Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness
This post will give you some Evernote tips and tricks for how to use Evernote as a Personal Information Manager or as a personal knowledge base.
I think of Evernote as an "Agile Knowledge-Base." It's like a simple Wiki, with folders and pages. The big deal is "access anywhere" and "friction-free" notes. The beauty is the simplicity and the focus. As a user of blogs and Wikis, I'm a fan of simple notes. Plain-text is my preferred note format.
I've used Evernote for years (sidenote -- I drove a tool similar to Evernote, before Evernote, so I very much appreciated when Evernote showed up on the scene, and I empathized with some of the same technical challenges and user experience issues the Evernote team faced.) I should also mention that I’ve created tens of wikis (if not hundreds) with many thousands of pages, tens of SharePoint sites with many thousands of documents, and tens of blogs with hundreds of posts. In my early days of Microsoft, I‘ve created hundreds of Knowledge Base articles and managed thousands of Knowledge Base articles. I’ve managed many thousands of pages for Microsoft patterns & practices (aside from co-authoring eight technical books.) I’ve also created information architectures for very nasty and complex information problems to simplify them. I regularly coach people and teams on how to keep their email at zero (I call it Zen of Zero Mail.)
The bottom line is -- I slice and dice information overload down to size for breakfast, and I simplify complex information.
I've been using Evernote since 2008. I must use it a lot since I have more than 7,000 notes. Keep in mind, when I moved to Evernote, I started from scratch with a fresh start (or it would be many thousands of notes larger.) I've used so many ways to store my personal knowledge base over the years, and I've learned a lot about keeping it simple, keeping it useful, and keeping it flexible and adaptable. I’d like to share some tips and tricks with you, that might improve your Evernote experience.
Here we go …
10 Ways to Use Evernote More Effectively
Example of My Evernote Notebooks Below is a snapshot of my Evernote folders. Use it to inspire your own customization of your Evernote. That's another beauty of Evernote -- you can make it work for you. If you're wondering what that top cluster of folder is under my "Action" folder, that's how I implement Getting Results the Agile Way. (See How To Use Getting Results the Agile Way with Evernote.)
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If you are a project manager or a program manager, or aspiring to be, one of the best project management tools you can add to your toolbox is the Kanban. In fact, if somebody were to ask me, what’s the single best way to exponentially improve project execution, I would probably say, the answer is Kanban. (Well, I might first say, get my book, Getting Results the Agile Way, and adopt Agile Results
A Kanban is a simple project management tool. It enables you to visualize your workflow, limit your work in progress, and optimize your “cycle time” (the time it takes to complete one item.) For software development projects, this is a big deal. It helps you find bottlenecks and push quality upstream. Ultimately, you shape your process to flow more value as efficiently and effectively as possible, “just in time.” Another way to think of it is, your users “pull” value through your development chain, while you streamline your process.
I first got introduced to Kanbans, several years ago, by one of the best and brightest in software engineering, Corey Ladas (author of Scrumban.) My introduction was a “learn by doing” exercise.
We went to the whiteboard and Corey has me identify the main states of my project workflow. While it was iterative, and a lot of work was done in parallel, the main stages were:
Analysis, Design, Development, Test, and Release. It looked something like this:
Next, Corey asked me to identify the “things” or “items” that I would show on my Kanban. I had a hard time breaking things down into useful units until I used a simple test. What’s the smallest, most useful thing I could demo to users? For simplicity, let’s just say I broke things down into features and user stories. In this case, a user story was simply a persona-based scenario with a goal. In my case, I also needed some “system” stories. The bottom line was that each of these was a “chunk” of value that I would ship to users. Corey had me name some of these items and write them down on stickies. He then had me place them wherever they were currently at on my Kanban. It looked something like this:
What surprised me was that he didn’t ask me to change our team’s process. The goal was simply to reflect whatever process we were already using. The most important thing was really to identify the most meaningful state changes in our workflow, and to identify the work items that flow through it. He said the power of the Kanban is that we would tune our process over time, with real data and real results. It’s a living thing. And it’s a visual thing.
The next thing Corey had me do was to set a limit for how many items should be actively in development at any given time. I struggled here at first because I was used to having a lot of work in flight. He pointed out the problem with a lot of work in flight is that there’s thrashing, and more time spent context switching than actually finishing the work. Worse, if we’re not closing things down, then we aren’t flowing value. He said, to keep it simple, as an experiment, set the limit at 3. Find out what your team can do. For example, with focus, how quickly can we close down an item? Where does the bottleneck happen? Which resources are idle? Could idle developers pair up with testers and unblock test, for example? He got me thinking.
