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27 October 2010

Awesome failures

The other day we sat down to lunch with Roy Osherove and listened to his NDC talk on Code Leaders and Beautiful Teams.

The talk began with an anecdote where he is hired because he is awesome, but precisely because he is awesome he holds on to problems and fails to get help when needed.

I do that. Not to the extent that he does (listen to the talk) but sufficiently that my week or even weeks become difficulty for m and risk is introduced to the project.

Leaders are particularly vulnerable to holding onto a problem and not seeking help. Hell, we’re leaders right? We are expected to sort things out effortlessly and swiftly.

Of course we are people too. Where we are different is that we often operate solo and don’t have that voice of sanity telling us that we need to get help, that the challenge in front of us is too big for us alone, or that we are gradually being overwhelmed by a thousand incremental new tasks.

What to do? Recognise the potential for the problem. Find the partner on your team who will keep checking you, and have the conversation with them today.

What? There is no-one? Actually there’s a whole team of people willing to help you, just over the office divider