Seeking certainty costs you time and money. Think about how much.
This topic isn’t new, but it is perhaps the most pervasive cause of failure and disappointment in teams of every kind.
It is also the toughest problem to crack.
Seeking certainty means placing a higher value on consensus or evidence BEFORE acting – building, releasing, etc.
No one is immune to this problem. It’s everywhere
We seek to avoid mistakes or conflict, which is impossible.
The master skill here is the ‘courage to deal with the fallout of wrong or unpopular decisions’
Without this courage, two things are taken away from you – speed to market, and the sheen and polish of a decisive leader
However, courage is hard to ‘get’. Here are some things that might help give yourself (and others) more courage:
-Courage is a muscle. It doesn’t grow without use and challenge. Crisis. Pain.
-Challenge yourself to lean into your fear zone every day by having difficult conversations and inspiring others to do the same
When influencing others to make the leap, it’s helpful to:
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If you want to work for “the best companies to work for” – make it yourself.
Great companies must model the ability to venture into the unknown and the uncommon in order to attain and sustain greatness.
It is possible whether the organization is large or small, but large organizations carry an additional challenge of overcoming negative will – the tendency to push back against progress to keep the organism safe and comfortable
You can still do it…but it requires much more effort and determination
It requires the ability to fail publicly
It requires a comfort level with constantly offending and upsetting people
It requires a rivalry with the status quo
It requires a trust relationship with the most senior leadership to shine a light on the cause – you must never fight this enemy in darkness
In a way, you have to enjoy the punches. You have to remember that the “obstacle is the way”
This is the antithesis of the easy and light path. Agreeable, one of the crowd, the grey man. You fight so much that sometimes it feels odd to agree.
It is a conscious choice to believe what you believe – the belief system of (not just) a rebel, but a pioneer. To want the best for your client and teams.
We don’t like to hear about it, but there’s a certain kind of practitioner who is certain and confident in every situation. Either they know what to do, or they’ll figure it out. They have no natural predators
Nobody likes to hear it, but there is such a thing as the person who doesn’t need rules, instructions, or best practices. They don’t need permission to do anything. They can’t be bought or sold, or bullied.
They have made their peace with their place in the world, their bigness and smallness. They are prepared to be both right and wrong at once and have no preference for either. They understand their purpose, how to serve it, what matters and what doesn’t. Because of this, they have a healthy relationship with fear. They take their energy from it, yet refuse to be limited by it.
And because of this, they have unique, unshakeable confidence and certainty.
What they do is risky and sometimes dangerous – sometimes damaging, but much less so than the alternative – a life of compromise and bending to the will of others. To popular opinion, political correctness, the latest fashion or causes.
They have a presence, a strength, a charisma that is not the absence of weakness, humanity or authenticity…quite the opposite. They are a complete blend and balance of the range of human triumph and failure.
They speak directly but only when needed. They prefer acceptance to attachment.
They are in complete control of their emotions
We don’t want to hear about the badass, so we try to discredit their abilities – precisely for the reason why they are so effective – in any given moment, they don’t have to try. But their talents are not innate – They simply fall back on the depth of their training, inner work, courage, and experience.
Too many agilists seek out bank jobs and pretend they are going to innovate and advance the craft. When you go to banks, you ask questions like “what is the salary, comp, vacation: or “what do the opportunities for advancement look like:”. The right question is “what can I innovate, build or change”. That’s how you blow the roof off
I say often – it’s possible people won’t get you, and that’s ok. You really want to focus on the places and the people that do.
How ever, no matter where you seek work, you have to take the focus off of YOU
Stop worrying about what you will GET, and instead focus on what you will build.
When all you ask is about the benefits that will accrue to you – salary, benefits, perks, vacations, titles, opportunities – you appear self-interested, reward-based and rather insensitive to the needs of your prospective client or employer
This is the best time to look for FIT. The worst thing you can do is choose a job JUST because they’re offering you one. It helps if you’re excited about the thing you can build for them, and they’re excited about the prospect of working with you.
If you do this, even the most challenging, big-box agile jobs can be fun and offer plenty of challenge and self-development opportunity.
When you measure the wrong things, you get the wrong results. What you incentivize has deep impact on behaviour. Can you help your organization realize that shaving the bottom line can kill the top line?
There is a tragic story arc that is becoming more common with Agile teams – start big, get hammered, lose confidence, lower the bar. You can imagine why this would be a problem….
It’s possible we all will have a lifelong relationship with your inner critic. It begins with acceptance that its there…something that guides your actions, and possibly limits your greatness. Oddly, it’s supposed to be your friend, protecting you from harm, but it doesn’t understand the modern context of danger and risk, so it often overshoots the mark.
Once you understand that it exists, you’ll want to pay more attention to when it is working without your permission, or impeding your growth. This takes a little more practice…
Great show - lots of discussion about why you should be thinking agile not just teaching agile. Start here if your getting started with agile.
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