I find myself deeply, frequently distracted today, though not by anything or anyone in my immediate vicinity. I can’t focus, can’t be productive, can’t quite settle down. There’s so much uncertainty and heartbreak in the world right now that it often feels – at best – strange to write about something like onboarding your new hires. While I certainly believe a great onboarding program is one critical piece to building a successful development team, it’s often difficult to extoll its virtues – or those of any business process or concept – when the world outside feels so unstable.
But regardless of how I feel, despite all the turbulence and the tumult, the world simply keeps moving forward – always forward. If I languish in my focus, if I give in to the distraction, or wallow in the heartbreak as I have previously, the world will just keep moving right along, blissfully unaware it is leaving me behind.
And so I choose resiliency.
I choose to shut out the noise, to focus on what I can control instead of what I cannot. I choose to show up in your inbox yet again with a message that your team needs resiliency from you and your business.
They need you to insulate them from turbulent projects and tumultuous clients and poor hiring decisions so that they can focus on doing great work. They need you to set the standards for what “great work” is, and they need you to invest in them so that the bar for “great work” continually rises. In order to do those things, you need to choose to shut out distractions, to focus on your team, to be aware of the environment both within and around your team, to be intentional in moving the team forward – always forward. They need you to choose to lead them.
In the same way that 2020 was not the end of anything but a calendar year, COVID will not be the last world crisis that impacts your business. That infuriating client won’t go away voluntarily, and another one will just replace them until you choose to get more selective in who you serve. That runaway project won’t finish itself, and another one will just replace it until you choose to be more assertive against scope creep and inefficiencies. That lackluster employee isn’t going to magically improve themself, and more like them will come on and stay on until you choose to set higher expectations and invest as much in them as you expect them to invest in your company.
Resiliency, efficiency, quality, continuous improvement, and engagement are all cornerstones for building a great team, but they are not inevitabilities; they are choices. Choices that you make every single day you show up – or don’t – for your team.