I like to listen
The single most important thing I do is listen. When I’ve heard all of the client’s needs, I’m more likely to anticipate their notes. I can correct the team’s course before the client has even seen the product. At the same time, when my coworkers know someone has heard them, they are happier even if the work before them is frustrating.
Listening means I'm surprised less often. It also means people are much more likely to listen to me in return.
People are interesting
A client does not provide a list of needs, pay a deposit and wait patiently for three months to be sent a link to a live, in-production website. The journey matters, and how we show progress matters. Likewise, it is important which team member gets what task and when. No human being is the same everyday. I want to understand the motivations and obstacles standing in front of my teammates. The right task for the right person might get them out of a funk, keep them on a roll, or prevent them from burning out.
I take pride in my work
The best projects I’ve worked on were the ones when everyone on the project agreed: this project matters. Why it matters is up to us. Maybe the final product will have a positive impact on the public. Maybe this is a chance for us to finally get to use a new framework. Maybe this is a moment for us to iron out the kinks in our process. What we do should have meaning and that sense of purpose can come from anyone. My goal is to reinforce that feeling, and in the event it’s missing, find it.