Agile 2018

Agile 2018
Speaking at Agile 2018

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sincerity is greater than charm.

I had the good fortune to get out of the house and go to the movies.  My date insisted on “Into the Woods” and like all good natured boyfriends I went along for the ride.  What struck me about the movie is how it took a Tony Award winning musical from Stephen Sondheim and made it work for the big screen.  It also gave me a bit of dialog which is going to stick with me and that is what I want to talk about on this week’s blog.

Toward the end of the movie, it becomes obvious that the prince charming is NOT a respectful or loyal husband.  He confesses to his wife which he cheated on, “I was raised to be charming not sincere,” and then rides off into the distance.  Being charming was more important that making sincere commitments to our prince.  This is direct contradiction to what one of my mentors out of college told me when I first joined management.

He said, “I have known people who get by on charm and cuteness their whole lives.  I have no use for them.  Sooner or later you are going to have to quit being charming and cute.  Someday you are going to have to suck it up and know what the hell you are doing.  Then we can work together.”

No matter what job you do, you are going to have to prove some competence in that field.  In other words you have to be sincere about your skills and what you can do with them.  Twenty years since that message it has still stuck with me.  It is a message which sticks with me for the management of my business and it sticks with me for the way I lead my scrum team.  I need to be honest and sincere with people in order to be successful.  This is good because I can’t imagine working any other way.

Until next time.