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My haunted closet

There is a tiny closet in the front room of the beach house where I’m staying this week, in Santa Cruz, CA.

The closet has no light switch. Instead, the inside light is on a motion sensor.

At 2 am, I got up for a drink of water and froze in my tracks.

I could see closet light was on, shining brightly under the door.

Who or what turned the light on???

Was someone in the house?

Or, an animal?

Or, a ghost?

I still don’t know – I wasn’t brave enough to open the door.


Every day we see people’s behavior “shining” under the closed door of their thoughts.

It’s easy to make guesses about what’s happening in the closet of their mind.

Is someone late for morning stand-up? “They’re not committed to the team.”

Someone commit’s sloppy code? “They just don’t care about quality.”

Someone’s silent in meetings? “They’re checked out at work.”

Try to catch yourself.

Remember, all you can see is the light, not what’s going on behind the door.

Be braver then I was – knock on the door.

Ask what’s happening.

Be curious – and act on it.

A good question to start with is, “Tell me more about that, please.”


About Marcus Blankenship

Where other technical coaches focus on process or tools, I focus on the human aspects of your Programmer to Manager transition. I help you hire the right people, create the right culture, and setup the right process which achieves your goals. Managing your team isn't something you learned in college. In fact, my clients often tell me "I never prepared for this role, I always focused on doing the work". If you're ready to improve your leadership, process and team, find out how I can help you.

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