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A Manifesto for Small Teams Doing Important Work

Our team discussed this post from Seth Godin in staff meeting a few years ago, and I ran across this again today and thought I’d share it.

A Manifesto for Small Teams Doing Important Work

We are always under tight deadlines, because time is our most valuable asset.
If you make a promise, set a date. No date, no promise.
If you set a date, meet it.
If you can’t make a date, tell us early and often. Plan B well prepared is a better strategy than hope.
Clean up your own mess.
Clean up other people’s messes.
Over-communicate.
Question premises and strategy.
Don’t question goodwill, effort or intent.
“I’ll know it when I see it,” is not a professional thing to say. Describing and discussing in the abstract is what we do.
Big projects are not nearly as important as scary commitments.
If what you’re working on right now doesn’t matter to the mission, help someone else with their work.
Make mistakes, own them, fix them, share the learning....

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Are You In The Wrong Room?

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

– Richard Tirendi

“Say something brilliant sounding,” I thought to myself. I can’t tell you how many times, sitting in a meeting with other people, that I thought that exact thing. It’s almost like that’s our young egoic brains trying to justify our existence for others, by proving just how smart we are.

I’ve come to a place in my journey where I think one of the death nails of growth & success in leadership is this unhealthy need to be the smartest person in the room. By very definition, a leader has to work with others to accomplish the mission – but it’s hard to truly aspire to great leadership and maintain the belief that you’re the smartest person in the room. It’s all too easy to move from we to me… and then it’s not leadership, is it? If I’m regularly the smartest person in the room, then I’m probably...

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