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Leadership

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I found this short TED talk below by Roselinde Torres relevant for today’s leaders. It was recorded in November 2013 – see if it’s significant for you?

We should always be asking what makes a great leader, particularly ourselves, as it causes us to evaluate the present state of affairs. Have any of the practices we’re using become outdated or is the team obvious to them because there seen as unnecessary? Until we start looking we’re usually not aware of changes happening, as they tend to happen quickly leaders have to be continuing watching.

Roselinde makes some good points about checking who we are spending time with, developing a diverse network of relationships, and being courageous enough to abandon past practices. It is important we are “shaping the future, not reacting to it”, not only for us but especially for our teams. Forward thinking is an important skill, by… Continue reading

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Your first one-on-one with someone is important! You may already know the person well or not, either way, this is where your new working relationship begins – let’s make a good impression! This first one-on-one would usually happen in the first couple of days of them starting, if not on day one! The typical agenda is to go through all the processes they need to follow, but is that really going to show them how fun your place is to work?!

Starting a new job should be an exciting time, of course, there are the usual formalities like HR forms, learning where the fire escapes are, etc. if these aren’t dull enough we don’t want to add to that in our first one-on-one!

You want them to feel energised and eager to work with the team. The first one-on-one can set this tone if done in the right way. This… Continue reading

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Agile software development principles emerged from a desire to improve from “heavyweight” methods of producing software. The current Agile methodologies we have evolved through observations with the intention of improving the development life-cycle. We learn an enormous amount looking at our own processes and finding ways to continuously improve as a team or organization. We also learn from other industries, like the Lean software development principles that were translated from observing lean manufacturing. This is why I was interested to read about the OODA loop and how it applies to agile.

Colonel John Boyd developed the Observation-Orientation-Decision-Action (OODA) decision model while working on air-to-air combat theories. It proved successful in the skies and the same decision-making process can be compared to those made during agile software development.

We act in accordance to how we perceive the world and not how it is.

The view we have of our teams could… Continue reading

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For many years I’ve been riding a scooter to London and back for my daily commute, through sun, wind, rain, hail…I’ve experienced all of the lovely British weather! One good thing is knowing exactly when I’ll get to work or home which is a stark contrast to using public transport which can be, let’s just say, uncertain! Being on the roads regularly you witness many things and not all of them good! One thing I’ve noticed is a number of bikers wearing a hi-vis jacket with “POLITE NOTICE THINK BIKE” on the back. This seems sensible, asking others to consider those on bikes as the roads can be dangerous, but other observations made me think more.

At work, we may not have jackets with statements on the back but we all send out signals to those around us. Are we displaying the image we think we are? As managers, whether… Continue reading

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We get to the end of the summer and think that went fast, or see a past memory on Facebook and remember it as yesterday although it was many years ago. Life has a habit of doing this! When we take a break and reflect, get the online photo albums out, we escape from the now as the memories come flooding back. Work can be like this…how often do you give yourself time to reflect?

Work life is busy, the frenetic pace rarely gives us time to stop. Different things on the go at once means that habits die hard, in order to get stuff done we do it how we know. And this works! The todo list gets smaller…for a brief time…and everyone is happy – we hope!

Many people like the fast pace, it keeps them engaged, but there needs to be time to look back and see… Continue reading

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Do you get that air of excitement when trying something different? The anticipation waiting for the outcome builds the tension. Will the result meet expectations or will there be a surprise? Whether it’s a personal or team change there is a sense of intrigue trying to prove a theory or simply a hunch. Then the feeling of joy or puzzlement depending on the outcome. Deciding to try out new things can feel scary, but I believe it’s important for keeping teams engaged.

Sometimes just a break from the normal routine can be a relief, if this is how you feel, imagine how you’re team feels? I tend to get heavily into routines, from when I get up to what exercises I do in the gym, to break from this I feel a bit of a rebel…but I enjoy the change! We can get stuck in our ways at work as… Continue reading

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I finished reading Dan Pink’s book Drive recently, it’s a book with a lot of takeaways and recommend it to anyone. Dan covers areas to help drive motivation: Automony, Mastery, and Purpose. If you would like a primer on the book this TED talk (18:36 mins) by Dan is very good. While reading the “Mastery” chapter I thought about leadership and what it takes to become a leader. Having posted before whether anyone can be a leader I believe mastery is key for leadership.

We spend many hours of our lives working, that could be actually in the office or thinking about work “out of hours”. As work is so central to our lives you would hope everyone would want to be the best they can be, aiming to learn and continuously improve. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, people are motivated in different ways and many see work as a… Continue reading