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    Entries in Team (3)


    Own it & Fix it!

    It's an all to common scenario.  We meet in our respective teams, and discuss how we can improve.  A healthy exercise for sure, but unfortunately, the outcome often does not align with the initial goals defined at the outset.  Despite a commitment to "where did WE win and lose" it moves to "were did YOU win and lose."

    If we took a break from the madness of blame-game and all took ownership of every issue under personal control...wouldn't everything be on the table and ready for correction.  Rather than pointing at where members of the team went wrong, and volunteering how you could've fixed or helped...the ship would with no doubt right-size and the team could move on.  Instead, we try to solve issues by picking of micro-concerns 1-by-1 and shooting team members like they were playing Duck Hunt.

    When meeting with your team, prepare with a list of the areas that you let others and the team down, with a plan on how you can improve.  Most will follow, and the team will benefit.

    Own it...Fix it!



    There's no "I" in Community... maybe there is an "i" but you get the point.

    Community is a funny thing.  Lots of people talk about it, few people actually do it.

    Community means different things to different people...a warm meal during a difficult time, a group to share feelings/beliefs/fears/victories with, or just simply a group with similar interests; Community is not THIS easy to define.

    I am a part of many different communities.  A family, a church, friends, an office, various online platforms...each one supporting me in differrent, yet complimentary ways.

    So why write about community?  What's the point?  I believe the word itself (like so many words today) is thrown around without much notice.  All you need is a good idea and a friend that is into coding, and you can build a "community."  If you have cable, you can watch community.  If you own a computer, you can join almost any community...but I think true community runs much deeper than commenting on a blog or following someone on twitter...doesn't it?

    No answers today...just questions.


    Book Review - Five Dysfunctions of a Team

    Brief Intro:

    About 2 years ago, I really purposed myself to start to read more.  I didn't want to just read because I knew I should, I really wanted to build a discipline and a true love for reading.  Over the past year and a half I feel like I have been successful in that, and now try to read roughly 1 book/month with a few extra's over vacations, etc.  I want to post on some of what I read, and highlight lessons that I have found in each book I write about.  So here it goes!

    I thought it only fitting to have my first review be of Patrick Lencioni’s "5 Dysfunctions of a Team."  I read this book in the week that I was in Florida earler this year, and can honestly say that it is a top-5 for me thus far in terms of applicability and actually pulling tangible concepts out that can impact my day-to-day working life.  This was also the first book I read on the Kindle App on my iPad.  I was very impressed and have bought several books since.

    I really enjoy Lenicioni's style of writing.  He writes fables that illustrate the principles that he is trying to communicate in fiction-like literature.  This book discusses a hurting technology company located in Silicon Valley.  It tells the story of a team of highly intelligent individuals that (you guessed it) suck at working together.  The story discusses: Team Dynamic, Style of Communication, Strategies of Management & Leadership, and Efficiency.

    Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a team are:

    1. Beginning with an Absence of Trust leads to
    2. Fear of Conflict which generates
    3. Lack of Commitment which leads to
    4. Avoidance of Accountability which creates
    5. Inattention to Results

    Here are some of my favourite quotes from Five Dysfunctions of a Team By Patrick Lencioni:

     "If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industr, in any market, against any competition, any time."

    "Jack Welch didn't have to be an expert on toaster manufacturing to make General Electric a success and Herb Kelleher didn't have to spend a life-time flying airplanes to build Southwest Airlines."

    Office "Politics is when people choose their words and actions based on how they want others to react rather than based on what they really think."

    "In the context of building a team, trust is the confidence among team members that their peer's intentions are good, and that there is no reason to be protective or careful around the group.  In essense, teammates must get comforable being vulnerable with one another."

    "If we don't trust one another, then we aren't going to engage in open, constructive, ideological conflict.  And we'll just continue to preserve a sense of artificial harmony."

    "Reasonable people don't have to get their way in a discussion.  They just need to be heard, and to know that their input was considered and responded to."

    "The leader must set the tone for a focus on results.  If team members sense that the leader valued anything other than results, they will take that as permission to do the same for themselves."