Are You a Tweaker?

March 21, 2013

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When I used to race sailboats in Puget Sound I got to sail with a lot of different kinds of people. Some people who like to sail are pretty laid back. The Jimmy Buffet types. You know, “The wind will come when the wind decides to come, and in the meantime, how about a margarita?” I really like sailing with folks like that. They are enjoyable and easygoing and that is important when you are trapped together on a cold, wet, boat for 8 hours or longer.

On the other hand, there was another class of folks that I might categorize as the “Tweakers”. Tweakers are the people who are compulsively changing the boat trim in an effort to get more speed out of the boat. They never stop. They are constantly pulling lines and adjusting the rig in an effort to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of the boat. Tweakers are awesome people to have on a boat when you are racing. A boat full of tweakers will almost guarantee you a win. That is if they aren’t fighting with each other over the things they are trying to tweak.

Personally, I preferred a mix of the two types. Tweakers are indispensable to winning a race, and winning is fun. On the other hand, there are times when frankly, the wind just isn’t going to show up. Tweakers tend to go a little bit crazy when this happens. They go into a veritable frenzy of tweaking. All to no avail. Sometimes what they need is one of the more relaxed folks to hand them a beer and point out that there isn’t any wind today.

Other times, the tweakers are the ones to point out that, with just a bit more effort, we could be in the hunt. Even if we are moving so slowly that our progress is imperceptible. Being in the hunt is fun. Sometimes the tweakers need to give the Buffet Heads a nudge in the ribs to put down the beer and get going.

So which type do you have on your team?

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Announcing: The Little Book of Impediments

March 4, 2013

Impediments have long been a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve just published the first draft of a book dedicated to managing impediments on Leanpub. It’s an idea that I’ve been thinking about for years and finally decided to execute on. The book is a collection of many of my ideas on dealing with impediments from this blog, as well as from presentations and tutuorials that I have done at many conferences. There is still a long way to go, but if you are interested, you can get an advance copy from Leanpub (https://leanpub.com/ImpedimentsBook). You can also provide comments and get updates on twitter using the hashtag #impedimentsbook