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# Saturday, 18 October 2008

This isn't a post about blindly following someone, but this is a posting about acknowledging and yielding to your colleague's specific knowledge in an area. We all don't and can't know everything and each of us as individuals has spent time developing our knowledge in specific areas of expertise. I sit in countless meetings where everyone feels the need to question and understanding everything. Once you realize that you can't understand everything, you then get to limit your scope and you are going to find that your life is a lot easier (and meetings much shorter and productive). One of the important reasons that we have teams is that each individual brings a unique set of skills to the table and at some point when you don't understand something you need to yield to the "expert" on your team, or possible outside your team, on the subject matter. I use the term expert loosely because I consider very few people I know to be a complete expert on any specific subject matter, but I do consider people around me to be experts over me in a subject matter. Just as we yield to a master chef to prepare a meal properly, we need to yield to our colleagues in their areas of expertise. Sure most of us know how to prepare a hamburger, but there are obviously much more complicated dishes that we could/should never attempt. I am not a master at UI design and I don't claim to be. Sure I can put a button and a grid on the screen, but I have no problems yielding to an "expert" colleague in this area. This doesn't mean that you can't way in when you think something is a completely bad idea, but when the conversation/debate continues to drag on and a decision needs to be made then the "expert" needs to be yielded to. This also doesn't imply that everyone on the team has an expertise. Some members are still too green, and unfortunately in some cases a team member has enough problems staying up with the basics to ever dive deeper into a topic. These individuals just need to realize that they can't understand everything right away and sometimes they just need to sit back and listen. I understood about 10% of the IADNUG meetings when I first started attending and it took me a better part of a year before I fell in stride with the other members. I'm not saying you shouldn't ask questions, but sometimes you should sit back, absorb the information, and realize that you don't understand it now, but in the future when you seen more examples, more applications, and have absorbed more you might and until then you can yield to the "expert". Of course all this still leaves you needing to decide who are the "experts" on your team and what are they "experts" in….

Saturday, 18 October 2008 03:53:42 (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback - Save to del.icio.us - Digg This! - Follow me on Twitter
Team Dynamics
# Sunday, 05 October 2008

In continuing with my postings on books that I have finished reading, not those that I have just simply started or skimmed, I just finished the book Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston. The book is a series of interviews with various founders of technology startup companies such as Apple, Lotus, Flickr, and PayPal. Not without its slow points the book was a very interesting read and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in technology and entrepreneurship. If you are looking for the key to creating a successful startup I'll warn you that several of the philosophies suggested by interviewees in the book contradict each other. This apparently indicates that there is no surefire way to create your startup. Most of the interviews were of perfect length for reading in one sitting so it was a good book to read for awhile and then not get back to for a bit. Pick up a copy today and keep it on your coffee table for when you can't find anything good on tv.

Sunday, 05 October 2008 19:45:03 (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback - Save to del.icio.us - Digg This! - Follow me on Twitter
Books
# Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Well today is the end of day five in Spain (I suppose really only day four as the first was all travel time.) The first day consisted of 4 different flight that took me from Des Moines to Chicago to Boston to Madrid and finally to Marbella to meet up with my host parents, Manuel and Maria Luisa, the sister of Maria Luisa, and the daughter of my host sister, Gabriella. I left DM on a Saturday and arrived on Sunday. Sunday was mainly spent adjusting to the seven hour time difference and working on my rusty Spanish. The highlight of the day was being able to see Africa from our patio. The two other days spent in Marbella consisted of laying on the beach and eating. I was able to eat some authenticate Spanish paella, not as good as what Maria Luisa makes but better than what I make. I also took a walk on the beach and took some photos of Antonio Bandaras's house though he didn't invite me in for drinks. Today was spent riding in the car up to Madrid. It took about seven hours including stops which suprised me as I would have thought it was less than that to cross the whole country. Other than that the evening was spent settling into the house just outside of Madrid and trying to get a trip to Lisbon figured out. If things work out this post should also contain a photo of us at lunch the second day in Marbella. Going from my right in the photo we have Maria Luisa's sister, Gabriella, Maria Luisa, Manuel, and two friends of my host parents.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008 18:23:36 (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] - Trackback - Save to del.icio.us - Digg This! - Follow me on Twitter


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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David A. Osborn
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