Another week up, another week down.
Sometimes I feel like we're in a nightmarish form of bowling league.
We start the week off with a huge stack of pins; I keep rolling the
ball down the lane. Sometimes I hit. Sometimes I miss. Most of the
time we get about half the pins down before the next rack hits. NowI've got a forest of pins and not enough room to roll the ball.
Maybe that image got twisted around
itself. Anyway, we had a pretty good week. The team got a lot done.
We pulled off a handful of minor miracles. We built some good
solutions and came up with some testing plans to isolate several
major environmental problems. I also failed to migrate a server due
to a modest networking problem, though I have neither control overthe switches nor the willingness to hack them.
Now, I'm going to reveal something
about my communication style here. We refers to my team. We do
things well, though hardly flawlessly. We work hard, stay mostly
focused, and even have some fun along the way.
I, on the other hand, make a lot of
mistakes. I'm responsible for most of the things which go wrong.
Production network team deleted during a server move. My
responsibility. Backup software not configured properly on the
server. My apologies to Operations for not taking care of it.
Database doesn't install on the standard server image, adding days to
an otherwise simple project. I made an error in judgment somewherealong the way.
In a team, success belongs to those who
do the work. It's their thoughts and skills which drive
accomplishment. They invest the time, solve the problems, and think
sideways around the incidents to discover the issues and identify the
underlying problems. When a project turns out well, it's because theteam as a whole pitched in to succeed.
They rightly deserve public praise and support.
In a team, failure belongs to the
leader. I have no control at all, sometimes, but I remain
responsible for the results. It's not that I ignore or reward the
errors; honest errors are addressed and problems of understanding or
training receive due redress. When it comes down to it, though, it's
my job to make sure it gets done right and my failure when it does
not. There's always another person I could have talked to, another
stone I could have asked the team to look under.
This approach represents a variation on
the whole praise in public, punish in private approach most of
us use to one extent or another. However, the I/We statement
splits its focus in terms of what it's trying to accomplish. On one
hand I'm trying to preserve both my team's and the extend team's
face. On the other, I'm trying to condition myself to accept the
responsibility which comes with the authority to set other's
Sometimes it works. Sometimes it
doesn't. I'm not always as mature as I would like to be, as wise as
I think I should be, or as strong as I need to be. Such is, I guess,life.
Anyway. Another week down. I'll post more on Monday after I get my bearings.