Leadership Tip #11: Substitute the Word Trust for Empower

We talk a lot about empowered or self-organizing teams in the agile community. However, I don’t see too many self-organizing or empowered teams at my clients. Not because my clients are stupid—far from it. Everyone does the best job they know how to do. However, every manager’s micromanagement pervades all levels. Instead of talking about …

Leadership Tip #10: Commit Coherent & Meaningful Work to a Team

Many managers feel the need to get more and more done. They feel pressure from customers and salespeople for more features or products. Or the managers might feel the need for more revenue. So they start many projects. When teams have too many projects, teams take longer to finish. This means all that pressure continues …

Leadership tip #9: See & Stop Micromanagement—Learn to Trust Instead

I see too much micromanagement, even in supposedly agile organizations. Micromanagement tells people, “I don’t trust you.” When we have insufficient trust, morale and the products deteriorate. Instead, we can extend trust and keep innovating for morale and the products. This image shows a 6-person team where the leader/manager micromanages. All decisions go through that …

Leadership Tip 8: Stop Focusing on Happiness & Measure Satisfaction Instead

Do you or your managers want people to be happy at work? That’s a laudable goal. And, in my experience, unrealistic. That’s because happiness is an outcome of a person’s current life context. Instead of happiness, let’s consider satisfaction. When we consider satisfaction, we might discover ways to create a great work environment. That satisfaction might …

Leadership Tip #7: Be Wary of Spending Time on Non-Promotable Tasks

What do you appreciate about your office culture? Maybe someone circulates get-well or congratulations cards. Someone might bring cookies to work or arrange birthday celebrations. I know of people who arrange retirement/transition lunches. All these actions are nice things. They even have a name: “niceties.” Nice people perform these services for the rest of the …

Leadership Tip #6: Give Credit as Often as Possible

Your team finished something difficult. They released it. You celebrated the team’s accomplishment with the team. Let’s assume your name is Jim. Now, you’re in a senior management meeting, where your  boss says, “Thanks, Jim, for all that hard work.” You feel great from that recognition. And yes, you supported that team. You facilitated some …

Leadership Tip #2: Do the Right Thing, Even When it Feels Uncomfortable

We all like to think we use our value-based integrity to decide and act. And I bet you’ve seen people who don’t appear to use that kind of integrity. If you talk to them, they say they intend to do the right thing. However, they don’t always act according to their intentions. Here’s an example …