Gratitude note and path forward
I have been very fortunate throughout my career, learning from some great leaders/managers how they manage work, life, people around them, and most importantly time. In the past few years where I have transitioned from an engineer to manager, manager of managers, site lead, and now VP engineering I have kept evolving my methodologies of Managing Humans (a term used by Michael Lopp and one of my favorite books of his - https://amzn.to/3A7llxo).
I also started my Angel investment journey a few years ago when I was helping a couple of founders in their technical and remote hiring problems and in return they allowed me to join the round they were raising. Since then I have been interacting with various startup founders, founding team members, and fellow investors discussing various factors of building and running global companies. I often help them in hiring, setting up processes, training their initial engineers and managers, GTM strategies, etc. I have invested a tiny amount but huge confidence in more than 25 startups so far and it’s been a great experience. I can assure you that I have learned so much more during these interactions in the past few years, thanks to all those who spent time with me. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by people who are way smarter than me, which enables me to keep learning and improving all the time.
In the past 2 years, I have officially trained myself in coaching thanks to CoachArya for giving me some great insights on “What is Coaching vs Mentoring”. Got introduced to an amazing concept of Ontology, Discovery, and Improvement through Self Inquiry, etc. This opened up a new world for me. And it helped me get more organized in my coaching, mentoring sessions. I started to ask the right questions, become a better listener, and understood if a person is looking for a coach or a mentor. I also spent a lot of time learning the “Situational Leadership” model created by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. This has immensely helped me in becoming a better version of myself as a manager/leader.
During Covid 19 many people reached out to me with their professional and personal queries and asked me if I can help. I always have an approach that I can help work with you to find out answers for your queries or find out if these are the right questions to address. I am not an expert in every field it’s just that I have been learning a lot in the past 20 years and can share my experiences or experiences which I have learned from people (anonymously keeping everyone’s privacy intact) and help you in your journey of discovering answers. Today marks a day when I have completed more than 200 pro-bono mentoring/coaching sessions mostly for friends and friends of friends. I am excited to launch some of the microlearning courses soon to make them open to the general public so that I can talk to more people and keep learning :)
I have carefully chosen what topics I want to create these micro-learning courses and here are the reasons why I have chosen them -
Conducting Effective 1:1s - IMO 1:1 is your most important meeting not only for managers but for everyone. These meetings are the focal point of your team's (or manager’s) relationship with you, and we can leverage these meetings to discuss feedback and plan growth. I have seen in most companies these meetings are carried in a very informal way. Many managers do not really use any framework to carry out 1:1s which eventually leads to very non-participative, repetitive, and non-effective 1:1 experience. I want to help people change this, bring more structure to these meetings, build frameworks, and choose the right tools to run effective 1:1s. This has been by far the most important learning in my career and I am sure it will bring a positive impact on people who take this up seriously.
Managing Time - Everyone says Time is Money, Time is of the essence, etc. Throughout my experience, one thing I have learned the hard way is to ruthlessly protect my time. My time is the most limited resource I have and I need to use it carefully. Also understanding that there is only one timeline and we have to make sure we divide it wisely to maintain the right balance between work and personal time. In this microlearning course, we will talk about how we can manage time wisely using some calendar tricks and tips. We will talk about how to be proactive in designing our timeline using calendar/s and focus more on “Getting Shit Done” than managing around. We will talk about some meeting hygienes and most importantly learn “How to Decline Meetings” that are not worth your time.
Hiring 101 - Hiring is hard, hiring fast is harder, and hiring the right people is the hardest. In my experience I have learned that hiring the right people upfront sets you up for success, then you need to dedicate a lesser amount of time to manage them and get more work done. Often for most companies, this is the no. 1 problem. In this microlearning course, we will discuss what has been my successful strategies for hiring for very early stage, mid-stage, and large companies. We will learn about hiring rigor, processes, frameworks, and experiences around effective hiring techniques. Mastering Hiring is a very important skill for any leader/manager.
Along with this, I am working on few more sessions around
Communication in Async First world
Appraisals and Performance Evaluation 101
“To set or to not set OKRs”
Let me know your views on this and suggest if you want me to design a micro-learning course around any of the topics of your interest.
Most of these topics are to help people in their work, for discussing personal growth topics I will soon open up my calendar for people who want to book a 1:1 call with me.
I will be launching these cohort-based learning courses soon, so keep watching this space and keep supporting me the way you have always been.
Thank you again!