Gary Burnison considers leadership to be a privilege. Most people like the idea of leadership but few count the cost. He says;
“To lead is to be all in, transparent and accessible, calm in the face of upset and even crisis, and always mindful that you are a steward of something bigger than yourself.”
That’s not easy. To whom much is given much is required. That’s the part that easily trips us up.
The “Absolutes” are building blocks that must be present regardless of your leadership style or approach. Here are the 12 Absolutes with Burnison’s thoughts on each:
Lead. Anchor yourself in Humility. Leadership is an all-in proposition. Never react; instead ask yourself: is this about me or about we? If it’s the former, forget it and rise above.
Purpose. The why. Purpose must have a long shadow, extending its influence over others.
Strategy. Strategy starts with the results of today. Strategy, rooted in values and purpose, gives encouragement through times of ambiguity and uncertainty. Strategy without purpose and values is a short-term plan that is directed toward shallow goals.
People. When you.re the leader, it’s never about you, but it starts with you. The leader can’t be the star player, scoring all the points. (Although many try to do just that.) Set high expectations for your team members, and help them to see what they can achieve.
Release planning is simply the act of determining what functionality you’re going to be able to deliver in a certain time frame. Obviously you want this data to be as accurate as possible. The greatest accuracy is gained by basing the Velocity on actual historical data.
Change will happen. Change will affect everyone – including you. Change is constant happening. The way to manage change is to manage the “dip” in performance that occurs every time a new change is introduced. Managing it means that you will have to try to make the dip in performance as small as possible! If it is not managed and the dip gets too profound – you might be certain that you will have a very hard time implementing your change and making it happen!
For the long-term viability of any enterprise you needed a viable corporate culture. It, too, has to be long-term. So, cultivate good people and keep them. Work with honest and competent business managers and give them a long-term commitment and support. From these modest principles, an empire can rise.
Here are eight rules for creating the right conditions for a culture that reflects your creed:
1. Hire the right people
Hire for passion and commitment first, experience second, and credentials third. There is no shortage of impressive CVs out there, but you should try to find people who are interested in the same things you are. You don’t want to be simply a stepping stone on an employee’s journey toward his or her own (very different) passion. Asking the right questions is key: What do you love about your chosen career? What inspires you? What courses in school did you dread? You want to get a sense of what the potential employee believes.
Once you have the right people, you need to sit down regularly with them and discuss what is going well and what isn’t. It’s critical to take note of your victories, but it’s just as important to analyze your losses. A fertile culture is one that recognizes when things don’t work and adjusts to rectify the problem. As well, people need to feel safe and trusted, to understand that they can speak freely without fear of repercussion.
The art of communication tends to put the stress on talking, but listening is equally important. Great cultures grow around people who listen, not just to each other or to their clients and stakeholders. It’s also important to listen to what’s happening outside your walls. What is the market saying? What is the zeitgeist? What developments, trends, and calamities are going on?
Looking at something that is very clear and obvious to you from your perspective does not mean that another person looking at the same object from another perspective see the same thing as you do! He as convinced as you that whatever he is seeing is “right”.
Imagine you and a friend standing on each side of this object arguing of what it says.
Kanban (看板) is pronounced /’kan’ban/ and means ”visual board” – where kan means “visual,” and ban means “card” or “board”. Kanban is a concept developed at and used by Toyota. It is related to lean and just-in-time (JIT) production.
On the surface, there isn’t much difference between an average task board and a kanban board. Each of these boards has various columns that represent the stages that a card needs to go through before it is considered done. The real difference in a kanban board, is not the board itself. The board is just a visual indicator, the same as any task board, and the intention is still to get the cards to the “DONE”-state – that is, delivered to the customer so that they can use the features from that card.
Kanban is not an inventory control system. Rather, it is a scheduling system that tells you what to produce, when to produce it, and how much to produce.
So, what is the purpose of Kanban? In short it tries to:
Visualize the workflow Split the work into pieces, write each item on a card and put on the wall.
Use named columns to illustrate where each item is in the workflow.
Limit WIP (Work In Progress) – assign explicit limits to how many items may be in progress at each workflow state.
Measure the lead time (average time to complete one item, sometimes referred to as “cycle time”), optimize the process to make lead time as small and predictable as possible.
Create flow focus on the throughput based upon the queuing theory.
Identify and eliminate bottlenecks - Bottlenecks become clearly visible in real-time. This leads people to collaborate to optimize the whole value chain rather than just their part.
Pull system features/tasks are pulled through the system instead of being pushed.
Sasa Stamenkovic (LinkedIn Profile) works as an Agile Coach at Klarna. He has nine years of miscellaneous experience in the software industry within the areas of Management, Project Management, Change Management, Software Development, Sales and Test.