Software Development Done Right

Navigating Success

Ch. 9: Attitude Is Everything

“Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.” - Earl Nightingale

While the overarching theme of this series is focused on Software Development processes to ensure you succeed, you’ll find that often I have chapters that are more on leadership and picking the right people for your crew. As I shared in an earlier chapter, creating software is more feeling than thinking to use the terms from the Myers-Briggs.


Call it your “attitude”, “morale”, or “mindset” - it’s the energy that one receives when working with other individuals and it’s key. It can be hard to spot or pinpoint, but it’s critical. I once had a colleague say to me, “I don’t know what it is about Kurt, but whenever he’s on the project, the team succeeds.”


As I’m helping you to navigate the water of Software Development, here are a few things that I do typically when I’ve been asked to assemble a team at Lab651 and how you might want to do the same.


Don’t Hire For Skill


I know that sounds counterintuitive, but really, you should be looking for the right people on the project who fit with your culture and passion first and then ensure that they have the skills. The book “Good To Great”, by Jim Collins speaks about this in great length regarding getting the “right people” on the bus. Another leader whom I respect is Jason Fried. In his book, “Getting Real”, he writes, “A happy yet average team member is better than a disgruntled expert.” Find happy people first.


Would I Sail Around The World With This Crew?


Building on the first principle, ask yourself this honest question - would you sail around the world with this team you are about to hire? If the feeling is not resounding, HELL YEAH! Then you should consider an alternative plan.


Trust Means The World


I’ve eluded to the “T” word before in prior articles. Trust shows up in a lot of different ways. You need everyone on your team who will have your back, who will get things done when left alone, and who both likes the same things you like and hates the things that you hate. In short, someone who is thrilled to climb aboard your boat and set sail. What I tell my customers, is that I truly mean it. “Thank you for your trust in us. We won’t let you down. And if for any reason you lose your trust in us, I will make it right.”


Ask Questions of Your Team


I discussed this in a prior chapter on asking the right questions of any group you are planning to consult with. In the context of attitude, it’s just as important that you ask questions in these areas as well. Does the company you are looking to work with, ask questions about your project? A passionate team wants to understand the problem so they can help propose potential solutions to you as the leader. If you don’t hear questions being asked, this is a red flag - they are not committed. Questions also help to clarify and understand what is being asked and it’s essential to tie down as explicitly as possible how to image the software application works. It’s can’t be a one-way street. There’s a dialog involved and asking questions shows a positive attitude.


The Devil Is In The Details


Unfortunately, I can’t give a recipe on who and who should not be on your team - only you as the captain of this journey can do that. However, I hope that I have outlined some of the main attributes and questions you should be asking yourself and others who will be joining you on this journey, and boy what a journey it is. There are a lot of pitfalls that one can fall into. In the next chapter, we’ll change gears and discuss one heck of a doozy. Something that I see far too often and one that can be complex to solve is scope creep.

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