Requiem for a Team
Paradigms, paradox, paranoia, paramount, pragmatic… Performance. A piss poor paraphrase what it is to Product Manage.
If you’re doing it right you should always be amongst a mental breakdown and maniatic episodes.
Your authority should be inconsequential, but people should always want to follow you.
Too often do people try to be the smartest person in the room. That was already established before we sat down and no one really cares.
It’s not about the quality of how you say it, but the content of what you said.
Making people feel safe is the quintessential element of a team. Everyone has to know the person next to them would “take a bullet” for them and to a lesser extent stick up for them when they need it most.
Everyone buys in. Period.
This isn’t top down. Its middle out. Bottom up. Everyone gets it and knows why it matters. The f’ing new guy gets schooled fast. Best part is everyone knows the rules so they’re community policed.
No one’s feelings get hurt. Leaders are found. Everyone knows the score. You count on one another.
If you’re good at your job your team gives you more shit than anyone and you relish in it. Why? They know you will brunt the failures of the team and they trust where you are leading them. #hinderer
Now you’re cooking with gas. You’ve filled out your team. Everyone is defending the teams values in planning, retro, everywhere, everyday. You’re on a steady growth trajectory. Your burn down charts are a thing of beauty. You’re barely finishing your last user story at the end of your sprint. Nirvana.
Melancholy? Sure. We weren’t all exceptional as individuals (some were/are) but truly the sum was greater than the parts.
Can you reproduce this? Yes we can. Our team, while fragmented, attempts it to this day. Maybe things can’t always be the dream team.? Maybe we’re callus? Maybe we just aren’t trying hard enough?
While this powerful quote from Stuart Scott chokes me up every time I hear it and transcends the importance of software development. How you decide to build your team, why your values hold true together, and the manner of how you live them matter.