A Leader Reads

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Join me as I focus a leadership lens on fantasy books and series. Current Series: The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson) Contact me: s10473@protonmail.com

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The Great Hunt - Chapters 38 & 39 [#100Days, Day 64]

Amnesia

    She found it hard to think that there had been a time when she had been eager to have an adventure, to do something dangerous and exciting like the people in stories.  Now she thought the exciting part was what you remembered when you looked back, and the stories left out a good deal of unpleasantness.
Egwene, The Great Hunt, p. 465

    My first boss told me something similar, although he called it amnesia.  He meant that we all tend to forget the unpleasantness - the sleepless nights, the routine drills, the frustrating people, the boring duty days.  What we tend to remember are the polar extremes: the really good times and the really challenging ones.  The stuff that we can all spin into a better story than what may have actually happened.  

    For leaders, it's important to recognize this; but more importantly to remember that our teams are operating in the daily trenches of it all.  It's easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees and have a team get overwhelmed by the project.  It's easy to lose the excitement and motivation that was present at the beginning of the project.  One project I was on, for example, was stuck at the exact same milestone for nearly three years!  It wasn't for lack of effort, but the team was literally treading water: a flurry of activity going nowhere as the team we were waiting on kept hitting barrier after barrier.  So we broke the tasks further - maintaining the focus on giving the customers what we could.  Progress was small, but it was progress.  Our job is to maintain the focus and the drive; removing obstacles, building and keeping momentum.  And all those stories at the end turn into excellent lessons learned.


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