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I am a team lead, in a company that may be a little "disfunctional" in its organization. There is a separation between development team(at least some team members, but that has been increasing), and management - One does not trust in the other.

Last week, a couple of team members got to go in a tech conference, and they used the time there to take interviews and assignments for jobs. One of those team members was there and is a little close to me. He told me that, and I shared this piece of information with this new manager director. The reason I shared, is because from my perspective, I like to work there, and I don't intend to leave the job now. At the same time, I am responsible for sending this people to conferences and trainings, by knowing they want to leave, I don't want invest more on them, and I felt I should let the management know, and then we should keep an eye on them

As a result of that, this manager called out the team members that spend the time in the interviews and told them, there was this "rumor" that they were doing interviews.

As a final big result of the confusion, those team members, have the feeling that I cheated on them - I should not have exposed them. Due to this separation. I have feeling, that the whole team now does not trust in me anymore. For them the only person who could have told the management was me, because as a team leader, and old member, I told. Which is true.

I want to be totally honest here: I see changes happening in the company pretty fast, and there are some frustrated people, and frustrations in both side(management, development). I believe this will change even more. I myself, am ok with the company, and I am hiring people for my team, and want to continue.

However, by seeing people demotivated, and seeing that the company has been trying to improve things, If they want to leave, and if they are not happy, and spend their working time, doing interviews, and other stuff - I really want them to leave.

Question: Am I being ethical? How to be professional in this whole situation?

  • Reduce this to a single clear, answerable question. This is much too large to hold reader's attention, is rather scattershot, and asserts unsupported assumptions ("To me they are preparing the company for selling it.") which we can't work with. Cut it by at least 50% and pick one point to address. – keshlam Dec 4 '16 at 13:27
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    "Is there a place for a technical leader in an agile team?" Why didn't you google on your own for the answer? "Team leads, or tech leads, usually shift into a team member or ScrumMaster role, depending on the skills and attributes of the individual." mountaingoatsoftware.com/training/roles/team-lead Your failure to google indicates to me that you need to thoroughly educate yourself on Agile because there is certainly no room on Agile teams for tech leads who have no clue what Agile is. You have to pay your dues. Having said that, I don't agree 100% with the Mountain Goat statement. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 4 '16 at 13:42
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    This is more like it: 1. 'At a Google office the other day, I heard someone say "Tech Leads make all the decisions at Google." They also make the decisions here at Assembla. If you do continuous Agile development, they will make decisions in your organization.'; 2. 'What about Scrum Masters – aren’t they an essential part of Agile? I say no, not at all. You may want to employ a consultant with skills in coaching and “removing impediments.” But they can’t take the responsibility to delivery your product. A tech lead will.' continuousagile.com/unblock/tech_leads.html – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 4 '16 at 13:49
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    "One of those team members was there and is a little close to me. He told me that, and I shared this piece of information with this new manager director. The reason I shared, is because from my perspective, I like to work there, and I don't intend to leave the job now. At the same time, I am responsible for sending this people to conferences and trainings, by knowing they want to leave, I don't want invest more on them, and I felt I should let the management know, and then we should keep an eye on them" I sure would hate to be your report. Why shouldn't I think that you are a snitch,and a spy? – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 4 '16 at 13:53
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    If I were a team lead and members of my team started to tell me what they are interviewing, I'd stop the conversation right there and I'd tell them that they shouldn't tell me stuff that I don't want to know. First of all, it's their exclusive confidential business and second, I want to preserve deniability if management asks me if I knew anything. I am not a management tool and I don't want anyone to force me into turning myself into one by their failing to keep their mouths shut about their own confidential business. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 4 '16 at 14:07
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Last week, a couple of team members got to go in a tech conference, and they used the time there to take interviews and assignments for jobs. One of those team members was there and is a little close to me. He told me that, and I shared this piece of information with this new manager director.

Am I being ethical? How to be professional in this whole situation?

If I understand correctly, you ratted out members of your own team to your managing director, including one that is "close to you". Big mistake.

Yikes. No wonder development doesn't trust management. One of their team leaders cannot be trusted. And the managing director stupidly called them out on the information he got.

It's one thing to conclude that you believe some team members are leaving, and you don't want to invest more in them. It's another to run to the managing director with this information. Now all of your team has learned what you did - word spreads quickly. You have demonstrated that you cannot be trusted.

I'm not sure how you can expect anyone to be honest with you any longer. Unless you were given explicit permission to tell the managing director, you have betrayed their trust.

Going forward will be difficult, but you'll need to somehow show them that you can be trusted. Look for opportunities to do this.

You might consider apologizing to your team, indicate that you messed up, and tell them that you certainly won't do it again. Don't say this unless you mean it.

  • I guess what we are getting at, is that I screwed, and there's not much I can do. Just wait the time goes, and see what changes. My plan of action is just to be reserved, and do my duties, without trying to help any side. Just focus on my goals/tasks. – Vampire Dec 4 '16 at 15:51
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    @JoeStrazzere - Au contraire. The OP has demonstrated that he can be trusted. Trusted to act as a stooge of management and rat out to management on the members of his team - I couldn't think of a more explicit demonstration, and I do have a pretty lively imagination. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 4 '16 at 15:54
  • Thanks @JoeStrazzere. Can we go to a quick chat? I know the question I am going to ask you is a bit silly, and definitely I have already studied about leadership - What is leadership for you? – Vampire Dec 4 '16 at 15:56
  • Hi @JoeStrazzere - One question for you, if I had told the management, and the management had done nothing. Would that be unethical? Would that be a mistake? Because that then shows me if I made a mistake or not. – Vampire Dec 4 '16 at 16:26
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    You aren't one yet, @testa. Learn from this mistake, and you might become one, in time. – keshlam Dec 4 '16 at 17:05

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