Finding Your Team’s Vision

Every team needs a goal.

Small-town sports team, elite competitive mathletes, developer tiger team.

If you don’t have a vision, direction or purpose for where your team is headed – how will you know when you get there?

How will you know when you have achieved it?

How will you know it’s time to tweak, adjust and grow that vision?

If you never have anything to measure against it?

And what about everyone on your team?

How will you get them on board to what you want to accomplish when they have no concept as to what your vision is?

You don’t need a retreat in the mountains with only a knife and your wits to figure it out.

You need a group, a team, ready to define it, agree to it and commit to making it happen.

The Clueless Leader

Isn’t the most demotivating feeling in the world when your leader has no idea what you are doing, how you are doing it, why you are doing it and as a result why it’s taking longer than expected.

After all, aren’t they the ones that identified the work to be done and triaged it to you?

Aren’t they the ones responsible for the end deliverable?

Shouldn’t they have a little more knowledge in what they are responsible for so they can talk about it with confidence and passion to others and understand how and why you might be taking longer than expected?

Yes, Yes and Yes.

But not everyone sees it that way, not everyone “loves” what you are doing, not everyone feels the urge to learn everything and anything about the project they are not responsible for delivering.

Some leaders simply want the project to be done, off their plate and out the door.

It’s become too hard, too complicated, difficult and complex.

Translation – It’s not easy, it’s not a quick win.

It’s an effort and a commitment that requires more then they are willing to give.

So what do you do?

You finish the project and move on, not to another project but another leader, someone who cares about what you do, why you are doing it and where you are struggling.

To stay is to invite the same circle of despair and cluelessness which is already driving you to the edge.

Now is the time to make the change.

The Final Hack

If you were to measure the amount of hacks shipping in the latest release of your product by the date they were created. You would probably see a hockey-stick style graph.

Up until that moment, you’ve done everything right, laid the foundation, put in the effort, plowed through your grunt work – making gains all day every day.

But now the end is in sight and everyone is getting excited or worried about what is going to happen next.

Excited because they are finally going to be done.

Worried because will it work and will customers like it.

It’s the perfect storm of hacks.

“That’ll take too long we’re almost done, do it as dirty as possible.”

“The customer now wants these five things, how can we give them three and call it five.”

“We’ll patch again tomorrow.”

It’s tempting to be seduced by the hacks as you push to get it done.

But in the end, it’s the decision that yields debt for years, confusion and a messy release.

Your final release shouldn’t crawl past the finish line encumbered by hacks and patches, it should leap over the ribbon ready to save the world.

When presented with a list of hacks there are only two options – push out the release, push out the work.

Both are unpopular calls that no one wants to make.

But that’s why we have you to lead the way.

 

Do you Trust your Team?

Then how do you expect to work together?

If you can’t trust the person beside you, in front of you or behind you to be there when you need them the most.

Then how can you lead them?

You can’t.

You need to know that when you ask for their help they will be there for you, or when the workload is too heavy they will all chip in to help or when it comes down to do their review they will know that you have their best interests at heart even when the news is sour.

You can’t do any of that without trusting your team.

And they can’t do the same if they don’t trust you to be there for them.

It’s Always a Good Job

If you know something today that you didn’t know yesterday – you did a Good Job.

If you tried something new, fell on your face and want to get up tomorrow and try again – you are doing a Good Job.

If your work is making people, think and question their approach – you are doing a Good Job.

If your quiet actions are drowning out the deafening sounds of negativity – you are doing a Good Job.

If you show up early, leave late and never complain about it – you are doing a Good Job.

It’s not always about measuring the success or fails, sometimes it’s simply about reminding ourselves that we are doing a Good Job (in comparison to nothing else but yourself).