Steve Sitton

Just another blog…

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It’s Monday morning on your way into work, the weekend now over as you look at the day and week head. Do you hope that everything goes smoothly? No production incidents. Deployments run smoothly. Teams working well together steadily delivering features. We like an easy life, but does it really help us?

Think of times when you have learnt the most, either about people or your processes. Is this when things are going smoothly or when problems arise that need investigation, thought, and teamwork to overcome?

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Whatever our career, we learn from our experiences, it is these that help us develop our skills in particular areas. As with a sailor, smooth seas will only prepare you for certain situations, for the benefit of the crew, having skills in difficult circumstances could save lives. As a leader, who has a… Continue reading

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Does writing come naturally for you?  For me it doesn’t, I keep at it because I find it’s a good way to develop ideas and share information. One thing that has helped me is the mindset I take while writing, that is pretending I’m presenting this blog to a room full of people at a conference or meetup. This helps to picture the flow and identify the key sections or points I want to make.

The title

Titles are a big deal and people make decisions based on the title alone. When you’re at a conference scanning the agenda, do you select “must see” talks solely based on the title? Imagine your blog listed in search results, why would someone click the link for yours over others?

Start with knowing what you are covering in your blog, then let title ideas flow from there. I’m rarely happy with the… Continue reading

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We talk about culture a lot, in books, talks, meetings, it’s a major focus area for companies. We start initiatives to build our culture but, at the same time, we want to let the culture grow organically through the people. For this to happen there has to be a solid foundation for the people to feed on. Trustful teams are the common requisite, but there is another ingredient that has to be considered.

As important as culture is, it can be difficult to describe. I like the description – “Culture is every decision you make” – I wish I could remember who said this but it’s true. It’s a scary reality that everything we do has an effect on the culture! This applies even more to leaders as we are being watched whether we like it or not and the culture changes around us based on what people see leaders… Continue reading

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I’ve posted the recommended reading blogs for one year now. It was a little experiment and I’ve enjoyed putting my thoughts to a few blogs but this will be my last for now.

Here are posts from December that I recommend:

The Best Leaders Are Helpful
Being helpful to teams can be an overlooked priority for leaders. “Listen and understand what people expect from you, not what will make you look good.” This post should act as a reminder to focus on giving over taking and offers suggestions on ways to help your teams. Remember, sometimes getting out of the team’s way can be their biggest help!

5 Ways Introverted Leadership can make You a Great Manager
Introverted leaders can naturally allow others to shine so looking at some of their traits makes this a great post. I believe any type of leader can succeed as long as they have… Continue reading

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If you regularly read books or blogs on leadership then you’re never far away from leadership quotes or graphics. They can be a powerful way to get a good point across and give useful reminders, however, they can also fool us into leading a certain way!

Here are a few quotes:

“Leadership means running fast enough to keep ahead of your people”

“In the simplest terms, a leader is one who knows where he wants to go, and gets up and goes.”

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

Then we have these typical leadership images:

What impression do they give you about leadership?

When I see these a few thoughts come to mind:

  • They say lead from the front
  • The leader is the main person in the team
  • Leaders have to know everything
  • Without the leader the team won’t function
  • The… Continue reading
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Here are a few blogs I recommend reading from this month…

The Ultimate Workplace Praise Guide: How to be More Positive at Work and Give More Praise to Your Team
“Positivity is a choice.” If a manager is always complaining and downbeat how do you think the team will feel? How a manager acts reflects in the team too, being positive and giving praise both play a major part of this. This doesn’t always come easily, it is hard and takes effort but this post provides a number of good tips to boost your positivity. It’s difficult to pick out one or two because I agree with so many, but animated GIFs are a powerful and fun way to praise and share emotions.

Why geeks should speak
I’ve only spoken at one meetup but can attest to it building self-confidence and your professional network. This post provides lots of examples… Continue reading

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incivility – rude or unsociable speech or behaviour.

This 15 minute TED talk by Christine Porath explains how incivility can have drastic effects on the teams and culture. She shares some powerful research showing the true cost incivility has but also simple steps on how we can avoid it by thanking people, sharing credit, listening attentively, humbly asking questions, acknowledging others, and smiling. I recommend watching…

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