Just saw this tweet by Jason Fried and got inspired to write about admiration, the often overlooked attribute of great teams.
Jason is an astute org observer and he has hit the nail on the head. There is a huge difference between teams in which the members are playing zero sum games with each other, and teams in which members are elevating each other. The latter situation has a lot of different elements that go into its creation but admiration is definitely one of them. This thought – "this person is special, is going to go far, and it is a privilege to work alongside them" – when shared mutually in a team, allows people to surrender to the larger goal that the team is working towards rather than playing politics against each other.
As an engineering leader, you might be tempted to think that people are either admirable or not, and the only way to get this quality in your teams is to hire people that are special and are going to go far in their careers. This is not true. Not even close to the truth. It is possible to generate this admiration in any team by following a simple leadership playbook. In this post I will show you how to do this.