I have never done any real work – it is becoming quiet a cliché to write things like this, but I believe that it is important to write about it, the quote "Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else." (James M. Barrie) is important and have been my guideline over years.
It is never black or white, but when things start to become more work than fun, it is about time to find something else to do ;-)
I was sitting at work one day, I was having real fun, laughting out loud and one of my colleagues gave me a comment "you really enjoy your work!" - well it was half trouth and half irony, the reason why I was laughting was because I was reading an instruction of how managers should handle talents in the company, a process to secure that they grow.
I was thinking about my work experience with people, everyone have talents, some have more special talents, but they all have something in common, if they user their talent and are given space, they will develop it as far as it can!
I read this the other day http://www.agileconnection.com/article/empowering-agile-teams "....when we empower teams, the IQ of the individuals actually goes up—that is, we actually get smarter! And, sadly, the opposite is true: Controlling teams actually causes team members' individual cognitive power to decrease..." - this brings me back to the instruction from HR and process of how to handle talents, if managers need a process to handle talent, there is something wrong with them, no one is equal and no process will ever work with the most talented people.
I happen to work with some very talented people and it is fantastic to see how they develop, to me the most important thing is to trust them, empower them and allow them to fail – and yes you need to guide them or rather coach them, i.e. listen to them and get them to see solutions by themselves – which by the way is much more powerfull than when they are "educated".
Now what does this have to do with Agile? Everything!
Agile is about empowerment, it is about making things work, there is no such thing as Agile by the book – at least not something that works fantastic – everyone is different, and every team is different, you have to listen to them, have to learn to know them and help them to develop their full potential. I read a job-application the other day, they wanted a ScrumMaster who worked strictly by the book, I was thinking about writing to them, but decided that it was not worth it, you can truely get inspiration from books, from conferences, from others etc., but no one is equal and no one should be treated equal, unless you want to limit them in their development.
I believe that you have to work a couple of years before you realize this, which is strange, but it is the same thing when it comes to being a parrent to 2 or more kids, you cannot raise them the same way, it is impossible, however you usually don't think about it, and it is the same thing when you work as a leader, you rarely think about it, but you have to, specially if you have a HR department who make process for managers, if you follow them without thinking, you will never be able to develop the full potential in the company!