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Digests » 10
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Although I’ve previously onboarded at big companies like Google and smaller startups like Medium and built onboarding programs for engineering teams, this is the first time I’ve onboarded to a team in over eight years. It’s also the first time I’ve been onboarded to a team while everyone is working remotely, not to mention in the middle of a pandemic, while my kids are distance learning from home! With those remote constraints and personal time constraints in mind, I wanted to be particularly intentional about how I spent the first few weeks.
Many effective leaders I've worked with have the uncanny knack for working on leveraged problems. In some problem domains, the product management skillset is extraordinarily effective for identifying useful problems, but systems thinking is the most universally useful toolkit I've found.
When I got my first ever management gig, I overloaded on anything I could find around Agile. Looking back now, this wasn’t because I wanted to understand the difference between Scrum and Kanban but likely because it was the first thing that popped into Google when I started to do my research on how to run effective teams.
In a perfect world, we would learn from success and failure alike. Both hold instructive lessons and provide needed reality checks that may safeguard our decisions from bad information or biased advice.
In mid-2017, I hit burnout in a really big way and wound up taking a 6-week break to recharge. I want to fully share my story here and include some things I wish I’d done differently in the hope that this can help anyone else experiencing burnout.