The Art of Leadership
Create, Develop, and Lead Effective Design Teams
Elastic Leadership: Growing self-organizing teams
We were all just there, doing our ant-like jobs. Project late? Sure; that’s life. Quality is lousy? Sure; that’s life. Debugging until 3 a.m.? Sure; that’s normal.
There was no sense of craftsmanship. But there was also no sense of professionalism. There were just big downward spirals for every project, as far as the eye could see.
This book is about making a difference and getting other people to make a difference as well. It’s the book for those who feel hopelessly trapped in their jobs, even though they’re architects, scrum masters, team leaders, or senior developers. It’s the book I wish I’d had when I first became a team leader.
Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders
When I started my career in IT back in the 1970s, the only “collaboration” I experienced was in the form of directions from my supervisor when I didn’t know how to solve the problem.
There were no team meetings, no team decisions, and no sense of team ownership of success. We passed work from one job title to another (analyst, to designer, to developer, to tester), and teamwork for me was largely restricted to one-on-one debugging sessions with another developer.
At this point, I made a conscious decision to steer my methodology focus toward facilitation practices that I could apply to software development teams.
And I learned a few things: facilitation has a place in how we create teams and coax collaborative work from and for them. Additionally, I learned that facilitation is not about control or manipulation. Rather, it is about applying tools, techniques, and processes in support of teams eager to engage in high performance.
Good facilitators listen and echo in a way that helps a team hear itself and apply its best wisdom. Project managers and software team leads with facilitative skills become leaders who can listen and echo as they lead teams in vision and success.
A good leader absorbs a rich set of tools in creating success with and for their teams. In this guidebook, I offer one subset of those tools, the facilitation tools.
 Preface, “Preface,” O’Reilly Online Learning, 2022. https://learning.oreilly.com/library/view/elastic-leadership-growing/9781617293085/kindle_split_005.html (accessed Jul. 11, 2022).