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Helping software leaders build Uncommon Teams who meet goals with aplomb
- Spend your time fighting your systems, trying to make them work for you?
- Want to feel confident suggesting changes you aren’t sure will work?
- Want to feel safe telling your team what you need to do your best work?
- Know something needs to change?
Maybe you have tried to make this change, and it hasn’t worked out the way you hoped. Maybe you haven’t tried yet because you aren’t sure how to get started. Maybe you haven’t started because you don’t even understand what needs to change. Maybe you’re not even sure whether anything actually even needs to change.
I help you tame the swamps keeping you mired in place.
I help software leaders like you find your way, even when you don’t know where you are going or how to get there. I help you build Uncommon Teams who consistently meet your goals with aplomb. With extensive experience as a leader in the software industry, and having helped leaders at large established companies and small startups across the world, I can help you lead your team in the shift to incremental change and innovation and providing early warning if things are about to go off the rails.
When we work together, you will:
- Lead the way you want to lead.
- Build the teams you want to build.
- Move in a way that’s sustainable for you and for your teams.
- Become ever more aligned with your goals.
- Balance what you need, what your team needs, and what your larger organization needs.
- Be Uncommon.
Uncommon Case Study:
Mike, Software Engineer and Manager
Results Mike Saw
- Mike understood the force that drives him and the resources that energize and recharge him, so that he can always have the energy and motivation he needs to achieve his goals.
- Mike named the questions he didn’t know he had yet were blocking him from moving forward.
- Mike experienced a safe space to stop focusing on the ‘safe’ options he knew were no longer fulfilling him and instead consider the ‘scary’ options that felt much more aligned with who he is now.
“Considering many possibilities I never would have otherwise. Disconnecting who I am from what I do.”
Mike was a software engineer and manager who was taking time off after many years at large and small software companies and consultancies. He was feeling pinched financially, his wife was pestering him to do something to bring in money, yet the thought of getting yet another job in software left him feeling rather blah. Nevertheless, he had been interviewing for the last several months and not finding anything compelling, or even vaguely interesting.
We started by comparing and contrasting times where he felt engaged, both at work and in his personal life, and identifying the key factors that seemed to create that engagement. Then we looked for other situations that had those same factors, yet he felt unengaged or even actively unhappy. From a series of similar explorations, we discovered four key resources he needs in place to engage with and enjoy the work he does:
- Exploring in the moment
As we discovered these principles over time, we also uncovered some core fears holding him back:
- Of succeeding
- Of having to meet other’s expectations, especially after years of being the expert
- Of considering options outside of software
At this point I suggested he use his resources as a guide in considering what he might like to do. This led him to all sorts of possibilities, both inside and outside of software, that he had never before considered. Following one of these trails led him to a course on day trading, which he quite unexpectedly discovered he absolutely loves and is rather good at! While he still feels a little weird to not be writing and testing software all day, he feels challenged in the best possible way and sees his way to replacing his previous salary.
Uncommon Case Study:
Heather, Software Engineer
Results Heather Saw
- Heather understood the forces that drive her and the resources that energize recharge her, so that she can always have the energy and motivation she needs to achieve her goals.
- Heather gained simple tools she has found supremely useful in handling everything life throws at her.
- Heather moved closer towards sustained alignment with her principles.
- Heather increased her balance of alignment with her principles with those of her colleagues and team.
“So many! Understanding how I work best, how that affects the people around me, and that it really is best for me even when it strays from typical workstyles or lifestyles. That I always have control over how I am even when I don’t have control over the situation.”
Heather's Uncommon Shift
When we started working together approximately two years ago, Heather did not understand why sometimes she felt energized and other times she felt completely drained, nor did she feel at all aligned with what she believed she wanted. And she hadn’t even considered how her needs might impact those of her family, friends, or colleagues! Now she feels highly confident in her ability to sustain her energy levels and thus continue moving towards her goals, as well as her ability to gauge how aligned those goals are with her principles and how to adjust her path to increase that alignment. She is now much more aware of the impact she has on those around her and is becoming more confident in her ability to manage that impact to her and their mutual advantage.
Heather is a software engineer who was just a few years out of college when we started working together. While she was happy enough with her work and colleagues, she was also feeling like something needed to change. Time to start looking for a new job, or at least a different team within her company? Maybe switch to management? So many options! She wasn’t sure what she really wanted to do, nor what to focus on first.
We used a number of thought experiments and discussions with friends and family to discover four key resources she needs in place to engage with and enjoy the work she does — and, she realized, her life overall:
- Feeling that the fullness of who she is, is good enough and is appreciated
- Lifting others up
- Proof of her ability
Knowing this helps her be aware of when she’s not getting enough of these, and through many Tiny Experiments we found her best ways for recharging each of these.
This led us into exploring how she navigates her environment — that she absorbs and communicates information visually while processing it kinesthetically, for example. We also dug into the core of what motivates her; while she knew she feels more motivated the more she’s enjoying the thing she’s doing, she was utterly surprised to discover this is actually a core component of her motivation and not just a nice-to-have. Additionally, we discovered, she needs to know that the thing she’s doing is adding value to her and/or those she’s working with. And we discovered she really needs both of these to truly feel motivated.
Throughout the many experiments she ran over the course of these discussions, she was always completely clear how complete was each formulation of the answer she was working towards. This led us to our current work identifying the signals she uses for knowing how (mis)aligned she is at any point.
Mike and Heather are two of the leaders who have walked through the 6 Actions of Uncommon Teams:
Are you ready to Lead Uncommonly? Join me in your first Uncommon Conversation and gain:
- A clear understanding of your current situation.
- Simple tools to help you understand where you want to go.
- Simple processes to help you get there.