How Do You Know If You Are Mediocre?

I’ve spent years in environment where we put a big emphasis to hire only the best of the best. Where the goal was to have a team of overachievers. Mottos like “no one was hired to be mediocre” where often quoted. But how do you actually know if someone, or in fact, if you are mediocre? How do you know you are not the over-achiever you believe you are?

Let’s face it. All of us believe that we are better than others. At least in some ways. “I’m definitely better driver than most of the others. I’m much better manager. I’m really good parent. I’m a great listener and always annoyed when I need to constantly talk so others see it.”

Merriam-Webber describes mediocre as “of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance: ordinary, so-so”. This is of course relative to the task you are doing. You can be a great driver and a mediocre cook. Whether you are mediocre at something is a result of your priorities, skills, attitude and effort you put into a given activity.

So how do you recognize that you are mediocre?

Considering how quickly the world around us changes the best way to see whether you are mediocre or not is to look at how you respond to the changes. Do you embrace change and constantly learn to keep up with the world? Or do you just sit back and wait what will happen to you? If the later applies, you are most likely mediocre. You are the one who is left behind by the forward moving world around you.

You don’t give your best

Mediocre people sort of give up on improving and even on giving their best. They just plow through the day doing what needs to be done but without much interest and with no intention of going above and beyond. So if you find yourself doing just what is necessary and not more than you are most likely a mediocre employee.

You don’t mind that you are not giving your best

Doing just the bare minimum and not giving your best is a strong indicator, but what really seals the deal of your mediocrity is when you don’t give your best and you don’t mind. It just doesn’t bother you. For any achiever or over-achiever doing work that is not particularly good really worries him or her.

Over-achievers are different

Any over-achiever strives to be better and better. You don’t necessarily need to be the best at any given task but you always try to do the best you can. What more, you always strive to learn and to improve. You want to do your best job today, but you want to do even a bit better job tomorrow. That is what drives achievers. And that is what turns them into over-achievers.

We are going through phases

Even the over-achievers have their down times. Not everything always goes right and not every day is your best. It is that internal voice that tells you that you didn’t do a good job and makes you dissatisfied, that voice is also telling you that you are over-achiever who had a bad day.

So the million dollar question is: “Is it OK to be mediocre?” And the answer really depends on your worldview, internal drives and what makes you happy. For someone to be mediocre is totally fine and they should never feel bad about it (in fact, by definition, they don’t) or try to change it, because being over-achiever very often also mean setting high bars and constantly chasing being better and better. And that doesn’t necessarily mean a happier life.

 

What is your take on mediocre employees? Are you fine having such people on your team or do you believe there is something wrong with them? And how do you see yourself?

Originally posted at LinkedIn.

For more read my blog about management, leadership, communication, coaching, software development and career TheGeekyLeader or follow me on Twitter: @GeekyLeader

Not My Fault! It’s The Traffic…

You hear it over and over again. In fact, you might be using the tactic yourself without even realizing it. Blaming others or the environment for your inability to get things done, keep your promises and duties.

Let’s blame someone else

Have you ever worked with a colleague who would be constantly showing up ten minutes late for meetings with an excuse like “sorry I’m late, but there was a traffic jam”? As if this would explain everything and make it right. Well, yes, there was a traffic jam, so what? If there is one every day then it is just not relevant. If you would continue that line of reasoning you could come up with: “Sorry I’m late, but there was a traffic jam. Police should make sure there are no traffic jams. In fact, it is police fault that I’m late. Or even better others should be banned from using cars. That way I wouldn’t get stuck and came right on time.” Rather ridiculous, isn’t it? So why are we all saying it?

What are the things under your control?

One of the challenges you have to learn when managing others (and yourself) is the tendency of trying to look good and blame others for our mistakes. If you want to move things forward and want the person in question to grow and build strong sense of ownership you need to make sure this is not happening. Always bring the attention and focus of the person to things that are under his control.

Let’s say you come to your teammate with something you want him to solve and his response is “No problem. We will need IT to prepare the proposal and finance team will have to approve it.” These couple of words are full of red flags. At this point you just need to stop him and say “Yes, I see your point and I know that other people will have to be involved. What are the things that YOU will do? What is it you have under your control?” Even if there is a part that needs to be done by someone else there are always things you have under your control and that is where your focus needs to be.

