Beautiful Lies in the Tech Industry

I heard “The Lies That I Believe” by Thornley the other day. The chorus went like this:

The lies that I believe are simple

The lies that I believe are true

The lies that I believe are so beautiful

The lies that I believe are true

This got me thinking about some of the beautiful lies I hear everyday in the tech industry. They are simple and beautiful, and so many want them to be true.

Lie #1: All you need is an App!

An app is just a case of Red Bull, a small team, and a long weekend away!

After all, Yo was an incredibly simple app created in 8 hours that later received $1,000,000+ in investment! I ask myself, why can’t I do the same?

The reality is that competition is fierce! When I last checked, there are 1,300,000+ apps on each of the Android and iOS app stores, and most apps make NOTHING!

Lie #2: You will experience Rocket Ship Growth!

The reality is that your path will more likely be shallow and rocky,

if you are growing at all.

Lie #3: You will make lots of Money!

After all, if Nest and WhatsApp can do it, why can’t I!

The reality is that most startups fail, and others just limp along.

What beautiful lies do YOU believe?

Truth ALWAYS stands on its own

One of our core values at MI is Integrity.

While we might debate what exactly this means and in which context- family, business, friendships – the fact remains that truth always stands on its own. I was reminded of this recently when I visited the old lead mines of the Yorkshire Dales in the UK. Lead has been mined there since the days of the Roman Emperors, until the early 20th century. The last mine closed in 1912.

Even if it is hidden under a lead container, truth is like cork, and no amount of weight will hold it down. When the container is turned over that cork will immediately bob to the surface to be seen by everyone.

Rather than trying to hide it or suppress the truth by shading it in one way or another, choose the path of integrity and speak it daily right at the beginning of a conversation, a project, or when you want a new beginning. You’ll be far better off in the long run than trying to hide it even under tons of lead in the deepest of oceans.

We are all tempted to not speak the truth, or shade it, especially when we are dealing with our own strengths and weaknesses. We embellish our strengths and cover our weaknesses. We are all afraid of our weaknesses and we may either deny them completely, or brush them aside. Inevitably doing so derails our moral character and when discovered, causes our strengths to be viewed less positively.

It is important for us to work hard on our weaknesses as they matter to our quality of living and interacting with our work and families. If we truthfully channel time, energy and resources into personal improvement then our lives will blossom and invigorate us to greater effectiveness.

If, as leaders, we require the truth from those we lead then we must example that personally. We must allow them to hold our feet to the fire in the same level of accountability as we require of them. Yes, it may be very hard and difficult conversations may need to be engaged but the final result is peace in life, our own and those we lead. Peace in life is not trying to hide the truth.

The Truth ALWAYS stands on its own.

You are not the only one

The single greatest factor of an organization’s success in the organizational health.

So it is no surprise that all leaders struggle with creating healthy teams.

You are not alone – this is a common issue that is usually all but ignored, taking a back seat to strategy, marketing finance and technology.

I recently met with John, CEO of a mid sized company. John was eager to “do something” with his management team of 5 people.

John loves his team members – I mean he loves them – they are the best! He believes in them and has invested himself in them for a number of years. All but one has been with him for more than 5 years, a good sign of the stability evident throughout the whole company.

I proposed to meet with them one on one and get back to John with a recommendation. He agreed and in the following two weeks I met with each one.

These were casual conversations. I stated the purpose as “John wants to do some further development with you leaders so I thought I would get your take on what is happening at the company these days.”

I tried not to lead the conversation very much. I threw out the idea that John and I were discussing a two day off-site planning session – which was true. I listened intently.

The leaders’ responses gave me plenty to think about. They were professional and certainly competent. They are extremely likeable – I can see why John is excited about his team.

No one could tell me the goals of the company for the year. Yet they made it clear that they did not want to spend even one day with the team in planning. The personal friction between them was clearly evident to me, although no one was outwardly criticizing the others.

When I met with John over lunch, he was eager to hear how our conversations went.

“I agree, you have great people – but you don’t have a cohesive team.”

“How would you even measure such a thing?” he replied.

I pulled out a checklist. “As I was speaking with them I was looking for these things.” I started to read this list, developed by business consultant and author Patrick Lencioni, out loud across the lunch table:

[fancy_list type=’tick’]

  • Team members trust one another and can be genuinely vulnerable with each other.
  • Team members regularly engage in productive unfiltered conflict around important issues.
  • Team leaves meetings with clear-cut, active, and specific agreements around discussions.
  • Team members hold one another accountable to commitments and behaviours.
  • Members of the leadership team are focused on the needs and priorities of the larger organization ahead of their own departments.

[/fancy_list]

As I read, John quickly said “no” to each statement.

Although he initially felt that such as thing as “cohesive” could not be measured, he was able to come to the same conclusion as I did – with the help of 5 simple statements.

Now the real work can begin for John and his team. Maybe for you and yours.

Till we talk again,
Jamie

If you and your team would like to learn more practical steps to building a healthy team, join us on April 29th at: “Maximum Achievement” and discover the master skills you need for extraordinary performance.

Jamie MacDonald’s plenary messages will address two critical topics: “Creating a Great Place to Work” and “Achieving Alignment.” Each attendee also participates in four break-out workshop sessions.

events.maximumimpact.ca