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Leaders put others first

We fully embrace the concept of servant leadership.

PortSwigger leadership

For us, having designated leaders is not about defining a hierarchy, showing who is in charge, or elevating anyone's status. Our leaders don't make all the decisions or always get their own way. Forget the traditional organizational chart. Our leaders aren't at the top of a pyramid. If anything, our leaders sit underneath their team supporting them.

Even though we do have designated leaders, leadership at PortSwigger is shared and contextual. Individuals on teams will naturally play a leadership role in particular areas, depending on their skills and interests and responsibilities, and these might overlap with those of the designated team leader. And because we avoid silos, this fluidity extends across teams: coaching, feedback, and challenge can come from anyone across the company. Everyone at PortSwigger can demonstrate leadership and play an active leadership role in areas where they're able to.

PortSwigger leadership

Leaders mentor and support their team, solve their problems, develop their skills, care about their wellbeing, listen to their perspectives, and help them to deliver their best. The leader is the team coach, and the leader is only successful if their team is successful.

Forget command and control. Instead, our leaders help their team to draw out ideas, form a consensus, and reach decisions together for the right reasons. They will often facilitate discussions, occasionally adjudicate disagreements, and very seldom pull rank to drive through a decision. Leaders will often change their own mind, based on the reasoned arguments of others.

Our leaders share information freely with everyone. They encourage people to ask questions and think for themselves. They give their people freedom to fail, and when they do fail, support them in learning the lessons. When the team succeeds, the leader deflects praise onto their people, since they earned it. Our leaders take every opportunity to celebrate success and achievement with everyone at PortSwigger.