The best way to increase satisfaction with your life is to learn to distinguish what are the things you can influence. Those you should focus on and constantly improve. This works also the other way around. Learn what in your life is out of your control, what you cannot influence and stop worrying about it. If you cannot change something then it is just a distraction that makes you less productive, unhappy and dissatisfied with your life.

There is no try

As the Grand Jedi Master Yoda, the oldest and most powerful known Jedi Master in the Star Wars universe said “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Once you realize what you do have under control, and decide to do something about it, you need to make yourself believe that you will succeed. And since we shape our reality by the words we use you need to learn to set yourself for success. “I will try better next time,” is your archenemy. “This will never happen again,” gives you much more power to actually change your behavior as it means you have no doubt and are fully committed to succeed.

It’s not the traffic, it’s you…

And to get back to our example from the beginning and look at alternative scenario where you don’t try to blame the universe for being late but you take ownership of your life. Understand the natural consequences of this repeated behavior of tardiness (in the form of others having to wait for you or you not being informed about or part of important decisions). And ultimately ask yourself the obvious question: “What is under my control that I will do so this doesn’t happen again?”

 

Originally posted at LinkedIn.

For more read my blog about management, leadership, communication, coaching, software development and career TheGeekyLeader or follow me on Twitter: @GeekyLeader

Holiday Special – The Best Posts Of 2014

Another year of writing this blog. I’m now at 100+ articles and I’m sitting here and thinking about what to write about as the year is coming to an end. And the same as last year the answer is right here. How to celebrate better than by looking back and remembering some of the key articles that appeared on this blog. So allow me to present what I consider the best posts dealing with various aspects of leadership and life itself.

Communication

7 Reasons To Pick Up The Phone – Always think twice before sending yet another email whether it wouldn’t be better to be brave and just pick up a phone and call.

Communication Shouldn’t Be Efficient – Forget efficiency when communicating important information. Go for effectiveness.

No Surprises Please! – A good manager should never get surprised by anything as it points to a failure of understanding risks, miscommunication or broken trust.

Recruitment

Hire For Strengths, Not Lack Of Weaknesses – Next time you talk to a candidate don’t forget to identify his key strengths and values he would bring to the organization. If you cannot find any and find yourself talking to a mediocre robot you may want to continue your search.

Effort And Attitude Beats Talent And Knowledge – The focused effort and can-do attitude of determined underdog beats a raw talent and theoretical knowledge of complacent rival hands down most of the time.

Leadership

Good And Bad Software Engineering Manager – What does it take to be a successful manager in a progressive software development company? What are the traits you need to have to build solid software development teams and ship great products?

5L Principle Of Leadership: Live, Love, Laugh, Learn, and Lead – A talk about what you can do, and what mindset you need to learn to be able to cope with stress and downsides in life.

You Manage Things, You Lead People – Management is a science. Leadership is an art.

Real Leaders Are Vulnerable – No one will eagerly follow a robot. If you lead others you need to show your human face and heartfelt convictions.

Real Leaders Own Their Mistakes – Did you make a mistake? Admit it, apologize for it, fix it and prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future.

Find The Best Leader For A Given Situation – You don’t need to be constantly in charge. Just find the right situation to put other passionate people in the lead.

Productivity

What Is Possible Is Not Always Right – How often do you decide to do something only because “you can”? When you really think about it you may realize that it is way too often.

Getting Stuff Done: The Right Attitude – No pain, no gain. Working smart is a good start but you cannot take shortcuts. You have to put in the hours of hard work if you want to succeed.

Life

7 Ways How Leaders Lie To Themselves – We lie to ourselves. And as strange as it may seems that is the worst thing we can do as it is constantly holding us back and prevents us from reaching a true success and happiness. Just read through some of the most common lies and if you recognize yourself find a way how to break the loop and stop this lie.

The Pitfalls Of Living As Expat – Living abroad is one of the most intense experiences you can have. And if you move to a country that is at the other side of the world you must expect that things will be really different.

Life Is About Communication And Attitude – Life is about the way you influence others and are being influenced. It is about the way you see the world around you and the people living in it. Each and every one of us creates our own version of reality formed by our beliefs and our approach to life.

Your Heart Is Not In It Anymore – You have a great job, excellent team around you, you do what you love, but still something feels wrong…

Introverts: How To Be Happy – To live a happy life make sure that what you do aligns with your core values, dreams and mission of your life.

Surprising Thoughts On What Makes Us Unhappy – Constant learning and exploration gets you into a vicious cycle of unfulfilled dreams… unless you find solace in the journey itself.

