How to get good people do good work
Read 5 dysfunctions of a team by Patrick Leoncini. Or this.
Hello, hi, this is the 2nd one. I’ve been wanting to get back to writing regularly and having you here keeps me accountable. Again, thanks for subscribing 🖤
I’ve turned 32. Time does seem to go faster when you get older. Especially when you’re looking at this everytime you ⌘+T. 1
Reading time: 3 minutes and 31 seconds
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A product manager joined the company. He looked around for a week and told me about the 5 dysfunctions of a team triangle.
Have you heard about it? It’s important, he said. I had not.
He said that if you want a functioning team, you need to start with trust.
Without trust, there is no productive debate.
Without debate, there is no alignment and commitment.
Without alignment, there is no peer-to-peer accountability and without that, there is no one to reflect on team results.
People care about failing their co-workers more than they care about failing their manager.
We should improve sprint velocity.
We should release more features.
We should be more efficient.
Let’s do timesheets.
These assertions could all be a consequence of one of the 5 dysfunctions of a team.
Some have realized a long time ago that it’s useless to track individual performance. Still, there are companies today trying to whip their people into individual efficiency.
A single person cannot possibly move the needle within a product company. Everything is a collaborative effort. We should, therefore, focus on building team performance.
Strong companies = strong teams
But what makes a strong team strong?
Leoncini’s book provides the steps. It’s a simple approach.
Yes, most teams would come out as dysfunctional under the scrutiny of this concept. It doesn’t mean dysfunctional teams don’t perform in business. They do. But you don’t want to be a part of a dysfunctional team. At least I don’t.
On another note, I hear good people saying they can’t find good people. Meanwhile, good candidates say there aren’t enough good job opportunities. Companies can’t retain talent and talent feels like there is nowhere to go.
Leoncini’s framework can help build a team where good people do reliable good work in a healthy culture. It can help ask the right questions in an interview to find out about that culture.
I know of a few high-functioning teams. These companies are usually quiet in public with high employee retention. Might be a coincidence.
The book is not a traditional bestseller business book everyone brags about reading. Yet I got so much value out of it, it changed the way I operate as a team member and the way I understand performance.
The product guy was right. It was an important concept I immediately adopted and have put to use on so many occasions since then.
It is sound in any goal-driven relationship, whether it is a team at work or family.
Finally, it helped us reflect on the situation and carry on with clarity to strive for a high-functioning team.
✽ ✽ ✽
RISIF (Random interesting stuff I found)
Backrop is a free tiny Mac utility that creates a sort of a curtain behind the single window you’re focusing on. Goodbye clutter!
So when uncle John (Maeda) fires a tech report (10-minute video summary) or you want to read a newsletter in the middle of a messy screen, you can launch the Backdrop and optimize your reading experience focused on the single e-mail in the middle of all your windows opened. A single click and it’s gone behind the backdrop.
✦ 5 out of 5 neat!
So true, especially when interviewing for a job. Don’t sit around waiting for the verdict. Prepare for all possible outcomes.
Pointed out by Shaan Puri’s wonderful newsletter.
Marty Cagan pointed out this old interview with Steve dubbing it a “1-hour true masterclass on product“. If you’re familiar with the Apple story from before it was an insane almost 💲3 trillion cash machine it’s really insightful to watch/listen.
I don’t consider myself an all-in Apple cult follower but it’s definitely a great story. The security and confidence with which Jobs answers some of the questions, whether it is about his strategic choices, taste, or collaboration is extremely inspiring. Especially when those choices were proven to be right. And even if he was wrong, which he was many times, the fact that he showed up so confident about stuff that might not work is the ultimate inspiration.
Listened to it twice. As you can see, love some good old crap that stands the test of time.
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