At two schools I visited in the past year the teachers encourage the children to be risk takers. I have not liked the schools' choice of phrasing. I would have preferred the framing to be about adventuring. About enjoying the experience and the journey, rather than being an adrenaline seeker. But then I gained an understanding for what they optimise for.
When the teachers talk about risk takers, they mean being courageous. Doing something new with someone you don’t know. About being vulnerable and opening yourself to judgement or criticism. Because fear of consequences can mean the kids avoid taking action altogether.
The counterpart of being vulnerable is building trust and a feeling of belonging. Of feeling secure in your environment so that you feel safe to try new things. Kids learn by playing. But so do adults. By trying and failing and trying again.
In Primed to Perform, Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor discuss play as one of the direct motives for better performance in the workplace. Play is all about being curious and experimenting with new things. If we are afraid to try, our learning will falter. If we feel safe in our environment to experiment, and learn from our failures. Then we continue to grow our professional skills. As leaders, we must create an environment where people feel safe to be curious, to ask questions, and to experiment. An environment where people feel trust and belonging to their team. And an environment where they can be competent. Because in that environment, teams prosper, innovate, perform, and deliver.
On September 8th, Elle spoke about delegation to around a hundred senior tech leaders from companies like Atlassian, Canva, Culture Amp, and REA. You can find details, including slides on the YOW! website: https://yowcon.com/tech-leaders-sydney-2023/sessions/2810/learn-to-delegate-like-a-boss
Elle and Lachlan are giving a different version of the delegation talk at RubyConfTH in Bangkok on October 6th. There are still tickets! https://rubyconfth.com/
We are still looking for a couple more senior product engineering leaders to fill out the next cohort of our community of practice.
If you find it hard to source appropriate professional development at your career level or find peers at work that you can turn to for help, this program is for you.
Our Community of Practice program is structured around your busy work schedule to provide you maximum learning with very little investment. You will address actual challenges at work, reduce your risk by reducing your blind spots, gain perspectives from others, and build a support network of trusted peers.
For our next cohorts, we're looking for experienced product engineering leaders. If that is you, or someone you know, you can check out to apply at https://blackmill.co/do/community-of-practice or book a chat with us to learn more at https://meet.blackmill.co/blackmill/30min
I am the co-founder of Medoo, a coaching technology startup. We build coaching software that helps people accelerate their personal growth. I love that I get to build technology for coaching. I've personally hugely benefited from coaching over the years, so it's fulfilling to be able to come full circle, and create value for the coaching community!
We are a small startup at the moment, which means that every day I get to wear many different hats. While this is super exciting, the amount of context switching involved can be challenging at times. I try to keep my daily priorities super tight in order to make sure that I'm working on the most impactful thing at any moment in time.
I am passionate about the intersection of technology and people's inner growth. I believe that it is super important that we use technology to develop and grow our inner selves. As the growth of technology has accelerated over the last 20 years, so has the scale of our mental health issues. I'd love to turn this trend around, so that technology helps us uncover new inner depths to our mental wellbeing.
We recently opened up Medoo to the public! Coaches, people leaders and therapists are welcome to sign up and check it out: https://www.medoo.life
Dealing with the elephant in the room: in the past, there have been a few times where I actively suppressed my gut insight, and didn't resolve important issues fast enough. By letting them fester, they became bigger and nastier, and thus much more difficult to resolve later. So now, I listen to my gut more (as weird as it may sound), and I speak up when I notice something that is the elephant in the room.
Over the years I have tried many different things with varying degrees of success. While I still rely upon exercise, meditation, yoga, etc for stress relief, I am also trying to channel stress into something productive. Research shows our attitude towards stress is a big factor in how it affects us. So I've been trying to turn stress into productive energy instead of viewing it as a negative all the time.
I love Ronni Kahn's words of wisdom, which I share every time I get asked this question: 'Be brave and courageous, because all you have is NOW'.
I would get rid of the stigma we still have around vulnerability, and celebrate it instead. Being vulnerable is beautiful and one of the most 'alive' things we can do, and I'd love to see it celebrated even more.
At the moment, my goals are all centred around Medoo. This year, I'd love for Medoo to accelerate the growth journeys of many people across the world.
Paulwyn: "I love this question! One of my favourite recipes is Lisa Bryan's Tuscan Chicken. It is a bit heavy, so we don't make it too often. But when we do, it is such a treat!"
Guess I know what we're making this weekend!
Thank you for showing an interest in our newsletter and we hope that you enjoyed the read. Feel free to contact us if you have any feedback, a burning question, or just a recipe that you would like to share.
Until next time, keep learning!
Everyone at Blackmill