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Friday, February 21, 2014

Herding Panthers

One of the joys of my job is getting to work with some of the best and brightest people in this industry. It is especially fun when I get to hand-pick a team from among those that I know in that space, or work with somebody else's hand-picked team.  The challenge of working with a team that good is that everyone has thier own process and style, but as a team we have to develop a common style and process.

That is perhaps the hardest part about leading a team like this, except for one thing.  We all work in standards, and we all know how to follow a consensus process.  My job is not so much leader, as it is chair.  I have to make sure that there are plenty of straw men to throw tomatoes and eggs at, so that the team can do their best work creating a process and style that works for everyone.

It's the kind of job where you have to leave your ego at the door [but then be ready to run and grab it again later].  I both love and hate this kind of work.  The results are the best, but getting there is a struggle.  My favorite part about this is watching one of the team snag the ball and run down field with it for 20 or 30 yards.  Enough advances like that, and we can easily score.


  1. I like your analogy that this is like herding really large, impressive cats.

    To herd regular cats, a broom can help. To herd internationally acclaimed panthers... maybe we need one of those brooms they use to clear the stage at the end of a stage production...

  2. In my experience, a good group of heavy-hitters is self-disciplined enough to readily become a team. After that group has a lot of fun together, working toward consensus results, even when individual opinions strongly differ. And your hardest task as chair is writing & publishing minutes.