Everyone strives for something different. Be it a specific job title, a big dream to chase, a particular spouse. Nothing wrong about it, especially considering needs of any single person do not remain static over their lifetime, but evolve to match their circumstances at the time. Obvious, isn’t it? Yet, some of our strives seem, well, unnatural at best. What do I mean? If you imagine a tree, its history, the legend behind it, what do you see? It starts with a single stalk, then first leaf, then trunk manifests itself, then you get branches, with more and more leaves and even more branches. Environmental reality can and will affect the process. Winds will blow, shaping the tree in a awkwardly aerodynamic shape, allowing it to grow more easily. Every now and then, a fire will sweep the area – hopefully the tree will be big enough to sustain it. Mistletoe will prey on it, as will several insects, birds and other beings.

What will the tree do about it? Read more

We all have days that, for lack of a better expression, utterly suck. Mine was Tuesday, a bit over two weeks ago. Early morning, I finally made a long-postponed decision to resign board membership of a very promising consulting company. With all the fun and excitement about it, it was hugely time consuming – and I tend to have my plate full to the limit. Communicating it wasn’t easy, as the rest of the board are all my friends. On my way to the client, I got an interesting call from medical lab. Long story short, either I’d change a lot of things in my life, or I’d die sometime this year. This was new. Then, major political turmoil at one of my large accounts resulted in their cancellation of all consulting services. Including mine. As I had daily sync with my staff in the evening, I was clearly in what could be called a bad mood. As we were concluding the call, my operations manager – who knows me well – told me just one thing. Read more

Just previous weekend, I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on “that whole Agile thing” on a conference in Cracow, the capital of Poland for majority of its known history. While explaining the Agile onion concept, origins of which I couldn’t find (though I would love to buy whoever thought it out a beer or two), I made a comment that the single personality trait that makes the actual agility possible was humility. Which, contrary to what you might think, is nothing about religion and is not, in any way, related to modesty. Especially the popular, false one. Coincidentally, I have a strong belief and evidence that humility also enables one to be the proper leader.

Isn’t that what we all want? Agility, leadership – widespread, across our workplaces? Now, that would make sense, wouldn’t it?
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Nobody in their right minds would’ve ever admit to not have plans. Yes, you may have no idea what to do this evening, which particular car to buy and whether you’d like strawberry or banana flavored ice-cream on your cheat day. But these are all virtually meaningless nuances. Except for the car part, of course. Now, take a step back, then another and one more, just enough to see the big picture (Health and safety advice: while you do that, please beware of staircases, LEGO blocks and cliffs). Some sort of plan will be there. It might be a bit vague, e.g. getting married someday, to someone, hopefully not in Las Vegas. If you’re being honest with yourself, this plan will actually be more specific. On the other hand, it might be extremely concrete, even SMART (though you might want to be careful here) – for instance, matching your current salary with side gigs until the end of the year. You do have some idea on how you’d like your life to change.

And the worst that can happen is that you simply succeed. Read more

There are several ways you could split your activities each day. Some are habitual, some are conscious. Some are good, some neutral, few somewhat bad and some purely evil. Some are personal, some are social. The selection can go on forever. The important one is that there are things you choose to do and those you must do. But do you really? Is there really anything you must do?

Well, no. Almost. Read more

Some people make utterly worthless resolutions, be it on New Year’s or any other occasion. Something along the lines of earn more, or drink less, or lose weight. Having helpful individual around, these are remarkably easy to achieve. Being myself, I’d give the first person a penny, knocking the wine glass out of hand of the second and propose interesting use of my chainsaw to the last one. Can you imagine reaching your big resolution in 5 seconds? Well, losing weight would take at least minutes, but, anyway.

But people today are not that stupid, or entertaining. Everybody’s goals are SMART now. Read more

There’s something amazing about Mondays. It’s the only weekday when virtually everyone allows themselves to grumble, whether they like their jobs or not. Today’s Monday is by several degrees of magnitude more demotivating. Not only does it follow Friday the 13th, it’s also said to be the most depressing day of the year.

But why? Read more