Entries from April 2010 ↓

Leadership lessons from Survivor

If you know me, you aren’t surprised by my Survivor addiction.  From its very first episode I’ve been on board, and every new season I dive in and watch as teams of strangers play in this odd mix of competition and cooperation, as social structures evolve and intermingle and new strategies emerge to conflict with the old.

Recently this season (an “all-star” season with returning contestants), I watched as two competitors vying for control of a team gave us an interesting leadership lesson.

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Ask a stupid question …

… get an important answer.

Two colleagues of mine demonstrated to me today a habit which, on its surface, can be difficult to understand.  They really enjoy asking the stupid questions.  We’ll be in a design review, looking at a fairly straightforward diagram showing a few components interacting, and they’ll ask what customer use case this represents and what those components are.

We all know the answer.  It’s fairly obvious. But the person writing the design didn’t label the components and left it open to interpretation.

My first instinct was to jump in, say it wasn’t important, that we needed to get to the guts of the design to review it.  I was wrong.

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