Sometimes the greatest way to say something…..

At the beach. I and my children are creating our sand fortress, with the sea in the background

… to say nothing at all

I love to talk all things testing and quality with anyone who will listen. I’ve spent time on the wonderful Testers’ Hangout, on various community forums, on a new YouTube panel the 9 out of 10 Testers and with my podcasting friends, the Testing Peers.

Talking is one thing, but what about doing?

I have been thinking about what ‘lead’ means. If ever there was a word meant for those of us in software, this is it……I mean, how many different definitions exist for this word?
It’s a verb, a noun and an adjective!

We have ‘lead’ in job titles, we look at industry experts as leaders, it is a really common term.

I’ve spoken in the past about how I believe that many of us are called to be leaders, not necessarily or explicitly in terms of hierarchy, but in terms of those with integrity, purpose and the power to bring others on their journey with them – sometimes called influence.

What does it mean to me – what do I aspire for it to look like?

I came up with a mnemonic: LEAD (easy to remember, no?)

The opportunity arose to talk about this back in March’s 9 out of 10 Testers stream on Leadership.

The clip can be found here.

The transcript reads as follows.

L is for learning.

Always be continuously learning.

Never sitting back and thinking I know everything, I shall invite you to come and sit at my learning tree and now teach you everything.

No. I know that I need to so that I can help others.

E is for enriching.

Making things better.

That doesn’t need to be about people, or anything.

Just make things better, that’s the motivation for people [like us] in [software] quality [roles].

A is for availability.

I don’t want to be a blocker.

I don’t want people to be waiting on me to do stuff.

I want people to know that they can come to me and I want people, hopefully, to be available to me.

D is for Do[ing].

The most important one.

Do the things you say.

Lead by example.

Don’t just say stuff [without substance].


What do you think? What would you change?

Blog post title lyrics from: Say something– by Justin Timberlake featuring Chris Stapleton.

Find all the songs from my blog posts at this Spotify playlist.

4 responses to “Sometimes the greatest way to say something…..”

  1. Love it!

    I’ll add to make it LEADER 🙂

    Empower – this builds off of availability ‘I don’t want people to be waiting on me to do stuff.’ – but I want to empower the team to think and make decisions without me (i.e. leveraging the team to think and make decisions for themselves)

    Respect – this is just generally being a good human, but goes deeper to respecting who people are, respecting team members time and ideas (be on time for meetings and be fully attentive), and treat them the way you would want to be treated.


      • Good here!

        I’ll definitely be using this as well and point people here. The more I think about ‘enriching’ I’m so in love with it. It’s not a word I would have come up with on my own but something that really resonates with me.


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