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Created on 08.04.2019

“Why I’m not looking for any champions for my team”

No champions – but software artists, tech enthusiasts, lateral thinkers and inventors instead: Mathias Herzog is the Linux Engineering team leader at PostFinance. In this blog post, he tells us how he puts together his team.

My LinkedIn feed has been full of job advertisements for DevOps champions, agile champions, innovation champions, organizing champions and many others in the last few months. You might think that the working environment today consists entirely of specialists, who all claim that they are the only ones at the top of their field. They see themselves as being trained for high performance, equipped with unrivalled ambition and with the unshakeable right to leave everyone else trailing in their wake. It is precisely these characteristics that set champions apart. To feel entitled and to give everything to be number one and to lift the trophy on the podium, whether it’s in sport or in a game in the group. Being a champion means being the best, showing it and celebrating it.

Team work: it’s the mix that matters

This is important in many areas. It gives us praise and recognition, motivates us and boosts our self-confidence. But I don’t want my team just to consist of lone wolves, who compete against each other and use up all their energy trying to be better than everyone else. My team should include a variety of different characters. I need specialists, researchers, lateral thinkers, performers, pioneers, engineers, inventors, leaders, apprentices, architects, artists, enthusiasts and many more. Only by having this mix can we perform as a team, assert ourselves in the agile technology landscape, develop and make ourselves stand out from the crowd.

Look for pearls instead of champions

That's why my advice to those who are working on further developing their champion teams is to look for the software artists, the  tech enthusiasts, the inventors and the lateral thinkers in your field. Or even just conventional engineers. Look for highly trained specialists, for pearls with the valuable character traits, who will ideally complement your team.

Mathias Herzog is the Linux Engineering team leader at PostFinance. You can also read this blog post on his The link will open in a new window LinkedIn profile.

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