Guest Post – Cale Dancho

One of the reasons I was nervous about blogging was that it felt very one way…listen to me. Well, an opportunity presented where I happily get to share someone else’s ideas/results.  Today is another installment of a lead to the edge guest author, Cale Dancho. I had the pleasure of first working with Cale in 2014. I’m extremely honored he was willing to write this post.


“Write what you know” is a common adage for writing, and is also excellent advice for a novice writer taking a wild swing at a guest post.  At this point in my life, I am shoulders deep in raising two young daughters, practicing Agility for a moderately, to not so Agile, BIG DATA ad-tech company, and a life long mountain biker.  Using those disparate roles, I would like to mix a few metaphors I have held tight through the years which have helped shape my personal and professional life. My hope is that one of these nuggets finds you and can be stuffed into your toolbox.

“You’re safe, you’re loved, and you are going to do great things.”  My wife, Ashley.

She is a brilliant and an amazing woman for so many reasons, but this quote exemplifies a special kind of amazing.  She came up with this mantra when our first daughter was born and we share it with each of our girls every morning before we say goodbye for the day.  

Applying this outlook in the work environment will allow you to build relationships, earn trust, and establish a high level of psychological safety. Once your team is safe, they will be free to be creative, question the controversial, and most importantly, feel good about contributing to the success of your team. Tread lightly on the “love” at work piece.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you do, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Dr. Maya Angelou

Do you remember that time when you and a colleague got in a heated argument about that one architectural approach for…. What project was it?  You probably can’t recall, but do you remember how that colleague acted and did it impact future interactions? Likely.  

The key here is to remember your narrative.  Do you want to be the brilliant, temperamental misanthrope, or a challenging, yet helpful colleague?

“It’s worth stopping for a breather to see where you are” Mike Brcic

Plug, plug, plug. Do the things. Heads down.  And… ship it.

You probably think this is a endorsement for iterative development. It most certainly could be, but when I think of this quote, I think of the amazing things I’ve seen and the incredible things I have accomplished.  On my bike, I often find myself on long rides with grueling, uphill climbs that seem to be never ending. My legs burn. My lungs constrict. My brain starts to convince me we are going to die. Then…. I put a foot down. I take a deep breath. I scan the horizon around and soak in my surroundings. I look back to see what I’ve accomplished.  It feels good, hell it feels great.

We must do the same in the workplace to make sure that we recognize what we have achieved over the last week, two weeks, or quarter, because you know what? It will be a shame to gloss over the small chunks of brilliance we work for. We need to embrace and proselytize a sustainable pace.  We need to recognize burnout in our team members and address it before 1) their health suffers 2) their work suffers 3) the team suffers.

Keeping these little tidbits in the recesses of my brain has allowed me to achieve a level of success that keeps me smiling and has afforded me my own little ripple of happiness. I work every day to expand that ripple. Recognizing the impacts is what drives me to lead.

Create your ripple. Do it with purpose. Make it safe. Make somebody smile.

 

Experienced project manager offering over 10 years of demonstrated success working and managing SaaS projects of varied scope within the software, education, and finance industries.

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