AGP Ep 11: Ted Tencza—Deeply technical + Desire for positive impact = Formula for a great CTO

by | Dec 13, 2016

Ted Tencza is the CTO for finder.com.au Australia’s biggest and fastest growing financial and utility deal finder.
Ted started his career as a software developer and wanted to make a bigger positive impact. But he stayed deeply connected to technology and other skilled professionals.
Listen in to hear how this combination (tech + impact) supported his impressive career and accomplishments.

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11 + 8 =

“You don’t need to be a jerk to be successful” —Ted Tencza
“As technical people, we are not supposed to good at leadership. I wanted to do what people said couldn’t be done” —Ted Tencza
“Don’t tell people what to do, tell people what needs to be accomplished and let them surprise you on how they get there” —Ted Tencza

Show notes

Credits

Topics/Transcript

Topics discussed

  • Transitioning from technical role to leadership
  • Interviewing for technical positions
  • How to not be a pointy-haired boss: trust people as adults
  • Working with distributed teams

Questions asked

  • 3:15 what got you into technology in the first place?
  • 6:00 what was it about the commercial sector that attracted you?
  • 6:55 what drew you to leadership?
  • 20:33 is there anything else you think needs to be said about not to be a pointy-haired boss?
  • 24:16 how did you have that difficult conversation of letting someone go?
  • 27:10 do you enjoy leadership?
  • 34:12 how was your experience moving to Australia from the US?

Quotable

  • 0:50 “You don’t need to be a jerk to be successful”—Ted Tencza
  • 7:42 “I wanna give it a go and if I’m wrong, I’m wrong, and I’ll move on from there”—Ted Tencza
  • 7:54 “ As technical people, we are not supposed to good at leadership. So I wanted to do what people said couldn’t be done”—Ted Tencza
  • 18:00 “Don’t tell people what to do, tell people what needs to be accomplished and let them surprise you on how they get there”—Ted Tencza
  • 23:56 “If you let the underperformer continue, your good performer is gonna get tired of doing two jobs”—Ted Tencza
  • 28:33 “I like the interviewing process, not for interviewing itself but trying to be good enough at it to only let the right people into the team”—Ted Tencza
  • 43:29 “You’re judged not only on how well you do, but how well the people you train will do”—Ted Tencza

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