This is where the magic happened. Corey asked me to identify some of the most common issues found during Test. I rattled off a few common problems. He then asked me what I could check for before entering test. We then repeated this process a few times until we had a few simple checks before we leave Analysis, and before we leave Design, and before we leave Development.
It sounds so simple, and it is, But the big deal was having it all at a glance, on the whiteboard. We could now easily get the right people at the board, having the right conversations.
The beauty is that we ended up with a unique process for our team -- built by us, built for us, and optimized by us. As a team, we could now all visualize our process. We could easily see our bottlenecks. We could easily add quality checks. We could easily add more states to our Kanban if we needed more fine-grained visibility. We basically achieved a highly-flexible, highly relevant process that struck a balance between self-organization and workflow specialization.
That was the start of my Kanban adventures, long ago. In the years since, I’ve experimented with Kanbans, personal kanbans, Kanban tools, and various approaches. The Kanban has proven itself time and again for me as one of my most effective project management tools. It really is “just enough process” combined with a focus on flowing value and improving quality. It’s one of the best tools I’ve used for driving execution excellence across people and teams in an empowering and self-directed way.
When the question is, “How do we improve our execution?” … even if Kanban is not the answer, it’s very often as good place to start. After all, if you can show somebody your Kanban with current activity, chances are you can find the bottlenecks and optimization opportunities. At the minimum, you’ll have a shared frame of reference, the visualization of your process, which is a great way to dive deeper to troubleshoot any execution issues.
As one of my wise mentors always said, “If it’s free, it’s for me.” (Tom, are you out there?) Here is a quick list of free leadership tools you can use today, right now, to change your game. These tools are battle-tested and have stood the test of time. The beauty is you can take them wherever you go because they are leadership tools for your mind.
If you want the lion's share of impact, then you need tools for today's world. It's an ever-changing landscape, and things can rapidly change under your feet. It's the information age, so the right tools, accordingly are information tools. They are tools for your mind, to help you organize, prioritize, and gain clarity and control over your actions and your thoughts. They also help shape your feelings. A great deal of your action is shaped by how you feel. If you feel overwhelmed, that is not your power stance. You achieve way more, with less effort and more impact, when you feel unstoppable.
That is the purpose of these tools – to bring out your best.
These tools help you unleash your capability and funnel your action and energy into more meaningful impact. Through focus and clarity, you amplify your impact. By using a system with pluggable parts, it's easy to swap tools in and out, to find the ones that work best for you. Because it's a system, you can tune and prune it to get better results, and they keep getting better over time.
10 Free Leadership Tools for Making Things Happen Here are free tools that you can add to your leadership toolbox:
Special Bonus Although you can do anything I’ve explained here on paper, on a whiteboard, or electronically, I do have a set of template you can use that might help with some things. You can find the templates here:
The Rapid Research Method is a way to speed up your product research. It’s also a way to speed up ramp up time when you are leaning a new domain. The Rapid Research Method is also a key for rapid innovation and rapid product design and development. Lastly, the Rapid Research Method is also a great way to map out a space and perform competitive assessments.
One of the challenges with product development is doing effective research for your product design to make sure you have the right map of the pains and needs, the top concerns, and the key desired outcomes. Another challenge is actually making this information actionable and simple to share.
I’ve had the benefit of driving several projects end-to-end, so I’ve been through the research and exploration stage multiple times. I’ve learned a lot of tricks for speeding up research and making it more effective. I’ve had to use these techniques to play catch up in various domains from application architecture to security and performance, to even the cloud. They work.
I’m going to share a few techniques in this post. Collectively, I”ll refer to using them as the Rapid Research Method. It’s the approach I’ve used for many, many projects over many years, and as a way to perform competitive assessments.
What’s important about the techniques is that they make it easy to rapidly organize and share vast amounts of information in an actionable way. Looking back, one of the big surprises for me is how just about any domain can be broken down into questions and tasks. If you know the questions that people ask and the tasks they need to perform, you’ve effectively mapped out the most important information within that domain. This helps you prioritize all the rest of the information, such as concepts, principles, patterns, and practices. Another way to look at it is that all the information is either going to be action or reference. For example, a checklist would be actionable, while a whitepaper on a key topic, tends to be conceptual.
