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Pizza & Leadership: 4 Lessons
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Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
5/30/2014 | 6:49:01 PM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
@Rob: I don't see the two as mutually exclusive. Maybe "be one of the gang" isn't exactly the right way to phrase it--it's more about being your authentic self and above all else being human. Those leaders who truly inspire others to do their best are, in my experience, the ones who are able to show their true, authentic selves in the workplace, and strive to treat their employees with compassion and respect. In my experience, those who do that have it come back to them in spades, even in times when they have to make the tough decisions that will make some team members unhappy.

Taking this line of thinking further, even those leaders who are considered "difficult" (Steve Jobs) show their authentic selves for better or worse.

Where I have seen leaders run into toruble is when they behave the way they think managers are "supposed" to behave, or according to what's in some kind of Management 101 handbook.

To thine own self be true...

 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
5/30/2014 | 6:42:08 PM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
@DavidC: Ha! and don't forget the beer...

Dave Wagner has hit on a new golden rule of management, IMHO: Treat eveveryone as if you want them to buy you a pizza.

I've definitely had bosses in past jobs who operated under a different philosophy: Treat everyone as if you want them to buy you a straitjacket.

;)

 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
5/30/2014 | 6:02:26 PM
Re: Pizza and leadership: the unmentioned rule
@Charlie, I've heard the same "two pizza" rule of thumb applies at Amazon.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
5/30/2014 | 5:25:52 PM
Re: "thank you"
I've worked for two bosses who never said "thank you." It was difficult to work in that environment all the time. Needless to say, it's much easier to be productive when you know someone occasionally notices your efforts. Not looking for a parade, but a "well done" or "thanks" once in a while goes a long way.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/30/2014 | 5:17:25 PM
Re: Pizza and leadership: the unmentioned rule
@Charlie- Wow, that's really interesting. I've known some developers who can really pack away the pizza though. That might mean teams of one. :)

Seriously though, I really like the strategy because it implies at the heart of it that a team is going to need to meet over pizza and long hours at some point and they need to know how to keep that team together. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/30/2014 | 5:15:30 PM
Re: "thank you"
@cafzali- I think you really hit the nail on the head. Gratitude is free. And it goes really far. The fact that managers don't get this is really sad to me. Thank you should be at the center of every culture because no matter what else your culture is, it fits in. 

I personally think we get so caught up in how busy we are we often forget to be polite.
David Wagner
IW Pick
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/30/2014 | 5:13:12 PM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
@jagibbons- There is no reason, in my mind, that this is an either/or proposition. If you make a tough decision that puts one group at risk or forces them to do something they don't like, then it is real leadership to go in and help them dust themselves off.

A real leader shares what they can about the decision using the same concepts I listed to build engagement and a sense of altruism from the team, but still makes the tought choices. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/30/2014 | 5:09:00 PM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
@Rob- I think we agree. I tried to stress the notion of being relatable without necessary always relating. Think of it like a politician. Every politican has moments where they wear the power suit and talk policy, but they also make sure they have a photo op where they are in work clothes chopping wood on a ranch or having a beer in a local tavern.

You project your authority, but when it is time to ask for something (like a vote or for staying late) it is time to put on the "I'm one of you" face. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/30/2014 | 5:06:15 PM
Re: Nice comparison, but ...
@David- Agreed. I actually think companies should always buy the pizza. 

But I heard a very interesting counter argument recently. At the GDC, there was a presentation about mental disorders and the IT profession. Accoridng to the talk, 1 in 4 Americans suffers from disorders including anxiety and depression. The number is definitely 1 in 3 and some estimates have it as much as 1 in 2 in IT. The presenters argument is that the Silicon Valley style of offering free food, in-office gyms, dry cleaning, etc creates the sense that you are never allowed to leave because you don't need to. 

His argument waqs that if you don't offer the food, the gym, and the other perks and instead offer vouchers to local gyms or to buy lunch out, it encourages them to leave which is healthier.

So, while I support the company ordering the pizza, I think they should not have it delivered. 
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
5/30/2014 | 4:08:08 PM
Pizza and leadership: the unmentioned rule
I think it was PayPal that told me that it doesn't want any development teams larger than those which can be fed by two pizzas. I kept waiting for that rule of thumb to come up in the discussion of pizza and leadership. Effective teams are committed, enthusatic and enjoy short lines of communications -- because they are small.
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