If you want to achieve anything bigger than yourself, you need others to play along. Even if people management isn’t your calling, knowing how to lead people is a hugely useful skill for anyone who wants to achieve something. Having tried, failed and succeeded in leading development teams in various ways, I want to share these three concepts that has been very useful.

I’ve always been on lookout for literature on leadership that fits 3 simple criteria: 1) Not based in ideology. 2) Some backing in data and research. 3) Directly applicable, not grand ideas or personal development plans. So far I’ve found three great concepts to master that I’ve found very useful: the SCARF model, Level 5 leadership and High Performance Teams.  There’s a lot of questionable material around these concepts online, so I’ve tried to pick a few articles as close to the original sources as possible.

The SCARF model: Before you can really work well together with anyone, you have to make them want to approach work rather than avoid it. It’s really that simple. The SCARF model tries to create a model based on very basic psychological principles of what is important to people to want to participate in something. It’s Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.  This is a very good article that I recommend to everyone:


Level 5 Leadership basically teaches humility with resolve. I’m not sure where it’s best to start, but here’s a few links. If you want to learn more, read Jim Collins’ book “From Good To Great”.


High Performance Teams is a very simple concept. It’s just a question of helping your team find the right way of working together, and gives you some specific elements to look for in your team:


There is so much more, of course.  What these articles can help you with is to start thinking along the 3 most important lines in people management: motivation and engagement, how to lead while listening and how to create a system in which your team can succeed.  Enjoy.


One thought on “3 hugely useful concepts for development team management

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.