How To Lead A Team Of Grumpy Programmers

The account team used to call the developer room ‘Mordor’. The creatives, who considered themselves the real rockstars in the agency, avoided them. The account executives engaged only when absolutely necessary, and often told me that they hated their grumpy team-mates. The door to Mordor was shut most of the time and there was a deep division in our ranks.

What Does Leadership Mean?

In today's world, the question of leadership is becoming increasingly important. We’re confronted by challenges that we’re not used to. Our challenges are no longer about plague, famine or war. The world we’re living in is becoming more diverse, more noisy, more automated, more stressful, more competitive, more interconnected and less private.

Fear And Desire

When I think about life in these terms, it’s surprisingly liberating to me. In all the complexity of existence, the building blocks are brutally simple - fear and desire of the consequences that exist deep within our sub-conscious. However, there is a staggering truth at the end of it: most of these consequences don’t exist.

The Learn, Do, Share Feedback Loop

It’s good to have a plan with a clear idea of where you’re going. Whether you work off a napkin or go all out with a 50-page document with forecast spreadsheets and market analysis pie charts, it’s essential that you have something to work towards. The caveat to this is that you also have to be open to change.

The Socrates Method

The process of poking holes in an idea or an assumption - e.g. ‘there are many people in developing nations who want to be entrepreneurs, therefore they will buy my entrepreneur learning guides’ - is not new.

The Framework: How I Overcame Anxiety

You will experience heart-wrenching twists and turns in your entrepreneurial journey. In order to survive, you will need a strong framework. This refers to the ‘constants’ in your life that you can fall back on when things get a little too rough for you to handle on your own. Essentially, a framework is a set of decisions; choices that no hardship can dislodge from your life.

Be Like Leo

I’ve met hundreds of entrepreneurs in my career. There is a common behavioural trait in the ones that succeed: they tend to give it their all. They tackle their role with as much energy, gumption and chutzpah as they can muster. I term this the ‘Leonardo DiCaprio Principle’.

Ideas Are Not Precious

Too many people I’ve met are so precious about their ideas that they’re reluctant to even talk about them to their closest friends. They think the idea is the thing. Believe me it’s not.