In September 2016, I ate dinner with a colleague, Michael, who is from the US. I distinctly remember a part of the conversation when we strayed into talking about the 2016 Presidential election. Michael told me how he believed Trump would become the next President. Michael went on to say he believed Trump would indeed Make America Great Again, but not in the way Trump thought he would. (You can imagine my skepticism at this point)
Michael explained how he believed the culture Trump would create will bring all the ugly parts of US culture to the surface. Racism, sexism…
When someone has a collision on a roadway, it’s often called an accident. A (retired) Police Officer and good friend once told me there are no accidents on the road. When a collision occurs, someone is making a choice that leads to the collision. When it comes to driving, there are many choices people make daily which might create the conditions for a collision to occur.
People choose to be distracted by their phones while driving. People choose to change lanes putting themselves dangerously close to the front of another vehicle. Drivers choose not to drive according to the road…
What do you do when things start getting emotional at work? What if they’re your emotions? I’ve heard more than once recently, how some people believe emotions have no place at work. There was a period in my career where I subscribed to this belief.
Last year, I attended a coach training event in Toronto. The day was great, and at one point I was asked to be the coaching client in a group exercise. …
I’ve been listening to the book “The four hour work week” by Tim Ferris. It’s a self-help book in which the author describes his life, and how he’s transformed the way he thinks about work so now he only works four hours each week.
The premise is pretty straight forward. Dream about the life you want, then start designing what he refers to as dream lines. A dream line is a timeline by which you will achieve your dreams.
Initially, your dream may be fairly modest, such as getting the new car you’ve always wanted. Then eventually, it might be…
I recently read an article which talked about the trap of not wanting to miss out on something. Not wanting to miss something is more commonly known as the fear of missing out (FOMO). When struck by FOMO you might find yourself saying yes to everything.
I think I might be somewhat of a FOMO expert.
I believe FOMO is a common fear encountered by those who have chosen self-employment. I understand why that happens because if you’re not working, you’re not making money. For me, I have found myself trapped by FOMO in numerous ways:
You are not leading for change when you fail to provide time for learning.
A failure to provide learning time is a pretty typical scenario I encounter. Leaders load their teams up with work as they’re under the gun to deliver. Then, they tell the team we’re going to adopt Agile, Lean or some other methodology. Then, because the team has to meet an aggressive deadline they fail to make any room for learning.
The result is always the same, and it’s not a pretty ending.
In one of my Agile Coaching engagements, the VP of the department handed me…
I sometimes hear leaders claim the people don’t trust them. At times, they don’t even have a good handle on the amount of trust that exists. I’ve had leaders tell me they don’t trust their people.
So, who is responsible for trust on a team? Is trust the responsibility of the leaders? How does trust even happen?
In a past life I worked as a Project Manager in the IT department of a large financial organization. This seems like a lifetime ago, but it is an essential part of my history.
As with many Project Management environments, there is a…
I often write about the soft skills associated with Leadership. This post is going to be a little more tactical. So, if you only remember one thing about this post I want you to remember:
“Stop doing dumb things.”
Have you ever created a project schedule for a creative process? I spent nearly 15 years trying to perfect this skill.
I don’t want to brag, but over the years of learning to work with the data and tools I was a master at building detailed schedules (seriously, I am not bragging about this). …
Yesterday, in my post leaders don’t make it comfortable I confessed to being a fixer. I used to spend a lot of time fixing, as I thought it was good leaders do.
As I was writing yesterday’s post, it struck me that my message might be suggesting that leaders should never respond to a request for help. That was not my intent at all. It is totally appropriate and at times necessary.
When you get a request to help what is your first thought? I’ve seen plenty of well-intentioned leaders jump immediately to action. …
Hi, my name is Mike, and I am recovering fixer. I’ve spent a great deal of my life taking ownership for and fixing other people’s problems. I used to think this was a good thing, as I was able to make life more comfortable for others. However, there is a price to pay for being a fixer.
I was once coaching a team in the use of Agile methods. One of the issues the team identified in using Agile was the amount of time it would take to do a code review.
The code review process was mandated and would…