Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Tim Sanders Session at The Leadership Summit

I attended several sessions of The Leadership Summit last week.

Tim Sanders , Leadership Coach for Yahoo!, shared that we often don't have faith in our people or ourselves. There are those that have an attitude of 'scarcity', driven by fear of competition and filled with a sense of lack, what they don't have. It's the difference between social networking for other's benefit and networking for personal gain (which he said is actually prospecting or brokering). He gave a good word picture by saying "It's the difference between being a gardener and a butcher."

Tim said that at Yahoo!, if you are driven by scarcity (nay-sayer, doom and gloom), they will literally stamp a piece of paper with "Chicken Little" and stick it to your back, to be left there all day.

Tim made me think how often I look to the negative side of a situation. In software development, we need to look at the possible concequences, but really only as risk analysis. Even then, the downside should perhaps only be considered, noted, and then everyone should move forward on the project focussing on the upside. This doesn't mean be unrealistic, niave, or wear rose-colored glasses, it only means that we decide to concentrate our energy on the possible positive outcomes, encourage others, and be a contributor to the solution. And an IT project, we could all agree, is much more than flowcharts and code.

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