When writing the Agile Leadership Principles post and specifically, the principle around the expectation of excellence, I was reminded of a guest post that Seth Godin wrote for Tom Peters in 2010. One paragraph in particular stood out for me:
Excellence means that you’re indispensable. At least right now, in this moment, there’s no one else I would choose but you. You, the excellent one, are so surprising, so delightful, so over-the-top and, yes, so human that there really isn’t anyone else I’d rather dance with.
After reading this, my imagination started envisioning a team, an Agile team. A team in flow, stress-free, but working hard to delight their customers and each other. Moving together as one entity. Dancing. A team of unique characters and movements but each person has the confidence to be themselves without fear. They will make mistakes as humans do but they will respond collectively. They will pick each other up, find the beat, and start to dance again. Excellence…pure unadulterated excellence.
It’s possible, I believe…this team, this organization built on excellence. And let’s start now.
Show up today believing that you are indispensable…because you are. Surprise and delight today. Be yourself and just dance.
Encourage someone on your team who may not think that they are indispensable. Tell them there is no one else you would rather dance with.
If you are a leader, tell someone (or everyone) how proud you are of them and why you chose them. Provide the music then get out-of-the-way and let them dance.
Trust your Agile framework. The framework should be lightweight and unobtrusive – allowing the team to showcase their excellence and move freely.
Excellence. As Tom Peter’s would say, “What else is there?”