New rules

I’m trying out Audible (to help me ‘read’ more non-fiction books) and picked out the “Dare to Lead” book by Brene Brown to start. She has found a way to articulate my feelings on what leadership & being led should feel like. She also talks about being vulnerable and it almost feels like a therapy session! I feel relieved to have found this book and I will almost certainly be re-reading it simply for the words to soak in. As I mentally prepare for my new journey, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on what I’d like to do differently. Here are some un-ordered thoughts:

  1. I’d like to be more mindful of the impression I leave on my cohort/coworkers. I now realize that even when I was happy burning the midnight oil on development tasks, the optics of an engineer doing this regularly don’t look good (on me and could serve to unwittingly intimidate others & foster an unwanted culture of working long hours)
  2. I’d like to go into 1-on-1 meetings with my manager with intent. I have a tendency to lean away from having tough discussions and it’s very easy for a 1-on-1 to morph into a status update of tasks or simply just a fun catch up. 1-on-1 meetings serve very important goals for a software engineer and the engineering manager e.g. discussing performance milestones, bringing up concerns, planning out careers, etc. With my new engagement, it is my intention that I will go into 1-on-1’s with action items and follow up on those items in subsequent 1-on-1s.
  3. I’d like to stretch out of my comfort zone by volunteering for tasks. By virtue of joining this new company, I am already putting myself out of my comfort zone (different tech stack). I’ve been known to say that I “shy away from the limelight” but I fear that this may have accidentally prevented opportunities for growth from coming my way or perhaps inadvertently made me get overlooked for things like promotions (who knows?!) I now realize what I really meant was that I did not want to fail publicly (thanking Brene Brown for that realization). At my next engagement, I will practice saying “yes” more and thoroughly interrogate my reasons before saying “no”.
  4. When dealing with actions/behaviors that impact me negatively, I will choose to initiate difficult conversations and not remain silent. In general, it’s always a good thing to not suffer in silence. As I continue to introspect on why I’m leaving, I realize this was one contributor to my feelings of alienation. What taking action on this looks like would be displaying vulnerability in sharing my experiences with my manager in 1-on-1s and hopefully getting actionable advice in return!

I’m at peace and I feel like I have another take in this movie. I’m ready to rumble.