The Journey

Abstract

After a long year everybody starts to evaluate his or her achievements, starts thinking what he or she did good or wrong, and asks him- or herself was 2012 a good year?

 

Others

A deep working man could be known by thinking about the future or the past when he or she has some time to rest. I traveled on the plane in the autumn and during the flight I did not cared about the present, how I feel, what I am interested in. I just wondered about tomorrow: a difficult meeting with difficult topics and no one can you help to solve the issues. This is when you lost yourself a little bit, you do not live in the now.

After finishing a project or task, you always think was it worth to do this, was it worth to sacrifice more time more effort, was it worth to work over the 4 days holiday? Most of the people stop at this point and they get disappointed. In most cases people have less recognition than they deserve to have. Nobody knows what they did or sacrificed during the year. It is not the mistake of the leaders in most cases it is accidental, that your boss realizes your performance, or even does he or she has time to thank you.

Yourself

At this point we should forget about bosses, shareholders, because everything what is important is You and Your opinion. The story is all about You. You were there when You faced with the hardest times, and You win. You did it. It is a little bit hard to understand why is it so important. We all know that we want to collect as many attention and recognition from other (boss, shareholders, parents, friends) as many we can, but suddenly you realize, there is no more recognition in respect you done this year. But the last word has always Your decision.

The Journey

Every great journey starts with a decision, that you want to step out from your comfort zone. Remember you start every story with a blank page. Forget what you know about others, what you feel about others, and even what others think about you.

When you start the journey you let the past behind, you know that your knowledge will be useless, and you can trust only your experience and intuitions. New persons, new faces will emerge during the story, but so will it be so excited.

Remember when you arrive to the destination, you will never remember about what it feeled, but you will always remember about the journey, and the adventures in between. If you feel stronger in mind after this year journey, you became more.

So are You ready to start Your Next Year JOURNEY?


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What makes a good leader?

Abstract

This article is a short summary of my experiances about leadership. However these points are very simple to write down every fresh leader should learn these things from one by one, to have deep understanding.

 

Nature of good leader

  • Always be prepared
    If you have a meeting with your team, you should always spend time to prepare for it
  • You are the Hero of your team
    Whether you want it or not, you will be the one who will be followed, you should show always the best of yourself (if you are unstable, you team will be unstable, if you are focused, your team will be focused)
    If you do extraordinary job, if you are on time at meetings, if you do late night jobs, if you do your best, your team will follow you
  • Give strict but honest valuations
    Saying the hard truth is not always pleasant, but a must
    Focus always on the improvement
  • A "Thank you" is more important than money
  • Listen to your team
    Most of the time, team can solve every problem facing with you, because your problem your teams problem, and your teams problem is yours. Listening carefully will always help to understand their inner thoughts, and yes it can cause further work for the leader, because good leader cares
  • Give vision
    Saying day by day what to do to your team members will narrow their focus, and they will some time later just "follow the commands"
    You should give them further vision, a goal, which is consist of not only numbers, but values. Vision, mission, value creating meetings could help to develop these goals. You should be at honest on these meetings as you can, sharing your hopes and what you want to be reality
  • Delegate tasks consists of not only to say focused what to do, and what the expacted outcome is, but also giving the "Why"
  • Sit next to your team members
  • Pair working will help to improve the efficiency of your job expecially when you have complex job and also will help to
  • Be calm
    Never loose your head, or if you does do that with a purpose
  • Be determined
    Did you ever feel insecure yourself, and did not find the right way? Just go ahead!
  • Self-discipline
    If your want to be the best leader, you should achieve your team to believe that they are the best
  • Consequent behaviour tells strength about your personality to others, you can be wrong, but accept others truth only when it is established
  • You should choose between "A" or "B"
    First glance it could be very fun, always giving the final word, but after some time it is not so simple. You should learn how to even giving a decision, because a bad decision is always better, than no decision. Taking the risks will do you a great leader
  • Don't be a sheep
    Not everything others says is good, even if the majurity is swearing on their lifes, and even if the analisys says that

...and why this really works? Because we should solve the candle problem

 

Communication

  • Keep eye contact during converstaion
  • You should look always into your collage's eyes
  • Listen carefully
    A good leader is a good listener
  • Use words like
    • "We" instead of "I" or "You"
    • "I trust in Your job"
  • Your body tells the rest of the story
    Your gestures and body language, are as important as you say in person. Learn how to controll it.
  • Smile
    A smile shows that you like what you are doing

 


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Motivation matters

Abstract

This article wants to clarify some basic approaches about motivation. How the main motivating factors working, and how ot give positive and negative feedback as a leader.

 

Basic motivation factors

  1. Personal allowance (salary) and bonus
  2. Produce new things and positive feedback (recognition)
  3. Fear
  4. Self directions (free use 20% of work time)

What motivation factors motivates?

  1. Personal allowance (salary) and bonus → work length
  2. Produce new things and positive feedback → work quality
  3. Fear, punishments → work length
  4. Self directions (free use 20% of work time) → work quality

What kind of skills the motivation factors boost?

