Posts for Tag: Monday Focus

Monday Focus: Remote is not the same thing as outsourcing

People often mistake the concept of remote work with outsourcing. Outsourcing is the delegation of a project or a task to a third party identity usually due to a lack in capacity or a gap in a specific skill-set. 

Remote work, the way I see it, is not about delegation, its about decentralisation of capacity within the same team. In this sense, a remote engineer is not a third party, he or she is just another engineer part of the team that happens to work somewhere else. 

This really touches something that I am very passionate about: What makes a team a team? Is it a group of people sitting together inside the same infrastructure or is a team something more meaningful; A group people who want to achieve something together

I see remote work as the default way of working in the next 10, 15 years, I will elaborate more on this in a future post.

Monday Focus: Work is not email

In an age where engagement and communication are constant, the purpose of why they exist in the first place seems to have been lost. Communication does not equal connection, its not on its own productive, its not on its own conducive to any positive outcome. In fact, communication should lead to productivity, it should not be the end goal by itself.

If we measure the amount of time we spend communicating versus actually creating something of value we would take pro active measures to communicate less and do more. 

There are many jobs where communication is at the core of the role description, but even in these roles the actual work is not communicating, its improving the processes in which communication occurs.

Challenge of the week: Track the amount of time you communicate, start with email alone and work your way to other channels. I will share my own results next week. 

Monday Focus: Drive over Talent

A question I often get asked by recruiters and professionals is what are the most important traits I look for in candidates.

Independently on what the role is, basic technical competency is imperative. If a candidate is applying for an engineering role, the candidate must be an actual engineer, he or she needs to be able to demonstrate the experience stated in the resume seamlessly without any preparation or brief beforehand. 

Beyond this, to me, the most important thing comes down to the drive and how badly the candidate wants to succeed and contribute in his or her role. This is where I feel the market is severely lacking, there is not necessarily a shortage in talent in IT, there is however a severe shortage in people with the type of drive and desire to contribute that is needed to breed long term sustainable success in an organisation. 

Wanting to do a good job and willing to put in the hard work to achieve collective success is the single most important trait a candidate can have.

Ultimately this factor is what separates a great team member from someone who relies and usually holds on to something they have that is meaningless when not shared: Talent holds no value when not applied to collective goals. 

Monday Focus: Not all Managers are Leaders

There is a big difference between a Manager and a Leader. 

A Manager focuses on moving people around to achieve a goal. It focuses on capacity management, resource distribution. A manager is pragmatic but very often bound and constricted by pragmatism, by a budget, by what an spreed sheet says it is possible to achieve. 

A Leader goes going beyond what is theoretically possible because he focused on potential, his mind is in executing a vision not in the limitation of what he has to work with. 

Leading is about moving an idea from point A to point B taking the best out of everyone to achieve a common goal. 

Good Management is always channeled through a leader, its is apolitical, it has a very clear underlying vision, and an objective strategy to deliver it. 

People that are being led properly feel they can overcome obstacles and can go beyond themselves, they are working for something that is greater than their own self interests. 

Nobody really wants a boss, but most people will agree that having inspirational leadership that is grounded and guided by a clear vision is a valuable asset to have.

Monday Focus: Fake positivity

There is this trend in the tech industry of forcing and fabricating positivity as if it were a magic potion that would suddenly make everything alright. I find that disguising of faking emotions is one of the most toxic and ineffective things a Human being can do. 

Its okay to have a bad day, its okay not to use the term "awesome" when things are difficult, its okay to feel failure and let it sink in temporarily.

In the workplace, not fully accepting bad moments and failure is counter productive as it is a form of inaction by itself. Success and improvement are an inevitable result of countless tentatives and failures, they are not supposed to feel good, joyful or cool. Bad days are supposed to feel bad, failure is designed to feel that way so that we want to take action and get away from that place as fast as possible.