Gain a deeper understanding of how I function as a leader, boss and person.
About this document
Welcome to my README. This document is a user manual about me and how I work. It captures my guiding values and how I work as a human being. I hope it will help you understand me better and allow us to work together more meaningfully. This is a living document. It is incomplete and will no doubt continue to grow and change as I grow and change.
My true north
I firmly believe in treating others with kindness and respect, and this principle guides my interactions in both personal and professional settings. While prioritising building positive and strong relationships, I also value the courage to stand up for my values and beliefs. We can build supportive and resilient relationships by fostering mutual respect and understanding.
My work delivery principles
Value in action
It does not create value unless it is shipped. So get it shipped. I am a firm believer in the transformative power of execution. Delivering on time ensures that our efforts translate into meaningful contributions that add real value.
Results define success
The proof is in the pudding. I believe that tangible results demonstrate success. I focus on delivering work that meets and exceeds expectations and reflects our impact.
Driving transformation through excellence
The only way to drive transformation and deliver excellent solutions and services is to do great work and talk about it. Transformation and excellence come from consistently delivering exceptional work and effectively communicating its value. I believe in showcasing our achievements to drive continuous improvement.
Success amid imperfection: Embracing challenges
Imperfections are not obstacles but opportunities for success. Don’t make success dependent on having the right resources, organisational structure or priorities. Get used to achieving success in imperfect conditions and embrace challenges as stepping stones to excellence. Success does not depend on perfection. I embrace the challenge of achieving success within the constraints we face, adapting, innovating and finding solutions in imperfect conditions.
Why am I here?
I am here to help and support you. My job is to provide the necessary context for what you are working on. I also represent you and the team to the rest of the company. My aim is for our team to be successful and happy.
You’re very good at your job
You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t. If you feel I’m asking you too many questions, it’s because I want to understand the bigger picture.
I’m not very good at your job
You’re the expert. My job is to provide the necessary context, ask questions and help you get better results. It’s not about overruling you.
You tell me when you can’t do your job
One of my primary responsibilities is ensuring you succeed. There may be times when I am not 100% there for you. Please let me know if you feel you need more support from me.
You feel safe discussing things with me
Ideas usually get better when you look at them from all angles. Although I may sometimes give you the feeling that I know better, it is generally more about working with you to find the best possible solution.
Trust is the default mode of working
Trust in a relationship is the foundation for the success of that relationship. Mediocrity and failure are the most likely outcomes without trust between individuals or a team. I believe that if we can’t trust each other, we won’t be able to succeed. My default mode of operation will always be that I trust you, and you trust me.
I start with an assumption of positive intent for everyone involved
This has worked well for me.
I have high expectations of you and my team. But you can expect the same from me.
- We all have a high level of personal responsibility.
- We are honest and open with one another.
- We challenge and support one another.
- We hold each other accountable.
- We strive for excellence in our work and in how we work together.
- We continually learn and improve our skills and the way we work.
- We have fun at work.
Just act like the kind of person you want to work with. Treat everyone the way you like to be treated. We need to be the kind of team that people like to come to work every day. Life is too short for anything less.
What I also appreciate
Nothing is sacred, and “because that’s how we’ve always done it” is not a work culture.
Self-reflection is an essential part of our development. Without it, many opportunities are missed. If you have little experience with self-reflection, I will be happy to improve your skills in this area.
Understanding our customers is essential to developing the best products and services. Empathy for our colleagues helps us to be a strong team.
I’ll always give you feedback on your performance in our one-on-ones. If I’m concerned about your performance, I’ll let you know. If you are concerned about your performance, let me know.
How you can help me
Do a great job
That’s the expectation. Please let me know immediately if anything prevents you from achieving your goals.
Don’t always agree with me
The best solutions come from healthy debate. We need to be able to separate our ideas from our egos. I will challenge your ideas to find the best possible solution. I hope you will challenge my ideas, too.
Please communicate with me
One of my responsibilities is to provide context. Is there a lack of context? Let me know, and I will provide the necessary context. If this is impossible, I will try to find the required information.
