Commitment ... Global Jobs and Scholarships week ending 03 December 2017
This past Thursday it was Thanksgiving and then on Friday it was Black Friday. You can tell Christmas is just round the corner. In the spirit of the season I will keep things light (and commercial). Have you heard the one about the Chicken and the Pig? Well stop me if it comes to you, but to continue, the chicken and the pig were together the week before Thanksgiving when the chicken says, “Let’s start a restaurant!”. The pig mulls this over and then says, “what would we call this restaurant?”. The chicken has a broad smile and says, “Ham & Eggs!”. The pig thinks for a moment and says. “No, thanks. I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved!”. This story and variants of it has been around for years. The moral of the story is that in every endeavour there will be chickens and there will be pigs whether we like it or not!
At the team or project level, it is important that you are able to identify those on your team who can commit to a goal and do the work that is required to achieve it. #teamgoals? These team mates must possess both the willingness and the ability. If there is any challenge to team goals, the senior product developer, team leader or project manager must make removing impediments the number one priority. Anything for the team right? Next chickens can have their say but you must ensure that only the pigs have their way. It makes sense that you glean insights from those who are involved. However the solution development team or any other group who are actually tasked with delivery need to be empowered to achieve objectives because they are not just involved they are committed. Different strokes.
Finally, and most importantly as individuals we need (wisdom) to identify when to be committed and when to be involved. It will not help just to be involved all the time. Do you really want to be that person who walks around with arms folded chipping advice but doing nothing about anything? Sometimes we need to put a stake in the ground and deliver. Unsurprisingly it will be counterproductive if we are always committed to everything. There are only so many hours in the day and a healthy work-life balance is important. To extend this further, truly great leaders and managers play to their strengths. They do not spend eons trying to be a jack-of-all-trades. Instead they sharpen their ability to do what they do best. As an individual it may be wise to follow the 70-25-5 principle:
· Give 70 percent of your time to your areas of strength.
· Give 25 percent of your time to the areas you want to improve.
· Give 5 percent of your time to the areas of your weakness.
The 70-25-5 principle of course falls flat if you are eligible but NEET (i.e. not in education, employment or training). To finish the story some months down the road both chicken and pig were NEET since they did not start the restaurant. Even worse, they had all the talent but ended up on welfare and benefits. One Friday morning, the chicken goes on Twitter and tweets, “thank God it’s Friday!”. The pig tweets back, “what are you celebrating? For you every day is Friday”. That exchange caught the attention of a cook who had all the ingredients for chicken soup except the main ingredient. No one has heard from the chicken since then but the cook did tweet the image (shown above). Never mind, now that we are done with Thanksgiving Thursday and Black Friday it is back to Making-it-happen Monday. Have a great week and be committed.
Engineering & Technology