Teamwork

Interesting article about teamwork and personalities, it’s always been important but I think that the current all-remote-working situation in the IT industry has made it all the more essential:

But even though teamwork is everywhere, we continue to train people — whether in education or in the workforce — for primarily individual and technical skills. As someone who’s worked with teams for the past 25 years in the corporate world and written two books about teamwork, I think that needs to change. And that’s why I’m going to share with you the three simple virtues that make for a good team player.

The first and by far the most important is humility. If you want to be an ideal team player and if you want to be successful in life, you really need to be humble. Most of us know what humility is — it means not being arrogant or self-centered but putting others ahead of ourselves. It’s such an attractive and powerful thing.

When somebody lacks confidence and makes themselves small, that’s not humility. To deny our talents is actually a violation of humility, just like it is to exaggerate them. The writer C.S. Lewis said it best when he wrote, “Humility isn’t thinking less of ourselves, it’s thinking about ourselves less.” (Editor’s note: That quote has long been misattributed to Lewis.)

The second is equally simple: You have to be hungry. This simply means having a strong work ethic. People who have an innate hunger about getting work done are typically much more successful on teams and in life. This quality is the one that you probably have to develop earliest in life; when I work with people later in life who never developed it, it can be harder for them to build it. Being hungry is not about workaholism, though. Workaholics are people who get their entire identity from their work. People who are hungry just want to go above and beyond what’s expected; they have a high standard for what they do, and they never do just the minimum.

The third attribute is what I call being smart. But it’s not about intellectual smarts; this is about emotional intelligence and having common sense around how we understand people and how we use our words and actions to bring out the best in others. This is so important in the world, and being smart is one of those things that people can work on and get better at.

You need to have all three qualities to be a great team player.

via Delilah, who always finds good articles.

Good Tools

I’ve been thinking and reading about technical and non-technical leadership, productivity and leveraging, and this describes very well why you need good tools in your work:

Finally there’s a psychological aspect to providing good tools to engineers that I have to believe has a really impact on people’s overall effectiveness. On one hand, good tools are just a pleasure to work with. On that basis alone, we should provide good tools for the same reason so many companies provide awesome food to their employees: it just makes coming to work every day that much more of a pleasure. But good tools play another important role: because the tools we use are themselves software, and we all spend all day writing software, having to do so with bad tools has this corrosive psychological effect of suggesting that maybe we don’t actually know how to write good software. Intellectually we may know that there are different groups working on internal tools than the main features of the product but if the tools you use get in your way or are obviously poorly engineered, it’s hard not to doubt your company’s overall competence.

Peter Seibel, “Let 1,000 flowers bloom

I may come back to this.