Man With a Hammer

If you have enough agile practitioners in your social network, it’s almost certain that you will notice someone posting an article on team development. In majority of cases, it will be based on research done by Bruce Tuckman in the 1960s. Even if you’ve never heard of him, you surely must have heard of the four phases: forming, storming, norming, and performing. Let’s have a quick overview of them. Continue reading “Man With a Hammer”

Are You The Sixth?

There are several rules that decide the origin, highlight, and the ultimate fate of every society. There’s the commonality of values, however temporary that may be, deciding it’s appearance. A set of people brought together for whatever the reason, though deciding to stay together far enough the needs of survival, defined in myriad of ways. Then there’s the bright spot – a society rises, grows, and ultimately outshines every other around, attracting all kinds of decent folks, along with freeloaders and some plankton.

Then, as it inevitably fades, it reaches state of stability. Low enough not to become a spot on a radar for big sharks, big enough to thrive. Hey, have you thought about the people around you? Your closest circle of friends.

What are they like?

Seriously, sit there for a while and figure out what it is that defines your inner circle.

What are they like? What is it that defines them? What are the core beliefs that hold them together?

Really, write it down.

Got that? Now it’s going to get harder.

Look at the things you figured out. If you average them out, they will quite accurately describe the actual reality of one person.

That person is you.

There’s a reason for that. Being a ultrasocial species, we seek acceptance above everything else. Whatever role we currently play in the society – father, mother, single at particular age range – there are things our inner circle expects us to do. Everyone outside it expects everybody within to adhere to adequate set of rules.

The system scales up indefinitely, to encompass whole mankind, though that’s irrelevant.

Thing is, subconsciously, you will attempt to comply to rules of your inner circle. Ever heard of all those idiot kids doing the dumbest things imaginable? They do it for the very same reason for which you’re buying a flat on a 40-year mortgage, an enormous size TV set, and get a new car every four years. Odds are, you need neither of these.

Though everyone around has them. Darn it!

And as you might thing I just made my point, I’m not even close.

Career-wise, how far up do you think all these people in your inner circle might get? Executive status? Start-up owner? Just a regular Joe?

Whatever your circle is, you will attempt to keep up with them.

  • Hang out with the winners, winners you shall be.
  • Hang out with the average Joe, average Joe you shall be.
  • Hang out with losers bringing you down, a loser bringing others down you shall be.

There’s the old saying:

“If you hang around with five idiots, you will be the sixth.”

Now, let me state the obvious. It is cruel. Some people just aren’t cut for big wins, epic achievements, and coming victorious out of the greatest of risks. And that’s perfectly okay. There’s nothing wrong with this.

As long as you make a conscious choice.

Now, look around you again. Do you think these people will help you go up, or bring you down to the level of their acceptable mediocrity?

Just don’t be cruel when making cuts. It’s not their fault they feel complacent. It’s not your fault you don’t. It’s just the fact of life.

Look around, make your choice, cut mercilessly.

Don’t be a sixth idiot. Unless, obviously, you want to. That’s your choice.

How to Change the World

Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to change the world. Some of my ultimate goals did include obvious choices, like world domination. Which would, clearly, be the best fate that can be imagined for the whole mankind. Well, with years passing, the idea evolved. For now, it kind of settled on a meaningful eulogy. Something more than, “Well, there was this guy and now he’s not around”. Inevitably, as I attempted to conquer, dominate, or just alter some areas of reality, I failed quite often. After all, there’s no reason for you to call me the Supreme Leader. Yet.

Still, by failing quick and often, I got pretty close to how to actually change the world. Continue reading “How to Change the World”

Aspire for THE BEST

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? Continue reading “Aspire for THE BEST”

How Not to Fail With SMART Goals

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. Continue reading “How Not to Fail With SMART Goals”