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Introducing: Uncommon Leadership

Hello there!

I’m Michael Hunter with Uncommon Teams.

I help leaders in software build uncommon teams who meet goals with confidence and clarity.

Which begs the question: how do you build an uncommon team?

If we put people in roles that they are not happy doing or perhaps they have to bend or do certain tasks in that role that they just typically don’t like doing, then it just drains them of energy. Those are things that our clients can see and customers can see. It’s really difficult on that employee when they just, at the end of the day, they’re just sapped of strength.

—Sam Reeve, CompTeam

That is not how you build an uncommon team.

You do build an uncommon team by leading uncommonly.

Which I guess begs the question: how do you lead uncommonly?

If you look at people as more than their job description, if you work from strength, and you give people an opportunity to do things that they actually enjoy doing, and you cross-train and add skill constantly to people, you wind up with capabilities that on paper aren’t supposed to be possible. And you basically create an organization that can then think its way to a solution and do things that are way beyond its brief. You’re future-proof.

—Jeff Griffiths, WorkForce Strategies, International

A critical component in leading uncommonly is seeing people as people.

Leveraging the unique gifts each of those people brings is another essential element.

The ultimate goal of a leader is to raise up people to be able to do everything you’re supposed to be doing and more, so that you can move up the ladder. The idea is that we’re constantly lifting people up the ladder, and helping people get further up the ladder, wherever we are in the ladder. It’s not a matter of throwing people off. No, no. It’s making a bigger ladder. I want to have a big ladder.

—Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter

Leading uncommonly is worthwhile.

Even if you don’t feel you can make much of a difference.

They take that model that they saw you do and they bring it with them to other places. If you really work in a toxic culture, you probably can’t change much until something else really big changes. But people can say, “I remember how that leader made me feel. I will take those ideas with me and move to another company where it’s less toxic and I’m more able to work the way I want to.” And they don’t have to be specifically leaders or managers. They can be “just,” in quotes, “just” regular people doing development or testing or product or whatever. They take those ideas, that slightly less fear, slightly more open, and they reinforce that in the teams that they go to. That’s the effect of making a safe culture for the people with whom you work and the people whom you lead.

—Johanna Rothman, The Pragmatic Manager

Uncertain how to lead uncommonly?

Or, certain you don’t know how?

That’s one of the reasons I’m launching the Uncommon Leadership interview series.

You’ll hear leaders in and around software tell their stories about learning to lead uncommonly.

You’ll hear them describe their experiences shifting from struggling to thriving.

You’re taught in these Type A software organizations, “Don’t show any flaws.” That’s actually the worst thing you can do because people know you have them. And if you don’t embrace them, and you don’t be yourself and authentic, it actually hurts as well.

—Matt Domo, FifthVantage

Follow the Uncommon Leadership interview series to hear more great stories from great leaders like you’ve just heard.

To be notified when I drop a new episode, sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page, or follow Uncommon Leadership wherever you get your podcasts.

Looking forward to having you along!

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