Tech | Tech Management Career Track

Poste / Role
Tech | Engineering
Type de ressource / Resource Type
Carrière | Career Path
🇫🇷 / 🇺🇸


The Lead role is not a point on the ladder, but a set of responsibilities that any team member may take on once they reach the senior level. Leads don’t necessarily have to be the most senior members of a team or the most experts, but they need strong communication, project management and pedagogical skills.

A Lead will usually spend :

  • 40% of their time making individual contributions
  • 20% of their time on project scoping and design
  • 20% of their time on project management (including communication and meeting with other teams)
  • 20% on mentoring or managing other team members (usually five or less)

The Lead is learning how to be a strong project manager, and as such, they are scaling themselves by delegating work effectively without micromanaging. They focus on the whole team’s productivity and strive to increase the team’s work product. They are empowered to make independent decisions for the team and learn how to handle difficult management and leadership situations. They are also learning how to partner effectively with other areas of the business.

The Lead role may or may not include people management, but as it does, the Lead should manage these team members according to the following management standards:

  • Weekly one-on-one(s)
  • Regular feedback on career growth, progression towards goals, areas for improvement, and praise as warranted
  • Working with reports to identify areas for learning and helping them grow in these areas via project work, external education, or additional mentoring

Main skills

  • Domain knowledge → highly knowledgeable about specific elements and services that are relevant to their area of responsibility
  • Project management and planning → solves ambiguous problems and breaks them down into smaller iterative steps for team members.
  • Communication → communicates the high level of their work to their Manager.
  • Time management → manages their own time effectively, prioritises their workload well, is aware when blocking others and unblocks accordingly.
  • Mentoring / Teaching → maintains documentation on things they know the most, teaches others and increases the overall expertise of the team.


  • Lead can be a temporary position a senior team member can take for a specific project, before going back to being an individual contributor. The Lead role can also be taken in turn by several senior team members.
  • Leads might sometimes feel that their project management or mentoring responsibilities are a waste of time compared to their contributions. They need to understand that even if they’re not planning on becoming managers, they have to show leadership given their experience and expertise levels.


A Manager is responsible for directly managing six to eight team members, sometimes more if they have Leads in the team. They are accountable for their team's performance and the well-being and personal development of individual team members. They ensure team members have clear goals and help them understand the company’s wider mission and vision.

A Manager will usually spend :

  • 40% of their time developing talents (more if they have to recruit extensively)
  • 40% improving the team's performance
  • 20% communicating with upper management and other teams

Managers spend less time on individual contributions but hold responsibility for identifying roadblocks to success for their team and clearing these roadblocks. They are also capable of identifying the most high-value projects and keeping their team focused on these projects. They can also identify headcount needs for the team, and recruit to fill these needs.

Leaders in this role should be comfortable managing team members with different skill sets from their own. They communicate expectations clearly to all team members, solicit and deliver individual feedback frequently (not just during reviews). They abide by the same management standards than Leads:

  • Weekly one-on-one(s)
  • Regular feedback on career growth, progression towards goals, areas for improvement, and praise as warranted
  • Working with reports to identify areas for learning and helping them grow in these areas via project work, external education, or additional mentoring

In addition to strong management skills, Managers clearly communicate the timeline, scope and risks to other teams, and lead significant initiatives on clear timelines.

Main skills

  • Project management and planning ⭐️⭐️ → plans projects in advance, routes work to the people best suited to succeed, helps prevent / manage blockers
  • Communication ⭐️⭐️ → explains complex concepts and delivers difficult messages clearly, communicates their area’s role within the larger mission of the company.
  • Delegation and empowerment → builds teams which can run reasonably autonomously with high-level guidance and intervention, creates a feedback culture.
  • Coaching → helps team members identify and achieve personal development goals.
  • Hiring and retention → recruit and retain top individual contributors.


  • The transition into management is not a promotion. This role represents a different and parallel career path.
  • When becoming Manager, team members will have to abandon the problem-solving mentality that made them successful so far and start empowering their reports (even if this means using a different approach than their own or taking more time on a task).
  • There is a difference between mentoring and coaching: mentoring is experience sharing (“here is how you should do it”), coaching is empowerment (“how would you do it?”).