 

What are your favorite thought leaders and articles of this year?

Delete Your Calendar At Least Twice A Year

If you are a knowledge worker, chances are you rely on your email and calendar as the silent assistants who direct your life. My Outlook calendar tells me when to go to a meeting and who to meet, when to start my work, when to go home or even when to have a lunch. If you are working in one company or on one position for some time your calendar may start accumulating meetings that made sense some time ago but may not bring you the value today. Solution? Just delete your calendar every now and then and start from scratch.

It helps you to prioritize

To delete your calendar and start from zero is a great way to think and prioritize. Our jobs are changing and evolving over the time and maybe today you need to focus on different tasks and have a different set of meetings than you had six months ago. This exercise is a way to push you to think about your goals and your priorities. You should then align your calendar to fit this picture.

It helps you to get rid of useless meetings

After deleting your meetings I would suggest you give it some time before filling up the calendar again. What I do every six months is to delete everything and put back only the really important couple of key meetings. And then wait. If there are some other meetings that you cancelled and they really brought value it will be discovered pretty quickly either by you or others who will speak up and ask for the meeting. If no one misses it then it probably wasn’t that important in the first place.

It helps you to re-target your one-on-ones

If you are like me and your team is constantly growing and changing you may have calendar full of coaching, mentoring or just synchronization sessions with tons of people. The thing is, if you are not careful you may end up with tens of these one-on-ones a week and most of them may not have the impact they used to. Isn’t it better to regularly delete all of them and make some hard choices of who are the people that you should focus on right now? Maybe the guy who you’ve been mentoring for two years doesn’t need it as much as the one who just started. To regularly force yourself to re-evaluate your one-on-ones will also increase the real impact you have on your team as you spend your time where it is really needed.

I was struggling with this concept for some time until I changed my location. It wasn’t enough to change my role as I still could keep the old meetings and just add bunch of new ones, I had to relocate to geographically remote location (the Philippines) in my case with vastly different time zone so most of my former meetings ended up at around midnight. You can imagine it was very easy to delete them and reschedule the key ones to more suitable time. Since then I delete my calendar every six months and keep it uncluttered and focused on the right stuff. I would urge you not to wait till you move to a different country but just go and delete your calendar today!

 

What are your tips and tricks on how to make sure you don’t fill up your calendar with irrelevant meetings and tasks?

Originally posted at LinkedIn.

Getting Stuff Done: The Right Tactics

Last week in Getting Stuff Done: The Right Priorities I talked about the importance to get the right stuff done regardless of your short-term personal gains. Today I will talk about the technical aspects of “how” to get stuff done as painlessly as possible. It took me a while but I finally found some time to read Getting Things Done by David Allen. I’m not big fan of various tips & tricks on how to increase productivity and even though I sometimes reluctantly give some tips to others when mentoring I always accompany it with a disclaimer that even though it works for me it may not for others. We are all unique just as snowflakes are. The work by David Allen however made an impression on me for two reasons. First, he is providing a rather detail guide on how to organize your life to get more things done with less worrying about them. Second, to my surprise his system is relatively close to how I organize my actions and I just use common sense and learn from my mistakes.

Mindset & Benefits

The idea behind the concept (or framework) is simple. Have a single system that is so well organized that you can implicitly trust it. Have everything written down somewhere where you can easily find it so you don’t need to keep it in your head. Have things available when you need them but out of the focus when it is not the appropriate time to deal with them. For example, why to look the whole day at a reminder that you need to buy a bottle of milk in the evening? There is nothing you can do about it when you are in the office so it is just constantly distracting you and pushes you to worry about something you cannot fix at that particular point of time. Every single action has the right time, place and energy levels to be acted upon. You can forget about setting up priorities for tasks or trying to order and reorder them all the time. These things are just distractions that make your life more complicated and not easier.

Framework

David Allen describes his framework in five distinct steps or phases

Collection phase – the part of the framework where you collect all the information and tasks that come to your life. Keep in mind that not everything is electronic so some of the tasks may come in the form of snail mail, people asking you for help, etc. What I do is to transfer everything into electronic form as soon as possible and thus have a single inbox for my whole life. And not surprisingly that inbox is called Microsoft Outlook. Anything that I need to act on I send to myself as an email. Just a brief note, or a scanned copy of the snail mail. I know I can trust myself in doing this mindlessly under any circumstances and thus I know I can trust my inbox holds the complete list of things I need to do or need to know.