How to efficiently work and communicate with me
Please don’t hold back
Challenge my ideas and opinions. Give me direct, candid feedback, ideally in the moment or after you have seen something you did not appreciate. It is even better if you suggest how I can improve. I appreciate positive feedback - if there is a valid reason for it.
Ask me anything
I will be as transparent as possible. Please understand that I may be unable to share personal and confidential information.
Do not cc me to put pressure on the person you are writing to. Only escalate a conflict if you cannot resolve it yourself.
Work in iterations
If you want my input, ask me several times during the process rather than coming up with the final product. For example, start with an idea outline, get it to 60%, finalise it, and problem-solve with me at each stage.
Act like an owner
Do your job. Don’t try to put your monkeys on my shoulders. If you need support or want your ideas challenged, I am always there to help.
Disciplined meeting management
I expect an “Intention” and “Desired Outcome” in the meeting invitation; something like the IDOARRT approach might help. If I feel that I cannot contribute to a meeting or that the meeting is poorly prepared, I will tell the moderator and ask if I am needed, and then I will leave. I expect the meeting to be run efficiently and with respect for everyone’s time and contributions.
Bring me structured notes and data
Don’t waste your time with fancy slides or unstructured emails. Writing in long form forces you to clarify your exact thinking and exposes any logical fallacies you may have. Most benefits go to the writer, who must explain their thoughts rather than the reader.
Harness the power of asynchrony
An important update can be emailed. Feedback can be collected in a shared document. Questions can be answered in a direct message. Decisions can be made without everyone being in the same room. Asynchronous communication isn’t always the best, but it’s a good default. It allows people to choose the right moment and time to engage.
Few things are more important to me than talking to you. If you want to talk, let’s talk. Have you heard a rumour? Do you need clarification? Is something getting in the way of your work? I prefer to know about these things sooner rather than later. Come and see me or send me a message. There is no need to wait for the next one-on-one. You can also book an appointment on my calendar at any time. I have a demanding job, and my diary fills up quickly. I can think of few things more important than being there for you when you need me. So please don’t be shy about letting me know if you need my help. I promise to make time for you whenever possible.
Our One-On-One is your space to talk about anything you want. The sessions are primarily for you. Let me know your feelings, needs and other essential requests. Share your thoughts about the team or your teammates and your goals. For me, one-on-ones are not status meetings unless you want to talk about the status of a project. I will set aside some time each week for you to meet face-to-face. Let me know if you need more time, and I will try to accommodate you. Experience has shown that writing down a few things you would like to discuss in advance is beneficial.
I always want to give you clear and timely feedback, and I hope you will do the same for me. If you have any feedback for me, please let me know. It could be something you liked and would like to see more of. It could also be something you think I could do better. Maybe I messed up. Either way, I want to learn more from you. If you feel I would rather not hear something, I like to know why you believe that. When we give each other feedback, these three points should be kept in mind:
- You are safe. Please don’t be afraid of reprisals.
- The amount of work required to give feedback should be low.
- The benefits should be high - positive outcomes.
I prefer a face-to-face conversation. If you want to start a discussion by email or other means, I prefer that to not mentioning it.
There is life beyond work
Let’s agree that work isn’t everything and that we can only be our best selves if we care for ourselves and our loved ones. Our work is important to us - otherwise, we wouldn’t be here. But there’s life beyond work; we have our commitments and the occasional unexpected challenge. And sometimes we have to prioritise. I don’t advocate strict boundaries, but flexibility that goes both ways. I’ll always go the extra mile when needed, and I expect you to do the same. On the other hand, it means that we trust each other when someone has to leave early or take a day off. You might be late to the office because you had a bad night’s sleep, or you might leave at 4.30 pm to pick up your children from the nursery. Maybe you need time off for an important family event. Let me know, and we can work something out. I don’t expect you to be available outside office hours unless it’s an emergency. I also don’t expect you to work on emails or messages outside of working hours. Please let me know what is essential to you. It would be best if you didn’t work unnecessary overtime - especially at the expense of your health or family. If you are unhappy about a situation, talk to me.