Mindset

Einstein Was Wrong

On one hand, it takes a lot to make a statement openly contradictory to common sense. On the other, it is remarkably easy to turn it into publicity stunt, hoping to surf the waves of public outrage. The latter one only works if you can actually prove your point. Otherwise, your new astrological sign is that of an idiot, saying something shocking just for social media likes. Which could also mean you’re one of modern day celebrities, famous for nothing but the fame itself. In the good old days, that some misadjusted to reality crave for, things were a bit different. Amongst starlets, playboys, and criminals, scientists often hit the frontpages. Albert Einstein is probably the best known example, with his impeccable reasoning and creativity reshaping our understanding of literally everything.

Apparently, he had some worse days too, and on one of them, he made a statement that is just wrong.Read More »Einstein Was Wrong

The Future You – And Why You May Not Get There

If you’re not some mindless instincts driven drone, you spend at least moments of your day thinking about the future. Your plans. Your doubts. Your hopes. Events you wish to unveil. People you want to meet. Relationships you dream of building. To see that, you use one of the most powerful tools at your disposal – your imagination. You can see yourself involved in the limitless spectrum of possible outcomes.

Thing is though, that person is not you.Read More »The Future You – And Why You May Not Get There

My Trip to Portugal – A Nightmare I Am Grateful For

Just two weeks ago, I was traveling to Lisbon to attend the Agile Portugal conference. While the event itself was fantastic, my path to it was an ordeal. Majority of things that could go wrong, did just that. I caught a bad cold two days prior to the trip. My first flight was cancelled and I was boarded for an alternate route – I had to embark a plane going in the opposite direction. Then, while switching terminals in Madrid, I missed my flight. It turned my three-leg journey into four leg one, as I had to fly to Porto first. Finally, on a plane somewhat resembling World War 2 bombers, I arrived in Lisbon mere 12 hours late. As you can expect, my luggage arrived two days later, just hours in advance of my return trip. On top of that, just after delivering my talk, my vocal chords finally gave up and I literally lost my voice.

The whole trip was essentially a nightmare. I will, however, reminisce it with smile on my face. It was one of the best lessons on life, for three reasons.Read More »My Trip to Portugal – A Nightmare I Am Grateful For

Worst Advice Ever

Every now and then, some friendly soul stumbles upon someone full of despair about some aspect of their life. Low on money, unhappy in love, with bad health – you name it. There are endless ways to be miserable. Some of these poor bastards actually attempt doing something to recover from their dire situation. That’s noble of itself, make no mistake. But quite often things just don’t work out well. They fail once. They fail twice. Then thrice. Then, if they’re still fighting, they might fail again. It is remarkably easy to give up. Don’t beat yourself if it happened to you. That’s just being human. With exception of relationships, we hate being stuck in the limbo. Then we give up and accept that we’ll never be rich, happy, or healthy. That makes us sad and miserable. Then the good soul appears and, with best intentions, shares the worst motivational advice ever.Read More »Worst Advice Ever

You Will Fail

For whatever reasons, quite often wrong or misperceived, we all try to introduce some change. Be it about our own lives, our teams, or our whole organisations, we want to make things better. Rest assured, it is never easy. Change sucks, is painful, and sometimes requires unearthly amounts of willpower. And it’s when you only apply it to yourself! Thinking of your family, your team, or whatever bigger entity – you may as well start praying.

Because, at one moment or another, you will fail miserably.Read More »You Will Fail

How Can You Tell?

If you work anywhere near software development, I can bet your organisation is Agile. Well, unless you live under the rock, work in some government institution, or your business is driven by grants. Still, monstrosities aside, nobody wants to admit working the old waterfall way. It is almost as cool as showing up in a car concourse in Skoda. Which, for those of you without a drop of gasoline in your blood, means utterly uncool. Agile has been the dogmatic new black for quite a few years now. Rest assured, I have no problem with that. In theory, it makes all the sense in the world.

Which is why I want you to ask yourself – how can you tell your organisation is Agile? What are the symptoms? What is the reason you want to give the only cool answer?Read More »How Can You Tell?

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.Read More »How to Change the World

The Silver Bullet

There is no single ingredient to anything. To be a good leader, you need humility, confidence, perspective – and many more. To be good at sports, you need training, proper nutrition, good rest – and many more. To build a successful business, you need resilience, a lot of hard work, a good team to compliment your weak spots – and many more. Every aspect of reality comprises of multitude of factors, many of which we may never truly realize. That’s just the way things are. There’s no silver bullet to help you achieve greatness in whatever you pursue.

Except there is one.Read More »The Silver Bullet

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?Read More »Aspire for THE BEST

Why I Run

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 »Why I Run

Personality Trait to Enable Agility and Leadership

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?
Read More »Personality Trait to Enable Agility and Leadership

Beyond Plans

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 »Beyond Plans