Processing phase – this one is the most tricky. You need to process your inbox regularly and at the same time it shouldn’t act as distraction to you. Ideally you want to create a habit and process your inbox couple of times a day. I tend to do it in the morning, after lunch and in any spare time I have during the day that cannot be effectively used by doing anything else. Just make sure that when you are processing your inbox you have the flexibility to immediately act on some of the small items, so doing it during a meeting when you cannot pick up a phone is not the best idea.

There are couple of rule you need to follow when processing your email:

  • Focus and process one item at a time
  • Once you look at the item don’t put it back to inbox
  • For every item ask a simple question: Is there an action to be taken?
    • If no then move to archive or appropriate list of reading
    • If yes then ask yourself: Can it be done by me in couple of minutes? (Allen proposes less than 2 minutes)
      • If the answer is yes then just do it right now
      • If the answer is no then either delegate right now to someone else
      • Or figure out what the next step is and put into your action items list
  • Following these rules you can process your inbox really fast and at the end have a bunch of solved problems, bunch of action items and an empty inbox – good feeling right? Especially the small wins and the empty inbox will give you sense of accomplishment and energy to work on the more time consuming tasks
  • Keep in mind that you completely ignore the importance of the tasks! You want every single aspect of your life to move forward, not just the part that currently feels like important or urgent

Organizing phase – here is where the magic comes. Once again you don’t talk about priorities but about context. You want to organize your action items based on your ability to deal with them. So instead of sorting on urgent, important, unimportant, etc. you sort based on location or possibly energy levels. In my case I would have separate lists for

  • Shopping – here comes anything I have to do while commuting between office and home
  • Home – anything that can be done only when I’m physically at home
  • Office with people – anything I need to do in the office where I need support of others, input, etc.
  • Office in the morning – anything I need to do in the office where I don’t need to interact with anyone
  • Weekend – usually some reading or things that I consider low-energy/hobby type of things
  • Meetings (by person) – I have bunch of lists for each of the regular meetings I have. When the meeting with a particular person comes this list turns into an agenda
  • Someday list – this is a list I use for collecting ideas that still need some time to mature, things I may want to read one day, etc. Just make sure you don’t overpopulate this list and clean it up regularly

Do it phase – now you just take your action item list and run with it. You don’t need to think too much about the next steps because they are already written down there. This is sort of mindless execution phase. How do you decide which task from the list to take? Decide based on time and energy. You can consider the importance and urgency at this stage too but it shouldn’t be the defining aspect. You need to be able to finish the task in one go so if you have just fifteen minutes for something that will likely take an hour there is no point of trying to get it done right now. Also if you have a task that requires you to come up with something creative and you just came from lunch and feel sleepy better take a task that will keep you awake like talking to someone.

What if you are long-term not able to finish your tasks and you are constantly behind? It means you learn to say no to some of the work coming your way. The right time to say no is when the request hits your inbox. Once you process it and accept it then you should finish it, but there is nothing wrong in saying no to some of the work because you are already maxed out.

Review phase – you need to regularly review your system and your lists to make sure they stay neat and clean. I do it once a week usually on Friday or during the weekend. I would look at

  • My projects and ensure each has a next step defined
  • My long-term goals and ensure there is an clear action on them
  • Review next week’s calendar and note down any preparation needed
  • Review the Someday list
  • Review the context lists to make sure everything is still relevant and up to date
  • Ideally also make a brain dump into your inbox and if you have time also process it

Urgency & Importance

In Lack of time is just an illusion! article I talked about the 4D concept. It is a pretty well-known and in theory widely used system on how to prioritize your tasks. I used it for some time myself but eventually abandoned as I discovered that it is just too complicated for everyday use. Priorities are shifting, what wasn’t urgent yesterday is urgent today. What is urgent today may be obsolete tomorrow. I transferred some of the thoughts behind the 4D concept to the simple lists. The reason why the framework described above works better than 4D is that it deals with specific small measurable next steps instead of big picture stuff. You may decide that learning a foreign language is important so you keep it in front of your eyes in 4D matrix but unless you come up with the first small step like “enroll to a course” or “buy a workbook” you will never move forward on that goal regardless of the importance.