Software, like an information product, tends to suffer from information management problems. It’s tough to share “castles in the mind.” Then there is the people factor. Not everybody can slice and dice information the same way, or with the same skill. The real issue though is sharing “state.” The problem with research is that it’s like climbing a mountain. How quickly can you get others to make it up the mountain, after you? What sort of trail or spikes can you leave along the way? That’s where these research tools that I’m about to share come into play. They help you not only get you and your teammates up the mountain faster, but they leave a trail that others can follow.
The approach is fairly easy. It involves creating simple lists. The power comes from how you create and share these lists. It’s actually the information architecture of the research that unleashes the power of your research. The single best thing you can do with your research is produce output that can easily be used by others, so that you can easily bring in more brains on the problem. When everybody can see the lay of the land, it’s easier for people to find a faster way forward, get resourceful and solve problems.
Here is the approach in a nutshell:
I’ve often said that any problem domain can quickly be broken down into questions and tasks and address 80% of what matters. That little rule of thumb has served me well, time and again. I never get stuck when I’m figuring out a new domain. I always go back to the basics. The real race is to find the fastest way to get the questions and tasks down on paper in a shared way that others can contribute, review, and prioritize.
You can browse the examples below to see what these question lists, task lists, hot spots/frame, and user stories look like.
“Hot Spots” are simply the key categories or areas of focus. They represent the categories that are key choice points. They are actionable. They are “Hot Spots” because they are 80% of where the action is. They are the 20% of the domain that accounts for 80% of the activity. I use “Hot Spots” as a way to slice a domain down to size and quickly get to what counts. Each “Hot Spots” represents an area that is either a key opportunity or a key pain point. The “Hot Spots” are a great way to organize actionable information such as principles, patterns, and practices.
The Frame is simply a lens for looking at a problem. It’s what’s in the picture and what’s out. How you frame a problem domain can either simplify the problem space, or make it more complex. When you frame the problem space well, it makes it easier to act on it. It makes it easier to identify opportunities for innovation. It makes it easier to research the problem space with better focus. Focus is your friend.
The problem is that you usually don’t know the key areas up front. Framing out the space is part of the challenge and it’s part of the by-product of your research. What I’ve found is that when you start to collect questions and tasks, that “Hot Spots” start to emerge. You will quickly start to see patterns and things will naturally start to cluster. This collection of “Hot Spots” becomes the backbone for your frame. Rather than be complete, it’s about being effective. You can use the 80/20 rule to your advantage here, which is how you both gain speed, but also amplify your impact by focusing on the highest priorities.
This is a simple example of a frame using security Hot Spots. By using this collection of Hot Spots, it was very easy to collect questions and tasks within the security domain. It was also easy to walk different technologies and evaluate their security profile. We also used the frame to quickly gather and organize threats, attacks, vulnerabilities, and countermeasures. Organizing the information using this frame made it more actionable, and it made it a lot easier to deal with information overload.
Security Frame with Hot Spots
How does your application handle and protect user sessions? A session refers to a series of related interactions between a user and your Web application.
A “Question List” is simply a list of the key questions that people ask. You can find the key questions through surveys, going through forums, looking through blogs, and through hands on experience. Hands on experience helps you build empathy for what really matters, which will be essential when you are trying to rank, rate, and sort your list. It also helps to organize your questions into “Hot Spot” areas or buckets.
Architectural Frame Questions List
Authentication and Authorization
Caching and State
Concurrency and Transactions
Coupling and Cohesion
Logging and Instrumentation
A “Task List” is simply a list of the tasks that users perform within a domain. I find it helpful to use the language “How To.” This forces people to think in terms of goals. Sometimes it’s helpful to know the goal. Sometimes it’s more helpful to know the specific tasks. When you need to up-level it, simply ask “What are you trying to accomplish?” When you need to drop down a notch, simply ask, “What are you trying to do?” You can collect tasks from users through interviews, surveys, etc. Again, I find that hands-on is one of the best ways to really build empathy for the pains and needs. The real power comes from transforming from the problem side (the pains and needs), to the solution side (the specific goal or task that would address the pain or need.)
