Tag Archives: Leadership

Hans only wanted to better himself

Hans, not his real name, was a colleague I worked with who was wrongly maligned by management and others as well.

He wanted to improve and seek out other areas to be involved in. His style was wrongly interpreted. Management regarded him as someone to have a chuckle about, behind his back. He was told he could get what he wanted but that was just a smokescreen.

When he wasn’t around he would come up as a subject of mirthful derision and ridicule. For instance, “I can’t wait til he finally leaves, ha ha ha” which drew some nervous laughter from others and downright agreement from others.

This was bad behaviour. Why would management not want to encourage someone to become better. Why should his reasonable human reactions be cause for further derision.

Instead of blaming the individual, seek to create the environment and conditions for him and others to further excel. That’s leadership and is sorely missing in many workplace environments.

Mentoring, Training, Support are words that immediately come to mind. Recognition that Hans was misunderstood is a step in the right direction.



Leadership in Crisis – Cause of Many Problems

You see this everywhere.  Disrespectful, selfish and inhumane behaviour up and down the the entire food chain.  We really need to be better.  Seddon talks about Failure Demand, and we see in this video the worst sort of failure demand has been measured and it’s incredibly high at 88%.  88% of people go home unhappy, left to think that they have less worth.  In this video we can see an important root cause. Click the picture below to watch the full video.

We need to work on bringing this 88% figure down!

The effects of this ripple right through society in many ways, and we tend to blame the individual and react to the symptoms only.  Work for the Dole in Australia IMHO is a reaction to a symptom and not tackling root causes.   Blaming people for being unemployed is the worst way to demean people.  Factors out of their control, for the most part ,causes unemployment.  The current government wants a policy of forcing people to move for work.  This only suits themselves, and their supporters, and only marginally takes into the consideration the needs of the people themselves.

I reviewed L. David Marquet’s book and he tackles this and more and more modern writers like Sinek and Pink are building on the works of Ohno, Deming, Drucker and Ackoff and probably a few others I’m yet to be made aware of or have forgotten.

For me realizing that everyone benefits and not just a few is key to long term success.  Financial success is a useful by product of fostering a great culture and focusing on quality in all aspects of work.  Happy people produce better results.

Video can be viewed by clicking the picture below.

Leadership Crisis - Barry Wehmiller - Happiness


Let’s move from a Me-Centric culture to a We-Centric culture

Lead by Creating Leadership

Lead by Creating Leadership

L. David Marquet has interesting ideas that help create and foster better outcomes for all.  He has come up with a Leadership Manifesto and is seeking input into this.

Take a look at the link.  Even if you feel you’d like to challenge this do so.  Ideas should be challenged.

For me after years of trying to lead  and not to ‘brown-nose’ my way through work life this resonates with me.  When I’m giving instruction in Agile and Lean practices and mindset I include similar ideas.

You don’t need to Agree, You have to take Notice

Anyone had a good idea?  Tried to express it?  What happened?

Do you receive a positive response?  Did you get shouted down immediately?

Maybe the response was a bit more sinister and insidious manifesting itself in initial tepid enthusiasm and then degenerating into passive aggressive behaviour like the occasional snide remark.

In the world of software and solution delivery, I’ve learnt the hard way to take everyone’s opinion on board.  That is any idea is a good idea and up for grabs.

Any idea deserves patient and respectful discourse.  Why do we want to do this?

1.  They can save a lot of pain and heartache later.  On many occasions suggestions have been made (by myself and others) only to have more expensive mistakes occur because these ideas and suggestions were not heeded.

2. Being respectful will encourage more ideas so we can avoid point 1.  On the other hand discouragement of ideas will prevent ideas from coming forward.  We should be humble enough to accept any comment and treat it with dignity.  And don’t feign dignity, mean it, you will be found out if you aren’t and you will never attain respect for yourself.

3. And coming off point 2, you gain respect for yourself.  Your colleagues will see you as an equal and therefore feel more comfortable coming to you which in turn gives you trust;

4. Respect and Trust builds true collaboration and from collaboration we can really do great things together.

5. It’s good for your health and the health of others.  This comes from giving up the command and control mentality which creates the stresses on ourselves and on others.

6. Good health encourages more quality thinking.  You’ve accepted their suggestion they feel good.  You feel good for taking it on.  You’ve got past that feeling of lost control – others have control as well – a shared control.

7. It helps with the bottom line.  Point 1 illustrates what are real tangible examples.  Other examples are less sick days.  Improved productivity are quantifiable as well.

8. The most important thing, happiness is increased.  That 8 hours spent of the day at work should be a happy feeling.  No more Mondayitis, man flu etc.  Let’s enjoy all of it.


At any level we should accept ideas for improvement.  Try to mitigate our natural and human tendency to immediately disregard the opinions of others.  “you don’t need to agree, you have to take notice” is the mantra I live by.

For more – take a look at the Toyota Way,  Turn the Ship Around by David Marquet, Lean Software Development by the Poppendeicks, Peopleware by Tim Lister and Tom DeMarco, Slack by Tom DeMarco, Agile Coaching and works in Systems Thinking.  All of these are related and intertwined.

Hopefully I will write some more about this and similar topics and even update this post 🙂