Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Stop bashing corporate leaders

  • Pictures of Leaders with angry red faces
  • "Leadership doesn't get it" blog posts
  • "Greedy Board Member" blog posts
  • Posts about "foolish management"

... the list goes on ...

Do you publicly humiliate the management or leadership of an organization you work for (employee or contract) and then later complain you can't get time with leadership or wonder why you can't connect with them?

If so.... From a purely effectiveness level... If you publicly mock the leadership of an organization, you can't really expect to have a trusting, open relationship with the same people you just mocked. 

How would you feel if the leaders started publicly mocking you?

Something to think about next time you decide you want to post a "let's poke fun at the leaders" message.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A misunderstanding about contracts in an agile context

The Agile Manifesto contains the following words...

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

I recently experienced a person suggesting that as agilists, we can sign contracts and then just do what feel is right and that every decision after signing should still be a negotiation. 

There are ways to make flexible contracts. I have seen contracts designed to specifically require collaboration. I have seen contracts that get regularly re-negotiation based on changing needs. 

My preference is to work with a minimal contract (or with pure collaboration if that is possible).

There is always the option to not sign a contract you cannot live with.

Signing a contract with the intent of ignoring it is not collaboration. I would argue that it is very disrespectful to the other party involved. 

I have a different word for someone who signs a contract with the explicit intent of ignoring the terms... and it isn't Agilist. 

Reference: Agile Manifesto - http://www.agilemanifesto.org

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A story about a Hammer

When I was young, my father bought me a hammer.

While learning how to use it, I recall directly hitting my thumb one day. In fact, the pain was so excruciating that I doubt I will ever forget. My thumb turned a variety of colours and eventually the nail fell off.

I thanked my father last weekend.... Instead of telling me to try to learn a screwdriver as it might be easier, he convinced me to keep learning and practising and that likely I would hurt myself again. That's how we learn.

My confidence with a hammer increased considerably over time. 

Eventually, I started experimenting with other tools and their uses.  I have had the pleasure of using a variety of tools such as Screwdrivers, Drills, Mitre Saws, Table Saws, Sanders, Routers, and my favourite finishing tool.... A Bisquit Joiner.

I have built a house, build docks and decks, learned plumbing, done insulation, built furniture, and the list goes on. 

There is no challenge that scares me. I believe this is because of the lesson from my father...

When a hammer is the right tool for the job, don't let someone convince you to use another tool just because the hammer is hard to use. Stick with it if it's the right tool. Then, the confidence to use other tools will come on it's own.

Friday, May 5, 2017

A leadership question

Are you in a leadership position?

In your context, when you listen to someone talk about their leadership ability or history....

Do they talk more about leading things (projects, products) or leading people?

Would a balance be appropriate in your view?

Consider asking yourself... 

"How am I doing in this regard?"

Just a thought. 


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A calm leader in extreme circumstances

One of the most amazing IT leaders I ever met simply sat back, relaxed, and asked simple, direct questions in a friendly way while 200+ people ran around in a panic during a system outage. 

It was fascinating to observe.

His thoughtful questions let others do their jobs to realize the problem on their own. 

He remained always calm and never laid blame. 

A great memory.


Have you considered your ability to remain calm and let others do their work?

Just a thought.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Human Senses - A Conversation Aid

Have you ever talked to a room full of blank faces?

These 4 base sets of human emotions are strong in other's communication patterns. 

Listen for them as a possible way to more effectively communicate with others.

The last slide has examples of the same question asked with emphasis on different human senses.  Enjoy.

Link: Human Senses Presentation on Slideshare

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A scary looking door

See a door you are afraid to pass through?

Consider taking a glimpse rather than passing by.