From observing restaurants and waiters, he learned:
- Welcome customers and stakeholders with a smile whenever you interact – even when you are on the phone
- Listen well to understand the requirements
- Rephrase or summarize your understanding to get confirmation before you end a conference call or a meeting
- Believe in your expertise and stay committed
- Be flexible enough to re-prioritize and accommodate changes as long as it is not too late
- When it is too late, be polite and communicate the impact
- Be open and ask for intermediate feedback during your interactions
- Feel free to talk about ‘what else’
- Value time and money
- Apologize when things go wrong
From observing airports and flights he learns:
- Preparation is critical to success. This is applicable to the entire agile team, including product managers or product owners, agile project managers or scrum masters and agile teams.
- If you arrive late, you miss the flight. In the same way, you can’t accommodate late arrival of requirements during iterations.
- Any delays or changes can only lead to further delays.
- Change management can never be effective when there is no support from all stakeholders. You cannot blame an individual or a small group of individuals when things go wrong because of ineffective change management.
- Dependency management in large projects is necessary to avoid wait time and delays. In case of large projects with many related projects, we need a function or a team that plays a role similar to that of the control tower in airports. In most cases, we call it the governance team.
Likewise, he learns the importance of communication skills from schools and teachers.
His last lesson comes from ant colonies. I'm not very convinced about what he writes here, so i'll skip this topic, though what he writes about team roles is true.
You can find the complete pdf here. Certainly worth a read!