Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dharma and Team Performance

In his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra talks about the law of Dharma. He states that each of us has something that we can do better then anyone else in the world, and we will be successful when we understand what this is and follow this path. I came across something similar in Jim Highsmith’s Agile Project Management. He states his opinion as “nearly everyone has the potential to be above average at something. It’s a managers’s job to help them find that something.” I had a boss once, when talking about a poor performer, stated it as “maybe their light would shine brighter on another basket.”

The idea is the same; our team will perform best when we have the right people on the team. So how do you know if you have the right team, or even if you’re in the right position?

I was once in a job that I hated. There were a lot of office politics and micro-management. Because I wasn’t happy, my performance wasn’t at its best. I eventually got out of there and found something much better.

So how do we put together that perfect high-performing team? As the project manager, we need to be enthusiastic about the project. If we’re not sincere, the team will know. The project also has to be aligned with strategy. If we’re doing a project that doesn’t seem to make sense for the company, this to will cause friction. Finally, the rest of the team has to want to be part of the project. If team members don’t want to be there, they aren’t going to perform at their best.

So is your light on the right basket?

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