Post the last scrum a day before,I asked this question to YT and Vaibhav "Are our scrums valuable?" One reason asking that question was for the last few days/ months we are discussing "What we do" and nothing more... Over a last few months we have never discussed things that would make life of our users effective... In other words "We are not fighting for our users". The discussion led to several things and turned down to Passion and Negligence... I decided to take each of these in my blogs on these issues... The lack of passion in making attempts to think different, do different, help easing up lives of other and at the same time JUST not doing our jobs been very close to my heart, I took that part back to my home so I can think on it and see what we can improve... and when in the night I was strolling on my regular reads... I cam across this post Seth Godin made title "Are you doing a Good Job" -
He says "I come in on time, even a little early. I do what the boss asks, a bit faster than she/he expects. I stay on time and on budget, and I'm hardworking and loyal." ..
Well you run an eye through your office you will definitely have some bunch that matches this criteria.. but is this what takes you to become a cool organization? a cool team? Nopes... if this attitude is carried, then even if you work with Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, Mark Zuckerburg or Evan Williams you are not going to be able to make a Google, Twitter or facebook.. you probably may make one product for whom you do not care if it makes money and fame as others as long as you earn your monthly salaries... I don't say that doing all of the above means nothing... I think it means a lot. But does that add value to anyone else? Well people argue... I don't need to do anything new to add any value to anything... I just stick to my time and task and I can still improve things. "Yes" you can, but "Can you?" I believe when you are in such routines... you loose the focus easily (Something I believe we have lost in the last few months just doing the routine chores).
What makes a team different and an individual outstanding is the attitude when he starts to bring more value to the Team, to self and to others through what he does... It is not about what extra you can do, it is about what thing you can do that can help everyone else be more effective. What Seth writes here is what it actually means
"What aren't they asking me to do that I can do, learn from, make an impact, and possibly fail (yet survive)? What's not on my agenda that I can fight to put there? Who can I frighten, what can I learn, how can I go faster, what sort of legacy am I creating?"
Thinking over this I am sure you as Managers have come across some of these type of arguments...
"I was only asked to do this and so I did this"
"I cant spare more time at work, I have a family"
"I don't think I want or would like to do it... it is not my area"
"I am not sure if I should do this"
However have you come across something like this?
"Well, Look here I just made this and I think this can really help our developers"
"Eureka!!!! See what I made for you..."
Its the attitude to do different and outstand... and that is the attitude that I learn Tony Hseish and Fred had and why they could make Zappos a success.. - When you are passionate about doing things and improving lives of others, you build A culture, A legacy.
I recently heard an argument from someone that if I am not going to keep growing and earning more and more regularly, I wont be able to keep the momentum or passion within.. I need X, Y and Z as minimum things to help me keep upbeat... My thoughts on this was that if you need X,Y and Z to do better,there are a lot others who can also do the same if they get X,Y and Z. Passion is not haunted by needs, it is inspired by willingness. I think it is more than XYZ.. it is what and how you align what you give to get what you want... The passion to improve things helps anyone to grow... The counter argument was "Managers always want there team to do more, is More what you call passion?" I think NO.. many people do not realise that the attitude to contribute lends them borrow suitable experience and growth.. in short run this growth can be Money or perks, In long run this growth is Knowledge, Wisdom and Respect along with a lot of Money. If you are not passionate.. you may grow in wealth, maybe somewhat in Knowledge... but what you will lack is the Juice in life... The juice that will keep you flowing and glowing.
So go back and answer these questions...
When was the last time you did something that was not told or asked from you and You did it and feel proud about?
When was the last time you think you improved life of your peer by doing something really great?
When was the last time you felt happy about your work you are doing?
When was the last time you appreciated your own work?
When was the last time you knew you were wrong and accepted it?
When was the last time you improved on the mistakes you did when no was watching you?
When was the last time you said something to yourself and it meant good?
When was the last time you failed and wanted to succeed on the failure?
When was the last time you wanted to learn something on your own?
When was the last time you wake up, thinking today I will make our product users life better?
When was the last time you said this feature can turn the life of our product and I can do it?
When was the last time you said This is the best quality product / code I have written?
When was the last time you said "Lets improve?"
When was the last time you badly wanted to improve?
I am sure you will find your answers... if you don't, lets find it together...