After being on several teams where we've had to ship projects on ridiculously tight timelines, I've come to realize that there is no amount of technical or creative skill that can replace bravery, conviction, and integrity. Sometimes, the only reason why Death Marches get completed is because of the three attributes of a person (bravery, conviction, and integrity). What I do find is that the people out there, on the battlefield, shipping these whirlwind projects and trying their best to nurture these fractured client relationships are the only reason why great companies exist. It's the heroes that keep them alive. It's the heroes that set the bar. It's the heroes that inspire their teammates with confidence about the overall vision.
When people write articles about how the world doesn't need heroes due to the unsustainable nature of a fearless flag bearer, one can argue the opposite. Teams always need heroes -- someone to look up to. Someone who treats his or her underlings like gold and mentors them to his or her level of tactical, strategic, business, technical, and creative mastery. Someone who sacrifices everything they have to ensure that the team meets their goals. Someone who is fearless in the face of despair but knows how to show kindness, empathy and stewardship to his/her teammates. Someone who is able to listen and heal their teammates' attitudes and mental focus. Lastly, a hero is someone who never gives up even when people have told them that it's hopeless.
I was once told that leadership isn't what you do -- it is who you are. It's how you carry yourself into battle and how you treat others. All leaders have a guiding set of principles that they follow and they understand it's an eternal practice -- a life-time discipline.
Good luck and have fun,
Jaime Bueza is a software engineer in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He has developed web applications for Nintendo, Starbucks, Bacardi, Nike, Electronic Arts, Ritchie Brothers, Kiwi Collections, Cox Communications and Microsoft. When he's not developing useful software that constantly evolves with business requirements, he's writing open source software andcreating tutorial videos for aspiring front-end developers.