever said, "I need to lead my money better."  That's just silly.


But you must learn to lead people.

Yes, many bosses (micro)manage their programmers. And, for a while, it can even seem like it’s working. However, it’s an outdated practice born of an assembly line and factory management that was never meant as a means of developing software in the 21st century.

Your team is already motivated… but you’re killing their mojo. They can do a lot more, but something’s holding them back. They don’t offer ideas, take risks, or dream big. Instead, they complain, play it safe and wait to be told what to do.


Managing your programmers actually turns them into ‘code monkeys’.
Treating motivated, educated, experienced programmers like code-monkeys is as absurd as asking Steve Jobs to fix your MacBook, or Picasso to paint your house.


You're not alone.
I've been a pointy-haired boss.  I never wanted to be one, but it was an easy trap to fall into. I was a micromanaging boss for years because it’s how I was managed, and how my boss expected me to manage others. Even when it felt wrong, I still kept doing it, because I didn’t know any other way.

The Software Leader Seminar starts September 2018

This is a twelve-week, hands-on tech leadership course:

  • 2-3 short videos lessons per week
  • Hands-on leadership activities to do with your team
  • Live Q&A time where you can get help.
  • Discussions through Slack and structured forums
  • You can participate from any timezone on the planet.
  • You can apply it within any process, from agile, #NoEstimates or (gasp!) waterfall.
  • You can apply it to any type of Development / QA / DevOps / Design team.
  • You can discuss ideas and get help with our slack channel
  • Everyone starts together, but you finish at your own pace

What if you knew how to lead?

  • Stop (micro)managing your team immediately
  • Identify your default leadership style (and use other styles when appropriate)
  • Build loyalty and trust within your team
  • Build an environment where everyone can contribute to problem-solving
  • Effectively coach, rather than command, your team
  • Continually improve your team through 'leadership experiments'
  • Help poor performers improve with honest, productive feedback
  • Improve your work by receiving candid feedback
  • Teach your team how to self-improve with structured learning cycles
  • Energize your team by aligning their efforts with outcomes
  • Re-claim the joy of leading high-performing software teams!

Who's this for?

Software Managers • Tech Leads • Team Leads • Programmers • Analysts • VPEs • Project Managers • ScrumMasters • Engineering Managers• Digital Producers • Directors • Owners • Software Architects • Senior Programmers • and more

Course Overview

  • Week 1: What is leadership?
  • Week 2: The leadership lens
  • Week 3: Creating problem-solving teams
  • Week 4: Creating teams that learn
  • Week 5: Making it safe and fair
  • Week 6: Learning to trust your team
  • Week 7: Improving your team through feedback
  • Week 8: Improving yourself through feedback
  • Week 9: Coaching your team
  • Week 10: Avoiding paternal dependency
  • Week 11: Aligning to value
  • Week 12: Putting it all together


Register for Software Leader Seminar

Starts September 24, 2018.

Only ONE seats available.

Price: $697 per person.

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Pay for a group, or pay by invoice.

Want to register two or more?  Need an invoice to submit?  Want to pay by check?

Use the form below and we'll get right back to you.

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The "You gotta be happy!" Guarantee

If you decide this isn't for you, for any reason, I'll immediately give 100% of your money back, no questions asked.  I want you to be happy with your decision.  No questions asked.

Sounds good, but I have questions.

I'm too busy to put something new into practice.

It might seem like you’re too busy to take another class, another training, or implement another practice, but that’s short-sighted.  It’s not difficult to imagine how busy you will be if your team can't deliver on time. If you’re already “too busy”, building a high-performance environment is one of your most important initiatives.

I'm not a good enough manager to inspire people to be loyal.

Nah!  If you can learn to code (a completely foreign thing to humans!) you can learn to relate to another human being.  This isn’t rocket science, and like any skill, it can be learned with a bit of practice.

I'll be unable to put these ideas into practice where I work.

I have never found an organization where these practices could not be implemented, from agencies, to start-ups, to enterprises.  Like anything worth doing, it will require effort on your part, but you will not be alone.

How do I know you are qualified to teach this?

I've been hiring and leading software teams for 16 years at global enterprises, start-ups and my own software company.  I've helped hundreds of managers retain their most valuable employees and become the leaders their team deserves.

I don't have the authority to make changes needed to keep my developers happy.

Your boss doesn’t want to see turnover either, so he’s also motivated to keep your best people.  We’ll explore how you can work with upper management to create the kind of environment your people need to be happy and productive.

The best developers know what they are worth, and are always looking for their next job.

This isn’t true.  Everyone finds changing jobs stressful, and developers only do it when they don’t believe their current job will meet their career and emotional goals.  They might tell you it’s about money, but it rarely is. 

If they are leaving, it's because they want a more productive environment.  This is what motivates them.

Will this work in any timezone?

Yes.  You can read/watch the lesson at your convenience, and participate in discussions anytime.  I will rotate the time office hours take place to support people around the world.

"I require every new manager that reports to me to sign up for Marcus's newsletter, and often discuss it in staff meetings. Leadership with a capital "L" is a real part of the discipline I now bring to the coaching experience with my team.

I continue to work one-on-one with Marcus to this day, and I hope I will always be able to lean on him and dialog about challenges.

He is worth way more than you can ever pay him."

Andrew Coven, Director of Content Acquisition Engineering, Netflix

Who is Marcus Blankenship?

Hi, I’m Marcus Blankenship and was a Team Lead, Software Manager, and CTO for the better part of nineteen years. I’ve spoken at conferences, led workshops on technical leadership around the US, coached CTOs, and helped companies like Box, Netflix, JELD-WEN, PayPal and others create high-performing software teams and grow effective technical leaders.

I’ve lead software teams which build products that delivered over $1 BILLION in sales, spanned six continents, and included hundreds of people. These days I routinely command an effective hourly rate of $2000+ per hour.

The unconscious acceptance of (micro)management as the only option for leading technical teams is a collective hallucination that literally keeps me up at night. In fact, I dream of a future where every programmer thinks, “I have the best boss in the world!”

Care to join me? You’ll be glad you did (and your team will thank you!)

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