Quantum Monkeys Blog

Of the 3 leader roles, which one are you perfect for?

There are a lot of articles out there about different leadership styles. No matter what you do, there’s probably a style that defines it very clearly.

I don’t care much about those.

I’m a practical man. I don’t care how unique you are. I want to know what you are good for. So should you: knowing what kind of role suits you better will help find a place where you can be both efficient and yourself.

I have noticed that leaders end up in one of three roles, plus one extra. Yep, for all of the uniqueness of your style, I pile leaders into a handful of heaps.

Good leaders understand one simple truth about their role: it’s not about them. It is never about them. It’s about a greater cause, which itself is usually about other people.

Keeping that thread in mind, let’s have a look at my three (plus one) heaps of leaders.

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By Maurice Lefebvre, ago
Quantum Monkeys Blog

How to be an awesome change leader

Change management is not an easy thing.

If you have ever lead a change endeavor, you had the pleasure to face some challenges. The fear and confusion brought by poor communication. The awakening of the organization’s immune system and the blanket resistance that comes with it. Or the planning is ridden with as many potholes as a Montreal’s street (believe me, that’s quite a lot).

One of the largest challenges is the sheer volume of situations you need to pay attention too, regardless of what they might be. It forces you to dilute your energy and often makes you lose sight of the goal or purpose of the change. There’s just too much noise.

The problem, however, isn’t that there’s too much to cope with. It’s just that we lose sight of what matters in all the noise. You can’t do everything, win every argument, convince everyone or even fight every possible battle.

The solution isn’t complicated, although it’s not easy. You have to learn to let go.

My younger self-learned that through a Zen practicing teacher of mine who would answer nearly all of my rants with the most frustrating questions ever: “Why?” and “Does it matter?” If you can’t answer those questions in a satisfactory way, then you have to let go.

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By Maurice Lefebvre, ago
Quantum Monkeys Blog

Using narrative to ease change

A good story is a powerful thing.

It can move us, persuade us, makes us relate to another’s plight. Good narratives follow a structure that has been passed down from one generation to the next, making the most frightening things clear and somehow reassuring. Even surprise turns of events are expected and accepted.

Change management, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. Information is lacking, communication breaks down, and structure is often lacking or is indiscernible.

Intuitively people perceive the events around them as stories, and change management initiatives are too often partial stories, filled with cracks and uncertainty. The mind being a powerful storytelling tool, it will naturally fill those cracks and, being geared for survival, it will fill them with dreadful things.

Using storytelling as a means to communicate change, make people empathize with it, and fill the blanks with something a bit more positive than dread.

How can you do that?

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By Maurice Lefebvre, ago
Quantum Monkeys Blog

Five emerging concepts in Agile

In this post, I would like to give a brief overview of five emerging tools I find interesting. I often refer to these in conversation, presentations, or blog posts and I would like this post to act as a cheat sheet of sorts.

Please keep in mind that I’m not advocating the use of these tools above the ones you might currently be using. I am not disparaging any other tools either. Context is everything, and the right tool to use will depend on that context.

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By Maurice Lefebvre, ago