Monday, November 26, 2012

Are You Fighting Others or Creating New Options?

Is it fiercely competitive for you to be successful? Do others have to lose for you to win?

Below is my first blog post from 2004. I was a manager trying to get projects done. I had only glanced at agile. There was no iPhone yet. But some things haven't changed. Leadership Coach Tim Sanders is still great, The Leadership Summit is still awesome (I already bought my tickets for next year) and my views of how and why we should work have only deepened.

Be sure to get the free PDF chapter of Tim's new book at his site. Good stuff, easy read and it can change how you work and interact today. Also, there's a great interview of Tim by Dave Ramsey at the Entreleadership podcast site. At the podcast site are also interviews of Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni, Dan Cathy, Steven Covey and more.

Recently I was reminded of Tim's lesson while reading Zappos! Delivering Happiness - A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose (great book - now in audio and comic book form, too). The author wrote about playing the card games at Vegas, and how in life we have the ability to "create a new table" - to create opportunity. Be sure to check out the free Zappos! Culture book, too.

At the 2004 Leadership Summit, 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.

No comments: