3 Measures of Momentum

Momentum is like a booster rocket that when when ignited makes obstacles easier to overcome. When a team has momentum, they are “in the zone”. Things just seem to flow.

Maxwell explains Momentum using an analogy of a train:

A train traveling 55 mph on a railroad track can crash through a 5-foot thick steel-reinforced concrete wall without stopping. That same train, starting from a stationary position, won’t be able to go through an inch-thick block in front of the driving wheel.

It is never the size of your problem that is the problem. It’s a lack of momentum. Without momentum, even a tiny obstacle can prevent you from moving forward. With momentum, you’ll navigate through problems and barely even notice them.

As a leader, your responsibility is to understand momentum, to get it moving for your organization, and to sustain it over time.
John C. Maxwell

Skip to 14:20 RE: Maxwell on Momentum

When I first learned about Momentum it helped me think about the leadership role in a new way. I realized then that I could come to work every day and focus on problems. On good days I would assist the team to solve those problems. I would feel good because I would see an immediate impact. But ultimately the impact I would have is small, fleeting, and doesn’t scale. Problem solving is important, but the ultimate problem solver is a team with Momentum.

Problem solving only scales if it is the responsibility of the team. A leader’s job is to enable the team by setting the right conditions.

In this article I want to briefly outline the three measures of Momentum; with the proper mixture of capabilities, alignment, and energy you have the conditions for a team to achieve Momentum.

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10 Do’s and Don’t when Leading in a Tech Company

People in Tech are creative, self-motivated, and self-organizing. Leading in a tech company requires vision, values, and communication. The following are 10 important Do’s and Don’t when leading in a tech company.

1. Lead by Example

If you want to see something in your team, you need to exemplify those traits yourself first.

Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others, as what he does from day to day to lead himself.
Thomas J. Watson, Former Chairman of IBM

Lead by example. This is one of the most obvious do’s of leadership. It is ironic when leaders expound on the need to do a thing they do not do themselves. People, particular creative technologists see through leaders who are a lot of talk and not a lot of action. If a leader says “Be disciplined.” he should be the height of discipline. If a leader expects team members to be collaborative, he should invite criticism of his own ideas.

The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.
Ray Kroc

Exemplify the message first before you try to get others to follow.

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My Takeaways from NYT Amazon Controversy

The New York Times article titled “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big
Ideas in a Bruising Workplace” ignited a lot of debate over the weekend. One very interesting response came in the form of a rebuttal issued by an current Amazon employee, Nick Ciubotariu, who says the Times story is a “horribly misinformed piece of “journalism”.”

But my takeaways are not about the controversy itself but to what the debate says about managing a large talented workforce in the Tech industry.

My Post on Medium