Category: Essays

  • Do You Speak German?

    German? Why would I speak German? I never had that kind of time. I lived in Vienna for ten years; when I left, I spoke the same German as I arrived: zero, nada, niet! Vienna was never Austria to me. Vienna was the world, which was way more significant than the 8 million people strip […]

  • How I delegated the most important tasks, and nobody noticed

    “Hey John, can you do me a favor?” This is how I started my delegation strategy with my team members. Every Monday, my team held a weekly meeting for over three years. And every Monday, I hosted the meeting, except at some point, I wasn’t. And this is how I did it… Our Monday meeting […]

  • Maximize Meeting Productivity: Streamline the Process

    Do meetings drag on while your other work piles up? Many organizations suffer from ineffective meetings. Here’s how to make your meetings more effective: define the host, share the goal, announce a customized agenda, and adopt the right process. Define the Host Know who is running each meeting: the host. Clarify who’s in charge of […]

  • Get Up to Speed: Tips for Onboarding New Hires

    Onboarding is so much more than just paperwork and orientation. It’s about creating a great first impression and setting the tone for a successful journey ahead. Here a few tips for a highly-effective onboarding experience for your remote-first team. A Personalised Onboarding Document One of the most important things for any new hire is to […]

  • The Importance of Leadership in a Rapidly Changing Industry: Lessons from My Time at Automattic

    Today I announce my departure from Automattic. After almost nine incredible years of professional growth and development, I have decided it is time for me to move on and take on new adventures. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that Automattic has given me over the years. From the moment I joined the team […]

  • Forming the Foundation: Understanding the FSNP Phases of Team Development

    When assembling a new team, expect to go through Tuckman’s FSNP phases. They are Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. The FSNP phases are a well-established model for understanding the different stages of a newly formed team. For a manager, it is paramount to understand these stages and accept that although the order and length of […]

  • Avalanche Week: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Skiing at Forty Years of Age

    Avalanche Week: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Skiing at Forty Years of Age

    As I’m packing my gear and getting ready to spend eight days skiing in the Alps, I want to reflect on the series of events that took me, born and raised at sea level, to get on the slopes and enjoy this great outdoor activity with my family. “Come on, go faster! You need speed […]

  • On Privacy, Transparency, and Trust

    On Privacy, Transparency, and Trust

    Transformational leadership inspires positive changes in those who follow. Transformational leaders are vibrant, enthusiastic, and inspirational. Not only are these leaders committed to the process, but they help every member of the group succeed as well. In modern organizations, especially in distributed environments where most work happens online, we cultivate transparency as a crucial cultural […]

  • What Really Drives Us

    What Really Drives Us

    When I was in my twenties I spent a couple of years at the ticket office of a dance club. Young men and women ready to sweat their Saturday night off used to line up in front of me, and purchase their entrance to the hall. Every Friday, the owner of the club used to […]

  • Decide Fast, Revert Faster

    Decide Fast, Revert Faster

    When I was 25, I accepted a job at a local company as a software developer. I had a desk on the ground floor of a condo that served us as our headquarters, and it had reinforced windows with steel bars. I remember spending 8 hours at my desk looking at those bars and asking […]