Architectural Frame Tasks List
I’ve found it especially helpful to organize massive lists of tasks into simple two-column tables. This creates a nice view that makes it very easy to prioritize, cut, or elaborate, in a fast and simple way. You can color code your lists. You can bubble key things to the top. You can make whitespace where you need it. You can group your tasks under sub-items within a row. The choices are endless, but the two-column tables does make dealing with massive mounds of information a breeze. The way it compacts and frames information makes scanning very easy, which is important when you are trying to get the “bird’s-eye view.”
One of the most powerful techniques I use to rapidly gather user requirements is user stories. I find that capturing user stories with the language, “As a user, I need to” .. or “As a user, I want to …” really helps add context and clarity, while keeping it amazingly simple. I also find that organizing the user stories by Hot Spots helps go a long way, especially when you are dealing with a large amount of information. Below is an example where I was collecting user stories to rapidly figure out the top concerns of business leaders and Enterprise Architects when it comes to cloud computing.
The beauty is that when you capture the user stories well, it is very easy to deal with both timeless stories and timely ones. In this particular example, even though it’s a few years old, you can see that the top issues that it exposes are alive and well. One additional point on this example is that I used another information pattern. I call it the “View More” pattern. I use it to bubble up the short-list and then push the rest of the list below the “View More …” heading. It’s highly effective for organizing very large information sets, especially if you alphabetize the list.
User Stories for Cloud Enterprise Strategy
Cloud Enterprise Strategy Scenarios Map
Awareness / Education
Governance and Regulation
Service Levels / Quality of Service
One of the most useful patterns I’ve found to stay on top of a project budget is to think in terms of a monthly burn rate. As a program manager, one of my responsibilities is managing a budget. In the early days, I hated managing the budget because it always seemed like a lot of moving parts and more complex than it needed to be. That’s because it was.
What I found is that thinking in terms of a monthly burn rate, helps simplify the budget and chunk it up into manageable parts. I’ve managed projects over a million dollars and I’ve managed much smaller ones. This approach scales up and down. The monthly burn helps avoid surprises at the end, and it helps you keep a pulse on the spend without getting mired in details, until you need to.
Knowing the monthly burn rate makes it easy to calculate the overall spend. It also makes it easy to play out what if scenarios, such as when there are budget cuts. It also makes it easy to do draft ballpark figures, or to calculate your ask in terms of dollars if you need to extend your project.
What I like about the monthly burn rate is that it’s a big enough chunk of time that you can see patterns. A monthly burn rate also works well for managing a portfolio of programs and projects. For example, if you’re business has an overall budget you need to manage too, then you should know at your fingertips, how many big and small projects you can run in parallel.
Once you start trying to figure out the monthly burn rate, a lot of things fall into place quickly. For example, you can ask questions like, what’s the smallest monthly burn of your successful projects? What’s the average monthly burn rate across your projects? What’s the largest monthly burn rate? This can lead to finding ways to do things better, faster, cheaper, and to cross-pollinate your project practices more effectively.
Your monthly burn can also help put things in perspective. For example, at the end of the month, are you flowing the right value or making the right impact for your money’s worth?
Once I switched to thinking in terms of the monthly burn, a lot of the previous budget management complexity went away. I think having a simpler mental model forced me to ask better questions. For example, when should the payment milestones be for any vendor resources? Could those be consolidated to the same day each month? When is the right time each month to review the work? Are there any anomalies in terms of vendor rates? Etc. Instead of manage a composite of complexity, I was able to focus on managing well to the month. If I took care of the days, the weeks too care of themselves, and if I took care of the weeks, the months took care of themselves, and so on.
In any case, thinking in terms of a monthly burn rate helps you quickly calculate potential project spend. Once you get a baseline, you can quickly play around with variables, such as, what would the ideal team of resources be and what would that cost each month? What would the minimum team of resources be and what would that cost each month?
This pattern has helped me make better choices around things like whether to start with a full team, or whether to add resources downstream, or whether to roll people off the project. Budget is a very real constraint, and it has significant impacts on how things get done. Using the monthly burn pattern is a powerful building block for building budgets. You can use it to help figure out affordable teams and project durations. Sometimes time is the main constraint. Sometimes budget is the main constraint. In any event, you can simplify your budget management by thinking in terms of a monthly burn rate.
When life throws you a nasty curve ball, or when the best laid plans of mice and men go awry, it can be tough to look on the bright side. But that’s what leaders do. Whether you are a leader or developing your own self-leadership, positive quotes can serve you well. They fortify the mind. And where there’s a will, there is often a way.