First see the following video about the "Candle problem"

TED - Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation

Money narrows your focus, and can make any change on your mechanical skills. Real world problems cannot be solved only with mechanical skills

  1. Personal allowance (salary) and bonus (work length) [boosts mechanical skills]
  2. Produce new things and positive feedback (work quality) [boosts cognitive skills]
  3. Fear, punishments (work length) [N/A]
  4. Self directions (free use 20% of work time) (work quality) [boosts cognitive skills]

Choose the recognition level in the company

Recognition level means, when you will say as a leader to the employee that "this is good job".

"This work is mediocre. I would be embarrassed to show this." (Steve Jobs)

or

"This is incredible! Really, insanely great! You are a star!" (Steve Jobs)

Working with Steve Jobs means, that you should do extraordinary good work. The level of recognition in this case is very high. This working culture suggests that you should outperform your boundaries.

Excellence, perfect, strong

Limit negative feedback within the company, teach the leaders to correct feedbacking

The basic rules of giving negative feedback as a leader are the following:

  • Do not stall negative feedbacks, the best time is right after you noticed the bad thing
    (As soon as possible after the event)
  • Find private space, give only face to face feedback
  • Judge the person's behaviour not the him- or herself
    (Focus on their actions, not on the person)
  • Take exact example and be specific, tell what is expected and why is it good to do this way
    (If you say you got bad attitude, you don't give an exact situation where he/her did something wrong)
  • Be objective and calm
    (You should focus on personal development, you don't give negative feedback just because, you give negative feedback because you want him/her to develop, be a better person)
  • Listen him or her
    (Let him or her to talk, what he or she thinks about the event and example, so you will recognize, what he or she recognized and learned from the talk)

Give positive feedback

Yes, you should also give positive feedbacks, because one positive feedback could be stronger than a negative one. We can teach people with positive feedbacks, and there are also some rules of it:

  • Give the feedback in public, it should be given publicly
  • If you praise someone, you should every time tell, (1) why and (2) how good the job was
  • Never mention any negative "but" things during the talk
    (If you say "It was a very good jub, but next time be more specific, with numbers" you will tell with this that, he or she did something wrong, even if the whole job is extraordinary. In this way it's a negative feedback)
  • Be aware of your or companies recognition level, do not praise someone if the job isn't as good as it should be, or didn't meet the companies recognition level

 


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Importance of Passion

Abstract

This article is about a phenomena, that can boost your co-workers during you everyday work. No its not something you can teach them, more than help them to feel it. But the first question is that are you already passionate about your work?

The phenomena

I work in web development, where personal and team performance is very important. During everyday development it is an often emerging situation when a lot of script didn't want to work properly, on a scrum review the product fails to operate even and there are lot of small mistakes, that makes the whole picture a great mass.

If we work in Scrum development or even in classic Project Management we always give User Stories or Tasks to the developers, but we have no really impact on how will these small pieces come togther in one product. Ok we can control them, check them, audit them, but afterwards they will feel themself as a robot, and their creative self disappears. Its a mouse trap: the developers working more imprecisely, the project managers should use more control, and so on. How can we quit from this circle? You should see one clear vision that you feel passionate about it and starting to say WE not you and me.

How can we evolve product enthusiasm?

If you belive in your product and in its vision than it is the first step to be passionate about it.

1.) Ideologies your product!

Why is your product more than average? If you could not answer this question clearly, your product is not better than the others, than you are in the "long tail" of products.

Never use bullshits like "we are more efficient", "we have more feature".

Google has only two features in their original search engine, (1) it has a really simple interface (one field) and (2) gived relevant search results.

You should not be better than others, you should be the best among the others. Perfection is the key, which will raise you above other companies.

2.) Use vision building meeting and let all developers to take part!

It is not a fast meeting you should hold, but you should give time, to people feel more and more enthusiasm about the product.

3.) Found a new company culture

The headline of your new company culture should be:

Feel every product your are working on should be a masterpiece

The hardest thing to start this, because you should start it with yourself. You should show the example how to be passionate and focused with your product, you should not satisfied only with the best results.

Peoples who were passionate

And finally let me show you some great people, who were passionate about they doing.

Jamie Oliver

"What I've enjoyed most, though, is meeting people who have a real interest in food and sharing ideas with them. Good food is a global thing and I find that there is always something new and amazing to learn - I love it!"

Steve Jobs

"We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them."

Steve Irwin

"I have no fear of losing my life - if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it."

Could you recognize the common characteristics in their attitude?

  • They love(d) what they do
  • They belive(d) what they do
  • They are(were) honest with themself
  • They though(t) that it is the best thing they can do

Final word

Do you remember when Robin Williams stand on the table in movie Dead Poets Society? You felt that its not normal, you felt that it should mean something more deeper than just a silly move...

If you want to feel the same passion you should do also the same: "stand on your table".

 


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Gartner Hype Cycle 2011

Source: Gartner

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