Translation of https://habr.com/ru/post/473034/
Friday is the most suitable day to finally dethrone your team lead. He would never quit this job voluntarily, after all. So you shouldn't leave him any choice. Lets see how to make him realize he isn't cut for this job!
It is common knowledge that every developer is suffering from impostor syndrome, which is, of course, totally justified. Team leads got it even worse, because out of impostor developer they became impostor managers. Team lead is already fluctuating on the edge between productivity and abyss of madness, don't miss the opportunity!
Ask them open-ended questions about newest technology changes. For example, "What did you like in recent Swift 5.1 update?". Catch them on dodging attempts and reveal the impostor. Let them panic and give up sleep, frantically reading all the latest news instead.
Ask them to add you in all of their code reviews so you can "learn from the best". Probably there won't be many PRs, so you should vocally propose your help to them on meetings and hint that everyone in the team should have equal commitment.
You must call them out on code style errors. Don't be shy, mention as many colleagues as you can in comments, so everyone can see that Akela missed his kill.
Team leads don't see true worth of their work, strike at that weak point. On the stand-up ask them about what they did recently. After stories about meetings and moving cards on boards, repeat question "And what you did?".
Tell them how you went to visit Avito office and seen fresh fruits there, free lunches at Yandex and how there was own barista at JetBrains. Ask when you will get something more than plain bagels and what are they doing about that. Let them feel personal responsibility and frustration.
Advice your colleagues to begin having interviews to learn their market worth. You can relay good vacancies yourself. They will inevitably come back with better offers and have a talk with team lead. Let team lead know that they are sitting on a powder keg.
Always cut in line before them in cafeteria. Being first to eat is alpha behavior. On the instinct level team lead will begin feeling himself beta, and beta can't lead the pack.
Organize hackathon and make a team with colleagues. When team lead will ask why they weren't invited, reply that Excel and Exchange developers weren't needed.
If team lead is working a lot on improvements of the team processes, tell him about theory of constraints and give them Goldratt's "The Goal" to read. Let them realize futility of non-bottleneck optimizations, because your team most probably isn't a bottleneck.
As soon as they realize pointlessness of those optimizations and cease them, start whining at retrospectives how everything in team is bad and nothing changes. Cognitive dissonance is the best way to ruin already unbalanced mind.
On the next 1:1 ask "Why is John a senior and I am not?". This question is difficult for most team leads. Probably they will tell something about experience and influence. Ask to convert that into a requirements checklist with transparent methods of their evaluation. This will break everyone.
If you are already senior developer, ask about your further career path. Every team lead should think about professional progression and development of his team, let that weigh on them as well.
Learn your colleagues wages and form a spreadsheet. Then arrive with pitchfork mob to team lead and ask to explain how is it so much different and how did he calculate that Peter is working better than Jane by 500 bucks.
Often discuss wages in general. Good option is to do it loud in public place and in presence of team lead.
Propose to implement skip level meetings. It's when you're meeting 1:1 with your team leads superior. Nothing is better than team lead desperately trying to lipread the meeting in transparent meeting room.
Start visiting team leadership meetups and conferences. Next day tell your team lead about all the cool techniques you heard from big guys like Uber or Google. Let team lead feel their incompetence due to absence of these practices.
Remember that your team lead was a developer once upon a time. Dig up his three year old commits and post in general chat for a laugh. Impostor syndrome needs constant fuel refills.
If your team lead is going to vacation, write them something like "When you get back, I'd like to talk..." or "I got another offer and I'm serious about that". Can't let them relax on vacation, instead of surfing they should contemplate loss of a team.
As often as you can share articles about transition from manager to a developer or burnout, adding "haha, good thing I made the right choice" to them.
Ask team lead about how your team is influencing company targets and what good you're bringing to the table. Preferably during daily stand-up. If they dodge, follow with a question about how can you measure that influence and determine if you are not in fact harmful to the company.
Stop highlighting serious problems on team retrospectives, use stickers like "rest more", "rename statuses on board" and "go to teambuilding". Let team lead think everything is going great, this will allow problems to surprise them!
Tell team lead at lunch that you envy their bravery. If developer is leaving company, they can find new job in a few days. But team lead from the side, of course, won't be taken anywhere, because both not in demand and can't prove own professional qualities.
Every team lead thinks they can write code. Ask them to do simple sprint critical task and prepare for a discussion at retrospective about why target wasn't met.
Thwart all team lead's attempts at implementing new work processes with a quote from Agile manifesto "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools".
Propose team lead to do a talk at some conference. Since he isn't actively developing anymore he won't be able to give talk on tech, and all management practices didn't change since Ancient Egypt.
Team leads tell themselves that their result is the team work result. Often remind them that this isn't the case and team does everything by itself.
Often make jokes about how your team lead is useless middleman and effective manager and irreversibly lost as a developer. They will laugh along with hidden pain in the eyes.
Exhibit less self-sufficiency and autonomy and don't believe all that bs about self-organizing teams. Let team lead waste all his day for micromanagement of every worker, that will help draining all their life force.
On next 1:1 ask team lead about what they like about their work. They probably won't reply, because it's physically impossible to enjoy such a job.
There is a simple lesson in this – enjoy your job and become a team lead only if you truly can answer a question from last paragraph. In that case none of these advice will work against you.
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