The Big Three

Among the soft skills I believe developers can benefit from improving are Leadership – Play – Improvisation

Leadership
Leadership is all about change. IT is all about change. Solution developers are therefore agents of change. Nobody every says “Hey – let’s build a new system that does exactly what we do now!” New systems have new features, new workflows, new objects – new, new, new, new, new. Having a basic understanding of how change happens in an organization – and how to help facliltate it will serve developers well. If nothing else, it can help to moderate the frustration born from over-optimistic hopes for change to evolve. It’s hard – it requires everyone to put their shoulder to the wheel. Nothing helps change happen than a good and hopeful attitude.

Play
Hopefully you enjoy developing software systems. If so, then take the opportunity to go play with something that is fun and excites you. One of the biggest complaints people have about their jobs is that they get bored with their work. To have a successful and satisfying career, play! Take and hour and play with Ruby or Python or Excel or Javascript.

Improvisation
Improvisation to me is using leadership and creativity on the fly to solve problems, create new understandings, facilitate conversations and to form and maintain relationships. Organizations don’t work – but they’re the best we have right now. What makes organizations work and be effective are the people inside the organizations who try every day to fill in the gaps and smooth over the bumps to get something done. Organizations are tools for people to accomplish results.

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