It is easy to be busy. Every one of us has plenty to do. We start marching towards our goals, and after some time we can’t catch the breath because we are already running. When we run, it is not easy to stop. It is also easy to run too far in the wrong direction. That’s why retrospective mindset is so important. It goes far beyond the professional context of our lives. It should be the default mode for our endeavours.
I’ve been trying to be on a camera for some time. I need to do some presentations at work. I think video is a fantastic medium. Now, when The Elevators Podcast is on, I would like to learn how to use short films to promote it more.
So, I’m learning a new skill – video editing.
It all begins with an idea. Two technical leaders came to the realization that they both enjoy the same thing. I met with my co-host, Pete, ages ego. We have worked together for almost a decade. But it was not long ago when we started discussing things that recently have been important to both of us: helping people grow in their careers, self-development, strategy, and time and efficiency hacks.
We decided to share our experience and journey of the technical people who started their careers as engineers and then moved to leadership positions. Then, we started recording our conversations and here we are.
After challenging second quarter in 2020, the third one was fantastic. After the rain, there is always sunshine. Here is a snapshot of things that I was doing in the last quarter.
Atomic Habits – the book that was recommended to me, and I wanted to start the new year 2020 deliberately reading it. It was an excellent choice. The book explains how “psychology” of habit works, what we can do to help us to create and sustain good habits, and how to get rid of bad habits from our lives. I decided to try a few things that were recommended. I made a few new goals for 2020. After a few months of following the tips and tactics from the book, I would like to share a few that work for me exceptionally well.
I was recently a guest in The Align Remotely podcast, where Luke Szyrmer, the host, focuses on leading distributed teams and everything associated with that subject, like leadership and operations to help achieve together. It is particularly relevant now when nearly everyone works from home. It was a broad-ranging conversation, but we mainly focused on the topic of how to baseline the remote team culture.
It was a nice trip. We were coming back from one of our favourite places. We had fun. The day was clear and a little by chance we discovered a new, very picturesque way home. The only drawback was the fact that we had to cross the roundabout now and then. And just after one of the roundabouts, I noticed that obstacle. The old VW Golf parked just after the exit. It was quite dangerous. And although it had the hazard lights on, I thought it was completely idiotic. The driver could park on the nearby bus bay, I thought to myself and started to penetrate the stupid obstacle with the fierce eyes to see who was sitting behind the wheel. What I saw chilled my blood.
“We need to call the bomb disposal unit.” – said the police officer. “In the meantime, we need to evacuate this pavilion.” – he added to his people. “It is really bombastic to work as the head of the IT department in this hospital.” I thought to myself, trying to stay calm.
Today we are going back in time where I worked for one of the biggest hospitals in southern Poland. My boss just quit as he needed to travel to another country. I took his place. How excited could it be to run the IT? I learnt a lot during this time. But one day was incredibly rich in lessons. It was the day when I learnt to respect my users and give them moral support, even if I cannot provide any technical support as the ask is out of my scope.
I try to read (listen) one book per month. It’s been mainly self-development books. And to be honest I got a bit tired. However, recently I talked to a friend and a colleague who recommended me a fiction book with a unicorn in the title… I read the full title and immediately started to listen. I could not stop, I emerged completely. Today I would like to share three main lessons I learnt from The Unicorn Project book. Let’s go!
We start the new team. We gathered a group of talented individuals and we want to grapple with the new challenge. How can we accelerate the team forming, storming and norming phase? We should start with team agreements. Once done, this exercise will boost team productivity. It will also help to create and maintain the team identity. It shouldn’t be the detailed documentation of the team proceedings in the wiki-style procedure. Instead, we should agree on things that are important for our team. Let’s take a look.