Same conversation over and over p30pl3 1st t3c4 2nd !

“Seek out the good in people” On Joy,  H. Jackson Brown jr.

Someone had to write a book to remind us.   Everything we do is tied to people, everything we touch is tied to people.   Everything you use, build from, build for, design, draw, implement, and write is tied to people.   If there were no one to read there would be little reason to write.

Wake up.  

This past week at the old store I used to work, I heard a story that they are changing the sign again.   A friend said “Don’t worry nothing to see here, move along.”     He was saying this as if he were the person in charge of course.  He was frustrated.   Leadership today is done behind closed doors and through email, behind the veil of technology.  It is a technology first approach.

Every day I practice looking for the good in people.   I know people matter.  I know that trust is key and further that a trust deficit will cause catastrophic failure.  If you are a developer using scrum, it is fundamentally about trusting your team.  If you are a manager, you are only a manager because you have a team.   All of the leadership books tell you that there is a difference between a leader and a manager.  Why does this point have to come out over and over?  Because in practice there is a failure to lead today.   Technology is king and people come second to it.   We are becoming slaves to the machine.

Just remember this simple thing no matter what you are working on.

“People first”  

Put it on a tee-shirt, put it on stationary, always remember and never forget.


3 thoughts on “Same conversation over and over p30pl3 1st t3c4 2nd !

  1. From my research on virtual teams, I’ve discovered that the literature has divided their desirable characteristics into two categories–trust and performance. I don’t think that these are “either/or” choices, but rather the powerful indicators that inform the characteristics of the people who create such teams.

    The LEADERS who want to give their teams an opportunity to be creative, innovative and courageous have to focus on increasing trust. Why? Because doing things that have never been done before can be scary, disruptive and potentially dangerous. You have to trust the people you go into the dark with, since the map may read–“there be dragons!” But it is “far from equillibrium” and “at the edge of chaos” where the “new and improved “emerges!

    On the other hand…

    The MANAGERS who want to make certain that their teams get the work done, stay in their “swim lane” meeting their MOE, MOP objectives, etc have to focus on increasing performance. Why? Because being with people whom you can actually touch, see, smell, and manipulate is very scary, disruptive and dangerous to the power of such managers! So instead of counting on people, such individuals count projects, outcomes, etc.

    Lest you think I love leaders and hate managers, let me hasten to say that such choices are not just a choice of style for those in charge. It’s also a preference based on personality and relational style. Those who like ideas and relationships (NF and SP types in “MBTI-speak”) tend to focus on building the team through trust, while those who like facts, numbers and steps tend to focus on order and outcomes (NT and SJ types).

    Does the government need both? You betcha! However, we all know that it’s easier to find “pencil-neck” micromanagers in government than inspiring, empowering leaders since all too often the outcome of public service is in delivering products, forms, and pre-defined services. But there isn’t a person alive who would like to live in such a family!

    So I’d suggest that while we work on improving our products and services–getting more agile, more adaptive and more responsive–we do so in order to build the trust our warfighters have in us as producers of innovation rather than taking the “low road” and just counting how long it takes a project to move from step one (a) to step one (a1).

    Keep inspiring us by continuing to remind us of that “high road” of honorable service as all the “downstairs” folks at Downton Abbey knew so well!


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