I found a good starting list today. I subscribe to a lot of different blogs these days – always looking for different opinions, different perspectives. And occasionally I even find something that I agree with (well, more than occasionally). This blog entry was a case in point.
I liked the first point, it grabbed me – “Let Go”. That reminded me of a moment about 15 years ago where I think I first learned that. In the past, I could be pretty “aggressive” with my ideas – give me a white board and a marker and you’d have to be fairly outgoing to get them away from me. Before I was in a lead position – this was an “ok” attribute – I wasn’t in charge. Later however, this did become an impediment – it squashed ideas, it was assumed “my way or the highway” (it wasn’t, we just never got to hear the other ideas). Some of the best advice I got was to “sit back for a while, take it in”. I still have to remind myself of that sometimes – especially when I working on something I’m excited about.
“Let Go”, excellent advice.
The communication bits – all good as well. Write clearly, write profusely. Write as if your Mom was going to read it sometimes. Remember the person reading it (your technical paper, your white paper, your idea) doesn’t have the closeness to the problem you have. They haven’t been looking at it for hours, days, weeks, months – you have. It might sound verbose to you but the person reading it will appreciate the detail.
I really liked the “be modest”. There are many people with more and different experience than you have. There will be people smarter than you, as smart as you, not as smart as you – but any of them could be smarter than you at some point in time. Goes back to “Let Go” I think – let go and be modest go together.
Let me add some of my own though.
- Do as you say. Practice what you preach.
- Accept criticism gracefully. Even if it seemed to be delivered in a mean spirited way. You want to throw someone off balance – thank them for giving you the advice, when they thought you would be really mad instead.
- Learn outside your industry. This is something I’m working on now.
- Be someone others want to be with. That is – be approachable, be nice, treat everyone the same – regardless of their level. Be fair.