Creating and building products or projects can be a tough thing, and there are usually many different factors (some in your control, some not) that can cause your project to fail and ultimately kill your product roadmap.
Sabotage is a big one. Imagine in Hollywood war movies, where the good guys sabotage the bad guys plans for world domination. There are actually two different types of sabotage, 3rd party (external) and personal (self). The quickest and biggest risk to any project you undertake comes in the form of Negativity
The crippling effects of a negative attitude have been known for decades. The United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS), now known as the CIA has known this since World War II. They even put out a handbook on this called Simple Sabotage Field Manual (https://www.gutenberg.org/files/26184/page-images/26184-images.pdf).
The manuals purpose was to “present suggestions for inciting and executing” sabotage. It covers some of the sabotage seen in Hollywood blockbusters such as slashing tires, draining fuel tanks, and starting fires. The manual also encourages citizen-saboteurs to:
- make faulty decisions
- adopt a non-cooperative attitude
- create an unpleasant situation
- display surliness and stupidity
- induce others to follow suit
That reads like a summary of some of the difficult coworkers I’ve had over the years. If you find you have someone with this type of negative attitude on the team, you need to act quickly before the bad attitude takes root in the team.
You can do this by talking to the person. Finding out if they’re aware of their attitude, why do they feel that way? Are they aware of the influence their negative attitude has on others on the team? They have the wrong team or the wrong boss. If changing either (or both) the team and the boss results in a good, productive employee with a more positive attitude, then great! You’ve solved the problem. If not, however, the person may not be a fit for the culture of your organization. Which is fine, it happens.
In summary, the bottom line is you need to act quickly to prevent a negative attitude from sabotaging your team and your product roadmap.