Projects & Personal life

Just mix it up. You want your system to be as simple as possible and if you want to have a happy what I call “integrated” life (as described in Forget About Work-Life Balance, Just Live A Happy Integrated Life) you may as well mix your personal tasks with the professional ones. If that makes you uncomfortable you can treat your personal life as a separate project. You probably want to call it something different so you don’t end up like me when under the spell of corporate life I called a date dinner with a girl: one-on-one.

In fact Allen proposes to treat any initiative that requires more than one step as a project. That way you make sure that there is always a clear next step defined regardless of how big the project actually is. Most of the time I keep my working list pretty linear without any structure just to keep everything moving forward and have a detailed structure just in archiving data for easier access. It may look like this and every time I finish the step I define a next one to keep things moving forward

  • Initiative 1 – next step
  • Initiative 2 – next step
  • Initiative 3 – next step

For the full disclosure I need to confess that this system assume you work with it 365 days a year otherwise you need to improvise. In my case it breaks down when I take couple of weeks of vacations and go somewhere out of the grid with no laptops, no phone and no electricity. After I return I tend to use the more traditional approach of urgency and priority to sift through the inbox in couple of runs and cherry-pick the stuff I need to deal with right now and sort of ignore anything that can wait. It usually takes me couple of weeks to catch up with my inbox and makes returns from vacations a bit of a nightmare.

 

How do you organize your day to get the most out of it? Do you distinguish between personal and business tasks?

Originally posted at LinkedIn.

Getting Stuff Done: The Right Priorities

There are many things that constantly fight for your attention. In the corporate world you have to juggle changing priorities to get the right things done. But how do you know you are working on the right stuff? How do you know that you are doing the right thing? And what is the right thing anyway? If you are in any management position it is always a fight between what is the best for the company, for the team and for you personally. In ideal world all these things align nicely, but reality is usually different.

The company comes first

Let us assume that you are in relatively well functioning company. It may not be perfect, no one and nothing is, but there are decent people working there and the environment is not toxic more than necessary. Why this assumption? The guidelines I will outline below are based on this assumption as they essentially put the company first and individuals last. If the environment is toxic and free for all than the philosophy breaks down and won’t work if only one individual tries to follow it. At the same time it may be used as great guidelines for a turnaround and solid basis for a great company culture.

There is a reason for the company to exist. And sadly enough, it is not to employ people. Usually the reasons are bigger than that, starting with making profit, creating something new and cool, helping others or making a World a better place. From this perspective company needs its employees to reach the set goals.

Not all is lost for you. For the company to function effectively and reach its goals it needs to have the right employees and they have to be motivated and aligned with the company mission. What does this all mean for you as a leader? You need to understand what the company’s mission is, where it is heading and this needs to drive your decisions. Whatever you do it needs to support the overall goal. If it doesn’t than it is a distraction, a side step, a waste of time and other resources.

Further, you need to ask what is the opportunity cost working on a particular task. If you decide to work on a particular task or make a particular decision that is in line with company mission and execution strategy you may still question whether it is the fastest or the most effective way to get there. If your goal is to make money and the project has ten cents of return on any dollar invested it sounds like the right call. Until you consider that there is another project in works that will have fifty cents return and will fight for the same resources.

The team is next

Then comes the team. Unless you are a company of one you have a team of people. Like in every collective sport the most successful teams beat the others by good team work, enthusiasm and alignment with one common strategy and vision. This also means that you need to ensure the team feels like one. You shouldn’t single out individuals to take the blame or to get accolades. If the project slips then it is a problem of the whole team and not the one poor guy who made a mistake. Only by nurturing the team mindset you ensure that people will go out of their way to help each other, to ensure there are overlaps in abilities to get things done, there are no single point of failures and everyone has ownership of whatever you are building.

The individuals follow

The individuals on the team of course matter. They matter a lot. Each and every person on your team deserves to be treated like a human being with dignity, respect and consideration. When you move pieces in your spreadsheet during resource planning make sure you understand that. These are not numbers you are playing with but lives of other people. Each of them is special, needs special treatment and has different strengths. Make sure you understand every single person on your team and help them to integrate well with the rest.

What happens when a single team member doesn’t fit in? What if he or she doesn’t perform? What if he or she demands a special treatment? For example your company values open and honest communication and respectful treatment of others and this individual tends to yell at others and badmouth everyone behind their backs? Well, you made a mistake when hiring this person. Keeping in mind the company goal and values (open and respectful communication) and the good of the team (we stand together in good and bad times) this person is simply not aligned and regardless how good technically he might be there is no place for him on your team.