A Director is responsible for a significant area of their department. They manage four to six Managers, giving them enough time to coach, align with stakeholders, and invest in their organisation. Directors’ impact affects many teams, many customers, and/or a percentage of revenue. They are responsible for creating high-performance, high-velocity organisations, measuring and iterating processes as they grow and evolve. They are the leaders for recruiting, headcount management and planning, career growth, and division training. As necessary, Directors will manage vendor relationships and participate in the budgeting process.

A Director will usually spend :

  • 20% of their time working with senior leadership and/or the executive team to align the division’s team vision, mission, and strategy with the company as a whole
  • 30% of their time communicating the vision, mission and strategy within their teams
  • 20% of their time budgeting for their projects, both from a people allocation standpoint and from a financial standpoint
  • 30% of their time coaching their direct reports and/or individual team members if necessary

Directors are responsible for creating and growing the next generation of leadership and management talent in their division, helping them learn how to balance expertise and people leadership. They are obsessed with creating high-functioning, engaged and motivated organisations, and own retention goals in their organisation.

Directors are strong leaders and set the example for cross-functional collaboration between their department and other company areas. This collaboration aims to create a strategic and tactical roadmap that tackles both business needs, efficiencies, and revenue.

Directors are very strong communicators and can simplify complex concepts to explain them to non-technical partners, take business direction and present it to their teams to inspire and guide them. Directors help create a positive public presence for the company and can sell the company and their area to potential candidates.

Main skills

  • Strategic thinking → thinks and plans quarters ahead, improves teams’ capabilities by defining and driving top areas for development
  • Project management and planning ⭐️⭐️⭐️ → budgets in advance headcounts and relevant area expenses,
  • Communication ⭐️⭐️⭐️ → communicates their area’s role to the whole organisation, shares company vision and goals to their teams, and represents the company in public speaking.
  • Delegation and empowerment ⭐️⭐️ → inspires their team, identifies and promotes internal talents.
  • Coaching ⭐️⭐️ → works with relevant Managers to help individual team members perform and grow
  • Hiring and retention → recruit and retain leaders, helps managers in their teams recruit top talents.


A VP is responsible for a whole department (engineering, product, marketing...), or a division (Europe Sales, Data Science, Platform…). While they are technically credible and know the details of what team members work on, their time is spent safeguarding their team's health, hiring world-class talents, and putting them in the best position to succeed. They own the delivery of their department’s commitments and are always looking to improve productivity. They must also coordinate across departments to accomplish collaborative goals.

VPs are accountable for a particular part of the strategy. For example the Head of Product would be accountable for the organisation that builds a product or suite of products that turn over large portions of the entire company’s revenue. While Directors may be spending their time operationally on how to reach the division’s objectives, VPs typically spend more time on what those pieces should be in the first place, and how they affect the company’s bottom line.

VPs spend time thinking about what and why, rather than how. They are often part of the discussion around company and department strategy since it affects the direction of their organisation. It’s a senior management job where VPs lean on their domain expertise to contribute to the conversation. They also spend time thinking about what the division should be working on in 3, 6, 9, 12 months.

Depending on the company, the relationship between a VP and their CxO can be very different. Usually, VPs focus on process and delivery, while C-level focus on strategy. In some cases CXOs could be very hands-on and overlap with their VP, while in other cases CxOs only focus on long-term strategy, representing the department with customers, board members and at industry events.

Main skills

  • Strategic thinking ⭐️⭐️ → identifies both visible and less obvious problems across domains and prioritises accordingly, formulates scaling predictions and plans to C Suite.
  • Business acumen ⭐️⭐️ → clearly understands the company’s financial objectives and business model, can translate business objectives into department objectives.
  • Communication ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ → communicates the long-term vision & mission for the company and their area, regularly speaks at industry events and conferences
  • Coaching ⭐️⭐️⭐️ → anticipates and mitigates people problems long before they occur and coaches leaders to do the same.

Delegation and empowerment

⭐️⭐️⭐️ → creates high performance environment within their area, makes data-driven decisions, knows when to step back to build capability rather than directly driving initiatives.