Just noticed that my old friend Joe Marasco recently published a paper “Silver Bullets – no secret incredients” in the upcoming issue of IEEE Software magazine. The core of the paper is about how to put together not just good, but great teams.
Having been working very closely with and for Joe (albeit now a long time ago) I know of no one better suited to talk about this topic: Joe is simply the best boss, manager, leader, coach and mentor I’ve ever met during my 25+ years in the business, not just in the software business, but overall!
An interesting observation from Joe’s paper is the statement:
The most stable ingredient over the project’s
life cycle is the why.
To me, (as well as to Pekka Viljakainen, from reading his book) this is one of the hallmarks of true leadership: a true leader should always be able to express the “why“, or the purpose of the organization or project, anytime, without having to think. If he/she can’t do so, then something is very fuzzy, either the project itself, or the “leadership” in question.
From my experience, very few “leaders” are unfortunately able to express the “why” or the purpose of their projects, products or organizations.