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Blockchain 7 of 7 : Be Authentic

Once upon a time, on a contract a long time ago … I managed a team of incredible technical talent. The team was solid, productive, enjoyable to work with and I never worried about their ability to tackle any challenge.  Everyone stayed in their lane and coordinated tasks with each other smoothly.  The CIO once lightheartedly shared with me that this team was so efficient they were making everyone else appear a little less effective. 

During our tenure, we were assigned to a project being led by an individual keen on building their own personal brand. It was routine to get our marching orders, start down a path to the solution, then have the direction change the very next day.  We learned to keep meticulous notes and an email trail after every meeting.  We could never figure out what motivated this person.  They demonstrated a lack of authenticity and at some levels even hypocrisy. Trust in our up-line was a struggle to say the least.

In contrast, during that same period of time, we were assigned to a person who was not trying to build their own brand.  They were an encourager by nature and “enhanced the calm”.  They kept their eyes up on the horizon, anticipated our needs, provided “air cover” from unnecessary burden from above and cleared stumbling blocks that may be in the team’s pathway.  We worked hard to ensure that this person was never caught off guard and when there was potential risk we worked together to mitigate it.  There was free exchange of information which prepared our leadership to defend approvals to begin target projects.  This person demonstrated authenticity and trust was never an issue.  We accomplished much under their leadership, shaping some of the technology still in use today.

Emerging technologies are being deployed into and enhancing our portfolios at lightning speed.  There is so much excitement around blockchain, AI and the like.  The temptation to build a personal brand around one of these stares all of us in the face.  But, and there is always a “but”, I will never be able to implement any of these techs all by myself.  I will need to build a capable team that understands the vision, a team I can trust with that vision, and a team that trusts my leadership.  If there is authenticity within the team, my customer will also recognize, appreciate and trust that authenticity.

In my experience, the successful adoption of emerging technologies is reinforced by the following leadership qualities:

  1. Keep your solution pure, modest and focused – The Right Solution for the Right Problem

  2. Maintain a Voice of Reason – Enhance the Calm

  3. Educate Gently – Learn it, Shred it, Share it

  4. Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn – Hear Intelligently

  5. Champion Transformation – Be a Great Coach

  6. Collaborate to Innovate! – Engage everyone and mitigate the things that impede open dialogue.

  7. Be Authentic – Build that trust relationship

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