Changing the World

Photo by Hauptillusionator

Photo by Hauptillusionator

Phired Up is an education firm that is passionate about changing the world by helping organizations grow and retain more active members; their expertise in relationships, recruitment, retention, and research allows them to partner with leading organizations that are committed to engaging more people around their purpose.  I know of Phired Up because of my involvement with Theta Tau Fraternity.  There's a paragraph in a recent blog post by Phired Up that I found very interesting:

All of us, as individuals and as our organizations have a purpose.  A reason for being.  Too often, many of us have great ideas, passions, and purposes that we choose to pursue and further, but sadly, oftentimes, over a course of a few days, weeks, months, years, we lose that idea, passion or purpose.  We get sidetrack by all of the other “stuff” that goes on from day to day in our worlds.  We lose our focus due to tasks that we think matter and must be completed instead of completing the bold actions that will continue to breathe life into our true passions.  THE world, gets in our way.

Every team needs a compelling goal--a purpose--and I've seen how the environment that the team operates in can wear down the team's energy to meet that goal.  The burden of working with or within certain systems distracts team members from the work they should be focused on delivering.  But that's precisely why I like scrum because it makes issues visible; it ask teams to hold retrospective meetings at the end of every iteration [so every few weeks], and I expect environmental/system issues to be raised for someone on the team to escalate for resolution.  If your team's ideas and passion seem to be waning, I suggest bringing it up in a retrospective to find out the cause.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.

Your Best Work

Photo by Kim

Photo by Kim

When I was a sophomore in high school, my English teacher asked me to participate in a writing competition.  I didn't realize it at that moment, but it was a highly selective writing competition--only 8 students out of my class of 1700 were asked to participate!  One of my friends was also asked to participate, and for whatever reason, we felt the need to outdo the other.  I asked another friend for advice, and his words were simple: write from the heart.  Similarly, Seth Godin recently posted about competition as a crutch to bring out the best in a person.  He argues that it is better to be in competition with yourself instead.  I prefer to work from the heart.

Growing up, I never believed the wisdom "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"--it seemed like a fairytale.  And as much as I love my job, there are days when it feels like work.  I've been reminded by a fellow consultant that we wouldn't have work if each gig was easy.  Whether it feels like work or not, I try to work from the heart by focusing on the people around me, focusing on change, and improving as much as I can.  I was pleased to see that Work Happy Now listed that the 3 things that made people happy at work are:

  1. Passion
  2. Focus
  3. Strengths

Working from the heart not only makes me happy, but it is also my goal to try and make others happier in their work.  Rather than competing for promotions or job security, more people should focus on being genuine in their efforts--I've found that good things tend to follow good work.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.

The Right Person for the Job

Photo by Make It Old

Photo by Make It Old

I went to my fraternity's National Convention recently, and the officer elections got me thinking about what it means to be the right person for the job.  Is it the one that the most people believe in?  Is it the one with the needed skill set and passion?  The one with the most experience?

You can seem like the best candidate and still lose.  You can want something for decades and still lose.  You can be passionate, have a vision, and be backed by some strong supporters and still lose.

So then what?

Pick yourself up.  Find a project, find a niche, find an opportunity, or make something up.  Keep following your passion, and keep contributing to an organization you care about.  Everything happens for a reason, and everything works out in the end.

Yes, it hurts when it feels like the right guy didn't get the job.  But that doesn't have to be the end of his contributions.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.