Positive thinking helps breed positive action. A positive mindset can help you see opportunities you might otherwise miss. A positive mindset can also help you break out of limiting loop and self-defeating patterns. They can lift yourself and those around you. Positivity is contagious and it’s worth spreading.
I’m not a positive thinker of the Pollyanna kind, but I’ve learned through habit and practice to look for the sliver lining in the cloud, before dwelling on the rain. I’ve also learned that crying over spilled milk just leaves a slippery floor, and that the fastest way to change the situation, is to change yourself. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that opportunity comes to those who seek it.
Don’t let possibilities pass you by. If you need a new lease on life, then fill your mind with some of the best positive quotes that the world has to offer. Draw from the giants of the past and present and use their skillful words to reshape your own reality. With the right pithy prose on your side, you are unstoppable.
Here is my collection of positive quotes to put some of the world’s best wisdom at your fingertips:
Share freely with anyone who needs a lift in life.
If you want to read faster, I'll share a way that will radically change how fast you can read books, and, more importantly, comprehend the information. You can read faster and absorb a lot more books with a rapid reading method -- the sticky note way. You can do extreme reading with sticky notes.
This approach is for printed books and magazines. I'm a fan of the Kindle. You can read my Kindle review. My main scenario for Kindle is instant access, reading fiction, and having books at my finger tips. That said, I can read and learn faster with physical books, using the "Sticky Note Method."
I read a lot of books each month. I usually spend in the neighborhood of $300 a month. Books are my fastest way to learn new ideas, new methods, new techniques that I can test at work to keep growing my capabilities. Books are the short-cuts for personal development and rapid learning.
Why the Sticky Note Method Here's a quick story that might help show how it works. The other day I was looking for a key concept. I knew which book it was in. I started rapidly flipping through pages. I couldn't find it. I started to put yellow stickies in the book as I flipped through. On each sticky, I wrote down one nugget of insight -- one key idea or action that was worth noting. As I wrote down each insight, I put it into easy to understand terms. I wrote it as a one-liner reminder. Within 20 minutes, I had parsed my 300+ page book. It was riddled with stickies, my one-liner reminders, and I now had a personal index, with key take aways.
It was the wrong book.
I took a break and realized I was intently looking the right way, but in the wrong book. I grabbed the right book, and found the idea I had been looking for within seconds. Meanwhile, what dawned on me was just how powerful this rapid reading method is.
The sticky note method is powerful because it forces you to internalize what you read, while turning insight into action. It's simple too. But don't let the simplicity fool you.
How To Use the Sticky Note Method for Rapid Reading The steps are simple:
That's it. I told you it was simple. It’s simple, but effective.
You will get faster with practice. When I asked one of my mentors what's the secret to running faster, he said run faster. I thought he was joking but he was serious. The same is true for reading faster. To read faster ... read faster. But now you have a method to make the most of what you read, as you go – The Sticky Note Method for Rapid Reading. It works because it forces you to focus, it forces you to internalize information rather than regurgitate information, it forces you to create a personalized, meaningful index into your book, and it forces you to distill information into easier to little insights and actions (one-liner reminders) that turn insight into action.
I've been using this approach for years. I've tried many ways to read faster, and they all add up, but if I could only share one approach with you, this is the one that will radically change your game and take your reading to the next level.
I’ve put together a comprehensive collection of project management quotes. I didn’t count them, but at a glance, it looks like more than 100 project management quotes covering key topics: what is project management and what do project managers do, actions and tasks, change and change management, failure and learning, plans and planning, process, project cycles, risk management, schedule and time, scope, teams and leaders, and vision.
If you have a favorite project management quote, I’d love to hear it.
I’m a big believer that project management skills are some of the best skills for life (See Program Manager Skills for Work and Life). One of the best skills we learn from project management is how to break work down into little steps we can execute. We learn how to document a vision in a way that inspires others to see what’s possible. We learn to anticipate, and better yet, deal with problems, risks, and issues. Dreams are one thing. Execution is another. Project management is where dreams meet execution and it provides the framework and tools to create a new reality.
It’s powerful stuff.
I find that action builds momentum. The best kind of action is decisive action because then you are "all in." Dipping a toe in the water doesn’t make the same splash as diving into the pool.
When I'm under the gun, "satisficing" to make decisions serves me well. Gary Klein wrote a great book on how experts make rapid decisions under fire. (The book is Sources of Power.)