You are the last one

You come last. You as a leader have your success and failures pretty much defined by the success and failures of your company and your teams. There is very little point of climbing the corporate ladder trying to look like a superhero in front of your superiors and leave the team behind. It is a strategy that may work for some time but sooner or later the truth will catch up. Sooner or later someone comes and discovers you have a defunct team that is on the verge or leaving, and your projects are always late and you will run out of people to blame.

The right strategy is to focus on doing your job, on leading your team, on making sure you serve your company’s and your team’s needs, not the other way around. The reward may not come as fast as it could when you served your own agenda first but when it comes it will be a rock solid, based on a strong foundation and difficult to topple. And more than that, you will work for a successful company in a great working environment and have a team of people who would follow you to hell and back.

So to sum it up you should always judge your decisions by these criteria:

  • Is it aligned with your company mission?
  • What is the opportunity cost? Is it the best use of the resources?
  • Does it help and support your team and is it aligned with team goals?
  • Does it help and support this individual?
  • Is it aligned with your values and believes?

 

How do you decide what needs to be done and what course of action to take? Do you prioritize short-term personal gains over long-term collective good? Or the other way around? Or is this view completely nonsensical and you have other way how to make decisions?

Originally posted at LinkedIn.

Effort And Attitude Beats Talent And Knowledge

I recently read David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell and as always when reading his books it made me think about how the ideas he describes reflect the reality of my own experiences. And as always it is a mixed bag. Nonetheless there is one aspect of the when the underdog wins over a supposedly mightier foe that aligns with what I’ve seen in my professional life of a manager and a leader. The focused effort and can-do attitude of determined underdog beats a raw talent and theoretical knowledge of complacent rival hands down most of the time.

Knowledge

Theoretical knowledge is a good basis but by itself won’t get stuff done. What I have seen over the years is that pure knowledge gives you a good starting point but you cannot just hope that it will get you to the finish. I work in software development industry. Lots of the young people who come to interviews boast an impressive academic record and have good theoretical knowledge of programing languages and have memorized some of the standard design patterns or algorithms. What distinguishes the best from the mere good ones? The effort they put into not just memorizing the knowledge but also the practice of using it in real life scenarios. The best of these developers have practical experience with building software applications and understand what from the theory is important and what is nice to have.

Talent

If you rely just on your talent chances are you won’t get anywhere. Even the most talented person is not able to utilize his talent to the full extend without the right attitude and focus. Over the years I have worked with many talented people who from childhood sailed through their lives with ease because of the in-born talent and IQ. They were smart, they were talented, they were satisfied with what they have and they became lazy. Nothing wrong with that as long as they were happy with themselves but I always found it sad as I saw the raw potential they had if only they (or someone) helped them realized that with a bit of effort and the right attitude they can be so much more.

Effort

Effort put into things is the way how the great distinguish themselves from the mere good ones. Over the years I managed hundreds of people and the one consistent thing I could see was that if someone puts more focused effort into improving himself or building something more often than not the results are way above the initial expectations. It is the internal drive and sometimes even single minded dedication that distinguishes the best from the rest of the team. No distractions, no workarounds, just pure hard work on the right things is what can help even the underdog to win over the more talented but complacent ones. It is that effort that will get your knowledge to the next level and not the other way around.

Attitude

Attitude closely links with effort and only by combining these you can build skill at the master level. Obviously for you to be able to put effort into something you need a rather unique attitude. You need to be able to recognize what to focus on, you need to be able to understand your own limitations and have means to gather feedback on how you are improving and you need to have a so called growth mindset to believe that you can change and you can make a difference.

And don’t blame your parents or genes if you don’t have that attitude. You can learn it if you really want. In my past life I was a software developer. Rather introverted guy who considered interaction with the rest of the world a nuisance. At some point I realized that to survive in tomorrow’s world I need to build a different set of skills and attitudes. Over the period of several years of focused effort and couple of external events I reshaped my skills to focus more on people and communication. I also went through a profound change in my world view and learned to be the ultimate optimist who sees the positive in everything and everyone and who’s curiosity and need to learn something new and change is never satisfied.

 

What does it all mean when building your team? What do you focus on when hiring people to your team? Where do you focus your coaching and mentoring efforts? How do you help people who are complacent to realize their potential? I’m not going to provide answers today (I may in some future post) but these are the questions you should ask yourself and find some answers that work in your individual case.

Originally posted at LinkedIn.