Thursday, March 10, 2011

You Have Something of Mine

I was speechless. What I saw left me dumbfounded, like when you realize it was a trick play and you were chasing the person who didn't have the ball. I had been working so hard for months on proposals for the Agile 2011 conference - hours of collaboration, hundreds of pages of reading, a day long seminar. I've been waiting to hear whether I would be rejected again (for the fourth year in a row) when I saw the hornswoggling statement. A session had been accepted that was a summary of a book very similar to one that I had read. Helpful, yes. But cutting edge? World changing? Revolutionary? No, but that's where I was wrong. And I had been robbed.

Like many others, I'm always learning - reading books or blogs, talking to others and taking notes. New things are always interesting. But that doesn't mean that the old things are not still valuable. Also, those those old things are still new to other people. But that's not where I was robbed.

I was robbed when I listened to the voice that said, "No one's interested in the little things, the common things, that you value. It has to be completely new, completely unique, and obvious that it required lots and lots of effort."

I find that same line keeping me from giving my best to my team. "Don't share that with the team, they'll think its useless. Write up a bulleted summary with all the links. That would be better," "Don't tell him 'Good job!' What until the whole thing is finished, then tell him. It will mean more then," "Don't bring in cookies for the team. They'll think that's corny. Wait and ask the boss for approval to take them out to lunch." All those opportunities to give something good to others are robbed, robbed by the mirage of Great - the gold-plated big-bang delivery of perfection. Perhaps I would be better off to be agile and  give out what I have to offer early and often. Which leads me to be my next point.

You have something of mine - some story or tip or example that, although free for you to give, would be valuable to me. Don't hold back. Don't be robbed as I was. Let others decide the value, just like the Product Owners or customers we serve.


David Sheriff said...

Most excellent.

Benevolentprof said...

Great post! A good reminder to me too, because I'm always chasing the new hotness.