Some of the techniques I use include: criteria and weights, CARVER (Criticality, Accessibility, Return, Vulnerability, Effect, and Recognizability), and Six Thinking Hats. At Microsoft, I tend to use criteria and weight when I need to get agreement with others on what the priorities are. I also tend to use Six Thinking Hats when I need to rapidly have folks change perspective, and take a more holistic view. To make the most of Six Thinking Hats, I use questions at the whiteboard to focus the thinking and work our way through the hats.
At the end of the day, I've found that a lot of the decisions come down to who do you want to be and what experiences do you want to create. Basically, the more you can connect your decisions to your "Why" or to your values, the stickier they are.
In fact, the secret of changing habits is to first decide who you want to be and our identify helps us pattern match the best fits.
“You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away and know when to run.” – Kenny Rogers
Dealing with setbacks is tough. Sometimes we get knocked down so hard, we wonder if we’ll get up again. Such is life.
But why do some people rise and triumph from their trials and tribulations, while others stay down for the count? I believe a lot of it has to do with the way we program our minds. It’s the sayings we say, it’s the thoughts we think and it’s words we use to express our condition. In other words, it’s not what happens to us … It’s how we respond. It’s how we frame it. It’s how we think about it. It’s what we do about it.
Just like a picture is worth a 1,000 words, the right quote is worth a 1,000 books.
The best way I’ve found to bounce back, or to find a way forward, or to make the most of the unthinkable, is to fill our mental toolbox with a cornucopia of the world’s best wisdom at our finger tips. Quotes are a powerful way to lift us, inspire us, and keep on keeping on.
Here is a hand-crafted collection of some of the best quotes on moving on:
You can use them for work, when you need a reminder of how to stand strong when tested. You can use them for life, when you need a firm foundation for rolling with the punches, and dealing with the setbacks that hold you back, or try to knock you down. It is a serious and significant collection. You will recognize many of the moving on quotes and hopefully find some new ones.
It’s a living collection so please feel free to share any of the best quotes on moving on that have served you well in work and life. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and tough minds get built from the sayings we say, and the beliefs we adopt.
Enjoy and please share with whoever needs a little lift in life.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” -- Charles Darwin
That's one of my all-time favorite quotes because it's surprising. It's not the smartest or the strongest, or even the fastest that survive ... it's the most flexible.
That says a lot about the value of agile and agility in today's world. I think of agility as the ability to effectively respond to change.
Intelligence is valuable too, but not just raw smarts. It's what you do with what you've got. There are multiple flavors of intelligence, and they can help you survive and thrive in today's world. Maybe you've heard of emotional intelligence, social intelligence, positive intelligence, or multiple intelligences?
I think how we look at our own intelligence can limit or enable us. For example, if you don't think you're intelligent, then you might not try to do intelligent things. For example, if you've defined intelligence in your own mind to mean something along the lines of "the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria", that singular view of intelligence might put a damper on how your view your own abilities (depending on how you scored on your IQ test.)
I wrote a post on What is Intelligence to elaborate and share what I've learned from Howard Gardner and his definition of intelligence.
I’d be curious on how your thoughts about intelligence have evolved and changed over the years, given how much of a premium people put on how smart you are.
I'm honored to have a guest post by Alan Shelton. It's Leadership is Who You Are. Alan is the author of Awakened Leadership, and his guest post is about how the key to effective leadership is to be more of who you already are.
It's a powerful idea. Instead of changing who you are to be a more effective leader, you leverage who you are, and you bring out more of it, in an authentic way.
One of the most useful leadership trainings I had years ago, focused on bringing more of who you are to the table. The idea was to use your unique experience and values as a strength.
In my example, one of my unique experiences was that I was a kickboxer. Sports and personal growth are important to me. What that means is that when I lead a project, I bring a personal growth perspective to it. I find ways for people to spend more time in their strengths and I find ways for them to grow, while we take on new challenges. I encourage people to push past their limits and expand their capabilities. I encourage them to think of stories in their day to day, that reflect their private victories. I use little wins as progress so that people flourish.
That's what it means to bring more of you to the table to play your best leadership game. It's connecting to your values, and using your unique experience to create an authentic arena for growth and greatness. It unleashes more of your power because you are going with your grain, instead of against it, and you are creating experiences that are congruent with your values. In other words, you get what you project, and you get more of what you focus on.