What don't you know about those who you know?

For months my boss tried to cajole a lead iOS contractor into converting to full-time, and he enlisted my help when I came on board. It didn't take long before I learned why this contractor could never join full-time - he was building his own consulting firm and already had other developers working for him. So, first lesson, before honing your Ninja checkers moves, make sure you're standing on a checkers board, and not a chess board...

When a key player on another team announced he would leave, we made some hard decisions to help that team. Those decisions resulted in splitting the source code into separate iOS product lines (ours with older code significantly to our detriment). We were asked to continue in this manner for longer than my boss and I wanted, but the company was able to hire one of this contractor's already vetted rock stars to focus on returning both products onto a single master branch, while the rest of the teams continued to crank out product. When I think of what our lives would have been like if we hadn't been able to do this, I shudder.

Ask yourself if you know everything there is to know about everyone in your circle. It may make more of a difference than you realize.