Be Aware Of The Red Flags

Although Freddie Mercury took a spin at a solo career, he never attributed Queen’s success to himself. A common red flag when building a great tech team is how often your developers use the word “I” when referring to things the team has done. Employees who take credit for a team effort are self-focused and can ultimately destroy the team’s culture.

Shireen, a leader who I have worked with over the years, is a perfect example of this.  She has lead many diverse teams: development teams, process teams, data center teams and infrastructure teams. Although she has been highly successful in both individual contributor roles and leadership roles, you never hear her use the word ‘I.’  It’s always about the team, whether direct or indirect.

Look Beyond Simple Execution

Developing your employees doesn’t mean you’ll have a champion right out of the gates, but the potential of gaining an indispensable technical developer is much higher. The continual investment in employees who show passion and aptitude ensures growth and knowledge within the company. Freddie Mercury didn’t become the front man for Queen overnight. He was Frederick Bulsara the graphic designer first, but his never-ending artistic prowess and love for music led him to be the legend he’s known as today.

Great developers are never complacent and forever butting up to the bleeding edge, while performers are often satisfied with consistency and routine. So try to look beyond hiring talent that just executes specific tasks. You can train anyone to perform, but you can’t teach passion. You can use extrinsic motivators to achieve performance, but true passion demands intrinsic motivation.

Choose passion over performance and find your Freddie Mercury.