Achieve CM Excellence through People, Not Tools


In her Personality Matters series, Leslie Sachs examines the personalities and people issues that are found in technology groups from cross-functional, high-performance teams to dysfunctional matrix organizations.

Jurgen Appelo lists fifty team virtues [3] that also correspond to many of the traits identified in Stogdill's studies. I discussed many of these same traits in the book that I coauthored with Bob Aiello. [4] You need to consider each of these traits—such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion—and understand why they are essential to leadership and achieving success. Keep in mind that while people are born with natural tendencies, each person is capable of stretching beyond them if we understand our own personality and identify which behaviors are most likely to lead to the changes we desire. So, if you want to achieve greater success, consider reflecting upon your own behaviors and comparing your style with those traits that have been identified with good leaders and CM excellence. For example, being proactive in solving problems and having the self-confidence to take appropriate risks can help you achieve success. Also, remember that being social means that you must involve and interact with your entire team. Full-team participation maximizes the power of each member's strengths while minimizing the impact of individual weaknesses.

CM excellence depends upon the skilled people who handle the complex IT demands on a day-to-day basis. The most successful professionals are able to take stock of their personalities and consider the traits that experts regard as essential for effective leadership. If you can develop this self-awareness, you can achieve success by developing the behaviors that result in strong leadership and excellence in all that you do.


[1] Yukl, Gary, Leadership in Organizations, Prentice Hall, 1981, p. 237

[2] Northouse, Peter G., Introduction to Leadership Concepts and Practice Second Edition, SAGE Publications, Inc  2012, p. 17

[3] Appelo, Jurgen, Management 3.0 – Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders. Addison-Wesley, 2011, p. 93

[4] Aiello, Robert and Leslie Sachs. Configuration Management Best Practices: Practical Methods that Work in the Real World. Addison-Wesley, 2010

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