I think engineering leadership today is all about having enough technical credibility that the team respects you.
And an extension of that is the ability to have empathy for what they are going through.
You don’t need to be the super technical genius on the team.
No tech leads or individual contributors want you to solve all of their problems and leave them with the grunt work.
They want you to frame and prioritize business problems/strategy and leave the rewarding work of overcoming them to the team.
They want you to set a direction and ensure they don’t show up every week to changes in that direction.
They expect you to understand the major components of the system and speak intelligently about it even if you’re not hands on with every single detail.
They wanted to be trusted to do the job.
They expect you to understand problems in the code that other executives don’t understand.
If a tech lead comes to you in confidence to discuss something about the state of the systems you better listen.
If you screw this up enough times they will stop coming to you, work around you and you will only find out about critical problems when it’s too late.