Crank up their enthusiasm to 11

Josh told me:”I love working on fun side projects. Sooooo much better than client projects. Like the ping-pong scoring app I built, everyone loves it! I wish I could just work on that stuff.” Generally, when I hear this kind of thing, I think, “Cool,...

I dare you to be curious

Leadership doesn’t always happen in front of everyone, in speeches or big events.  Leadership also happens during short, intimate hallway moments when you connect with one of your developers. It could be as simple as turning “How’s it going?”...

Don’t tell, ask.

  Kat Lim asked me this great question: “My team has developers that age between 33 to 40 years old. I’m scrum lead (mix of ScrumMaster and tech lead). I try to put the Agile bug in them but still can’t get it done. It’s just they...

“Why doesn’t anyone listen to me?”

In the past, I’ve been too critical of my team, colleagues or customers. And this is hard to admit, but sometimes I brought my critical spirit home to my family as well. Too often I was the father or spouse that was never pleased with anything. It didn’t...

Can you taste motivation?

Do you care if the person who makes your coffee feels motivated? I do. Because I can taste the difference. For example, if they agree to serve me a Chemex in any size cup, I simply leave.  A Chemex recipe must be tuned to a specific amount of water, and real baristas...

Surprise your boss in your next 1:1

The next time you’re in a 1:1 meeting with your boss, ask: How could I make your job easier? The first time I asked my boss that question, he was speechless. After a long pause, he said, “Um… I’m fine. Just focus on your job.” I’m...

The brain wants what it wants

Cognitive dissonance theory shows us that when our behavior doesn’t match our intentions, we feel discomfort.  For example, a smoker might understand the health problems associated with smoking, yet may not choose to enter a program to help them quit smoking....

Who would you rather have on your project?

Will is an introvert, quiet and methodical. He thinks through each move, coding like keystrokes are set it stone. Sean is an extrovert, funny and quick to tell you what he thinks. He talks as he types, and lives by the DELETE and UNDO keys. When my boss worked closely...

The brilliance of

Guillermo wrote me back yesterday to let me know how he solved the “demotivated, disconnected programmer” problem.  I’ll let him tell you… I started seeing this behavior in my developers, so what I did was to introduce a "Customer Support value...