Leadership Tip (series) Inspiring Your Team

I was working with a client the other day and was asked how we attract such great talent to our projects.  “Steve, you always seem to have the motivated team, the stars… that makes delivery easy”

Whilst attracting bright talent is a focus of mine (who doesn’t want to work with bright people?), we work hard at it, we also work hard at keeping them and maintaining the motivation.

Our underlying philosophy is pretty simple and is broken down into three points that anyone can use.

  1. How do you make your team members wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose?
  2. You can’t manage people.  You manage tasks and inspire people to achieve those tasks. How do you inspire?
  3. How do you ensure your team members go home with a sense of achievement?

These three questions are answered at the start of every engagement and to ensure they remain efficient, are built into our retrospectives, which are held every two weeks.  The team are heavily engaged, we spend a lot of time talking about these points and adjusting team culture and actions to ensure we deliver on them.

Take these questions to your team and see what answers you get.  How can you implement them, and more importantly, how do you maintain them?

Great people are the result of inspired people.

Hope that helps.

 

Leadership Tips (series) Wake up!

Recently I am being asked a lot of questions around leadership.  It is inspiring that so many managers are now become interested in leadership and even more inspiring that a few are understanding the difference between the two.

… so I thought I would start a series so I can capture my thoughts in one place.  I hope you find something that inspires and helps.

As a leader I believe that your role is to achieve a better outcome from your team, compared to if you weren’t there.  Now don’t laugh, I have met more managers than I could count that made no difference at all (or worse… they had a negative impact) on the output of their teams.  Some managers are reporters, others are enforcers, the a few are leaders.

One philosophy I try to embed is Continue reading Leadership Tips (series) Wake up!

How To Deliver Constant Change Without Burning Out Your Teams

As new beliefs clash with the old, ‘fast change’ has come to mean must change, and with it has come disposable skills, the loss of feeling valued and stable, and a lack of leadership and mentors. This has resulted in not only a knowledge deficiency within our Organizations but also, a shift in the centre of energy of these Organizations.

This disruption has become so much part of our lives (there is just too much to take in… so much to know, understand, think about and consider) that we are in danger of our minds suffering from sensory as well as information overload and burnout. Stress, bewilderment, helplessness, tension, anxiety disorder is on the increase, and it is showing up as unreasonable behavior and even mindlessness within our Organizations’.  Its showing up through lower than expected results.

People no longer know how to behave, how they work is how they have always worked. Many don’t know how to change. Speed has turned into haste as organizations fight for a credible future.

Now is the time to be a leader.

Continue reading How To Deliver Constant Change Without Burning Out Your Teams

How To Run A Company (or Team) With (Almost) No Rules

Here’s a thought… If Ricardo can run a successful multi-billion dollar group of companies using his version of Agile, then we should all be striving to instill this mindset into our teams and departments.

What’s exciting is that its not just us dev types who are rethinking better ways of working.

What do Ricardo’s principles and Agile have in common?  Well, if I was to pick a commonality I would have to say this…

Continue reading How To Run A Company (or Team) With (Almost) No Rules

How To Put The ‘Fun’ Into Work Environments

So you have, or you are implemented Agile in some form, Scrum, Kanban, SAFe…  These are both exciting and scary times.  You’ve convinced your boss that this is a better way to create software, to create and deliver business value earlier, quicker and to build an amazing team.  You have told your boss you can take him or her to management utopia!  Well now it’s time to deliver…

So, why is it then that some many companies that I see have made this massive paradigm shift in thinking, expect their team members to do the same… even though they are still in a work environment that was, to be quite frank, devised in the late 1800’s.

Agile + Fun = Management Utopia
(Massive results, happy staff and happy bosses!)

Continue reading How To Put The ‘Fun’ Into Work Environments

4 Easy Ways To Inspire Performance & Creativity On Your Project

Want to inspire a high performance team?  Want to inspire creativity on your project? You need to create an environment that is so ‘awesome’, creativity and productivity is never an issue.  Here’s some ideas to get started…

Here is a short list of simple ways to inspire your teams creativity and get them cranking out the productivity and creativity…

DO A SETH AND BUILD TRIBES

People want to belong to tribes.

I remember taking over a troubled project for a company in the UK.  The moral of the team was shot to pieces, the output non-existent, the budget exceeded.

I started on the Monday.

On the previous Friday the company had made the team sit through a ‘we value our employees’ presentation… then fired them all!  Go figure…

I walked in on the Monday… to only 1 team member.  My boss thought he was helping me, when what he had just done is thrown the baby out with the bath water.  After a rather uncomfortable conversation with him I was able to call the guys back in for a chat. Continue reading 4 Easy Ways To Inspire Performance & Creativity On Your Project

Why Happiness Is The New Productivity

This is the best video I have watch in a long time.  This is how all leaders should be striving to lead.  It wont take you long to realise that I am a big fan of Vishen Lakhiani and his leadership ideas… they fit with Agile so well.

In 2009 Vishen Lakhiani was asked to speak at Engage Today in Calgary along with such luminaries as Sir Richard Branson, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Stephen Covey, Nobel Prize Winner F.W De Klerk, Tony Hsieh, the founder of

Continue reading Why Happiness Is The New Productivity