Category: Leadership

Have you ever been in a meeting with someone who is getting very angry with you?  I had this situation only a week or two after I joined a new organisation.  I could tell he was angry because he was having to work really hard to control his voice, his hands were shaking and his […]

Have you ever worked in a team where there was one team member who nobody liked and who nobody wanted to work with?  I joined an organisation where one of the teams had an ‘odd man out’.  He wasn’t as fast on the uptake as the other developers, he always asked lots of basic and […]

I spoke at #agileinthecity this week on Punishment Driven Development and I was asked an interesting question. “What if a team member doesn’t want to do a good job?” Should we punish someone who just isn’t trying?  Should we let them know that their behaviour is unacceptable?  Should we start hard performance management? It’s my […]

When we think about agile development we talk about the performance of the team and not measuring individual performance.  If we measure individual performance then we drive behaviours which are counterproductive to our overall aims.  For example, one of the best developers I have ever worked with would probably have been viewed as achieving very […]

What can we tell by looking at someone?  Can we guess what job they do?  Could we gauge how good they are with people and how effective a leader they would make? Despite how much we believe that we make voting decisions or job offer decisions based on rational analysis the fact remains that we […]

What’s the first thing we do when a problem happens in the live system?  Fix it of course.  Then we set about finding out who’s to blame so that they can be suitably punished.  Why is there this drive to punishment?  What dies it achieve? One organisation I worked with used to have a high […]

We concentrate far too much on leadership qualities and how leaders achieve great results rather than concentrating on the followers – who are the actual ‘do’ers – and what enables them to deliver the best results.  It’s like we have a cult around the figurehead and totally undervalue the team.  We talk about self-management but […]

I’ve always been a huge believer in the importance of respect.  I believe that people deserve to be respected from the start, without the need to ‘earn’ it.  This applies to everyone I meet, from the person who serves me my coffee in the morning through to the CEO of my organisation.  I start from […]

Chimpanzees have three main strategies which they use to become alpha male; dominance, intelligence and forming political alliances. Dominance The majority of the time dominance is the chosen approach.  The chimpanzee is bigger and stronger than the other male chimpanzees, or they have greater aggression and fighting skills.  They therefore fight their way to the […]