So, I started reading more this year... (And it wasn't even one of my New Year's Resolutions.) It's more about suddenly feeling the need for new ideas, and new ways of seeing things, etc.
Looking over the last two plus years of officially managing an engineering team at Sun got me wondering: What have I learned lately? Do I know anything more this month than last? Am I effectively leading my team? To really get the answers will take more serious investigation than when I worked in more tactical positions. With previous jobs (xml data architect, web site project manager, technical trainer, graphic designer, ice cream scooper extraordinaire no that's not me in the apron) it was seemingly easier to gauge what I've learned and where or how I've grown. Management, well, that's trickier to measure.
Anyway, I'm reading. This week, I started The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Not exactly because I view my team as dysfunctional, (suppose that remains to be seen, upon outcome of my read) but more so to understand team dynamics better, drive more success, and drive Sun overall.
I started reading it, in all places, at my hair salon. Yes, folks, good hair can take lots of time, and why just sit there with People Magazine? My stylist saw it and said, "Wow, a bit of light reading today?" Ya sure, why not? (Incidentally, she owns the salon, so she may need the book someday too!)
A few pages into it, and it felt pretty good so far. The book is written more like a fable or novel than a "learn how to manage by following these 5 steps" kinda book. Much better suited for the salon that way. ;) One of the first points woven into the story was about how you refer to the group you manage. If you, or the group, do not refer to the collection of people as a team, they probably are not a team. That's interesting, and a glimmer of hope for our situation. That's what we are, a team the Content Management Engineering TEAM, not Kristen's STAFF or Kristen's DIRECT REPORTS. OK, 34 pages into it and I'm feeling like its worth reading. We'll see where it goes from here; certainly it can't all be this simple...