A Leader Has A Why

Very few people can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief – WHY do you exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? ~Simon Sinek, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

I didn’t always know my Why. Some days, I found myself slogging through the work day feeling mired in the muck of another 8 hours to be endured. Other days I would leave the office feeling energized, feeling I was making a difference, surprised that 10 hours had passed, anticipating being in the office the next day. Some days, I connected deeply with people and felt I had the best job in the world. Other days, I felt I needed to escape the office to avoid my soul from being crushed by vampire tasks sucking life energy dry leaving an emotional corpse. It was a roller-coaster with little predictability.

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A Leader Coaches

I am not bothered by the fact that I am unknown. I am bothered when I do not know others. ~Confucius

I am on somewhat of a career rebirth. After 17 years at the same company, I changed industries, changed roles…actually…returned to a role I had while working in India. It is a role I heartily enjoy, a role that ignites my passions. I am a coach, an Agile software development coach to be specific. I view the role more as a life / leadership coach. Agile just happens to be the framework in which I perform my role.
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A Leader Stands For Something

If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. ~Malcom X

I once had a colleague in the thick of a difficult project where teams were struggling to meet unrealistic expectations established by Senior Management after some hokey negotiating with the Project Management team. The project was in desperate need of transparent communication to Senior Management, the type of communication synonymous with strong leadership, the type of communication ripe with personal risk because sometimes they do shoot the messenger.
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Agile: No Place for Leaders?

In 2005, I was introduced to Scrum by Mike Marchi a former colleague and current Agile guru. He convinced enough of us dirtied in the bowels of death march, waterfall software development that there was a cool new way to create software. His passion for Scrum resulted in a groundswell of grassroots interest. Prior to obtaining the support of those in the trenches, he convinced Management to bring in Jeff Sutherland to conduct a Scrum training, a gamble that paid dividends. During the course, we all became Certified Scrum Masters. The trajectory of my professional life changed during that two-day training.
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The Power Of Story

Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact. ~Robert McKee

My dad had a very dear friend, a man named Bob who loved all things outdoors, especially fishing for the monster Northern Pike lurking in waters north of the US border. Bob was a great fisherman with an uncanny ability to almost always land the biggest fish even when his declining health meant he mostly sat in the boat telling stories. Bob was also a master storyteller able to recount decades-old adventures in exquisite detail making them come alive for the lucky listener.
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Growth By Purposeful Disruption

Do something uncomfortable today. By stepping out of your box, you don’t have to settle for what you are–you get to create who you want to become. ~Howard Walstein

Work satisfaction fluctuates. We have peaks where we feel in the zone with every shot hitting the back of the net when we can’t wait to jump out of bed and dive into the excitement of the office. We also have valleys where work feels mundane or, worse, everything we try fails, and we would rather be inoculated with a long, fat needle than step into our place of employment.
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Maximus & Commodus, a Tale of Contrasting Leadership Styles

The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature. ~Robert Greenleaf

The Gladiator
The Gladiator

I watched the movie Gladiator, an epic film set in ancient Rome, chronicling the conflicting lives of Maximus Decimus Meridius, the top general of the Roman army and Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus, the son of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus and the heir apparent to Rome. I have watched this movie numerous times but, this time, watched it with a set of eyes predisposed to capturing the varying aspects of leadership displayed by the main antagonists. I find this movie extremely interesting as it has allegories to the life of Christ, the greatest leader to ever walk the earth.
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