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Guest

157

Leaders can’t just rely on these underrepresented minorities in their organization to speak up when things happen. They need to be proactive in learning about these things.

In this episode

Preventing burnout in your team starts at the top.

As a leader, it’s important to model the behaviour you want to instill in your team. If you’re feeling burned out and unsure about taking the vacation, you need to take it. That’s what you’d want any member of your team to do so they can perform at 100%.

In episode #157, Jossie explains how leaders can discourage burnout, improve their empathy and eliminate bias when working with different teams.

We also touch on how to earn the respect of your team and the things we come face to face with on the journey of becoming a more inclusive leader.

Jossie Haines has over 22 years of experience in the tech industry as an award-winning software engineering leader at the forefront of emerging consumer technology across Silicon Valley, including leadership roles at Apple, Tile, Zynga, and American Express.

Today, Jossie is the CEO and founder of Jossie Haines Consulting, where she offers coaching and consulting services with the underlying goal of retaining more women in tech .

Tune in to hear all about Jossie’s leadership journey and the lessons learned along the way!


Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the podcast with your colleagues.


03:41

Early mistakes

09:20

How to know you got enough buy-in

18:04

Earning respect from the people you work with

24:10

Improve empathy and reduce bias

30:11

Manage burnout in your team better

35:20

Setting the example for your team


Resources mentioned in this episode:


Transcript

Jossie, welcome to the show.

Jossie Haines  02:13

So glad to be here. Thank you for having me.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  02:15

Yeah, really excited to do this. Before we begin, one of the things I wanted to call out is your t-shirt. For those who are watching the video. It says non fungible t shirt, maybe we can start with where did you get that t-shirt? And what is it all about?

Jossie Haines  02:31

So my husband bought it for me as a gift. He actually works in the copyright compliance space at discord actually. And so we talk a lot about copyright and how it impacts the tech industry. And so it’s a spin off of NF T’s which, you know, we’re very popular and still are, I guess, but definitely their hay day has passed. And one of the things I think a lot of people don’t realize is that computer generated code images is not actually copyrightable. So a lot of people think, oh my gosh, I spent 1000s of dollars and bought this thing. But all you really bought was a link to an image. You don’t own the copyright to that image. And so this t-shirt was kind of a spin on that. And it was the non fungible t-shirt.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  03:17

Yeah, very cool. Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, definitely. And thanks for explaining the copyright angle as well. I’m sure we’ll dig into that a little bit later on in the conversation, too. But you’ve had an extensive leadership career worked at companies like Apple, Zynga and Tile. Today, you’re on a mission as a coach and consultant to retain women working in tech. And before we get into the, you know, a bunch of the questions I have for you, one of the things we always like to start with is to ask you about when you first started to manage or lead a team, do you remember some of those very early mistakes that you used to make? Oh, absolutely.

Jossie Haines  03:51

It’s I took some time to think about this. And the first team that I was tech lead for was actually back in 2003, when I was working for Sun Microsystems, which was bought by Oracle, and I was the team lead for the Java download infrastructure group. So that group basically managed all of the Java downloads, I think we had like millions, if not billions of files downloaded on a regular basis. And back in those days, file size was really crucial. And we had to make sure that any downloads that were basically larger than one megabyte were shrunk down. So we basically split up the Java binary, and I think like 30 or 40 files, and so we were rewriting the servers that implemented this feature. And I was scoping this project. And initially, I thought, hey, my job as Team Lead here is to do this. I didn’t ask my team about their inputs on this because I thought it was saving them time. And I also initially scoped it as If I was doing all the work, despite the fact that a number of the team members are actually more junior than me. And so I remember specifically sitting in the sun cafeteria in Santa Clara, with my manager walking me through the fact that, hey, I would get much more buy in, if I actually included my team members in the scoping exercise, and really thought about not just the best case scenario, but like, how long do these things potentially actually take instead of just, and so not always estimating things at the worst case, but you know, some average times here? And I think that was a huge learning that I took over the years.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  05:44

Yeah, yeah, that’s a great learning. So on this scoping, and, you know, getting buy in from the team, how would you advise people go about it? In general, because this is something that, especially for engineering managers, you know, scoping projects, probably one of the things that they do, very frequently. So, how would you advise people go about it?

Jossie Haines  06:05

Yeah. So first, I think it’s making sure that you’ve worked closely with the product team, and gotten clear alignment on if there is a product team on what it is that you’re building, right? What are the requirements? What are the must haves? What are the nice to haves, and then taking some time to make sure that the product team is really clearly communicating that with the engineers, like if they can do a presentation for the engineering team, and letting the engineers also be involved in this process? Because so often what I see is engineers get a product spec, and then are told sculpt this thing. And the engineers are like, but there’s better ways I think of building it. And then again, they don’t feel bought in because they’re basically being told what to do in some ways. And so the more upfront, you can actually bring in the engineers, having them feel engaged in the development process, letting them ask questions, and then ensuring, hey, do you have all the information you need to help scope this right? And looking at it potentially, from a t shirt, Scott sizing perspective, because as you build a project, it’s going to evolve and change. So if you try to do very, very detailed scoping of a very large project at the front, a lot of times you’re wasting a lot of time, because things are going to iterate things are going to change, right? So really, you should be figuring out, okay, how can we break this up into manageable chunks? And then how do we think about the large scale like at a high level, and let’s really only focus on detailed scoping for kind of that first section and really treating it as an Agile process?

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  07:47

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And so if you think about, you know, scopes being handed down, would you advocate for a session where, you know, people come in ask questions, but then also tell them that, you know, these are, this is just initial scope, but you can give us feedback, or do you advocate that they’d be part of the original scoping as well,

Jossie Haines  08:09

I think they should be part of the original scoping. And you do want to make sure you don’t have too many people in a room, potentially, when you’re doing this scoping exercise. So maybe it’s the team leads help with the scoping again, and they can go off and involve their individual contributors that they’re working with to make sure that they’re bought in. Right. And, really, again, as much as you can get buy in from everybody, and you’re not telling somebody, this is how long it’s going to take, the more buying they’re going to have this is all about making good agreements, and having people feel that they can commit to the work. And a lot of times if somebody is saying this is how long it’s going to take, it can be really hard. Now you can again, throw up some like, Hey, I think this might be how we break it up. This is kind of a high level of how I thought it would be. But I am very open to feedback. And I want to hear where you think this needs to change. So that’s another approach to take as well.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  09:12

Yeah, yeah. And I know we’re talking about engineering, but obviously, this type of, you know, making sure you get buy in on new projects and scoping them out with more members of the team. This applies to all projects within a company. This translates to every department, not just an engineering thing. And one of the things that I might ask you is if people are starting to think about, you know, maybe I should have gotten more buy in on this project. If there’s symptoms of them not having done that not having gotten enough buy in, what would that look like? Like what kind of symptoms may you notice in your teams or in projects?

Jossie Haines  09:48

People not delivering things on time is definitely one of the symptoms. And when people run into problems instead of being the solutions person and when Late trying to figure out how to solve it, they might just throw up their hands and say, like, well, this is a problem I have, because they don’t feel accountable. Because this agreement wasn’t successfully made.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  10:14

Oh, that’s a super interesting one. So if people are coming to you with more problems versus, you know, coming up with solutions on how to how to get something across the finish line, that might also be a symptom. And that’s a very interesting one, right? Yeah,

Jossie Haines  10:28

yeah. Because, again, if you don’t feel bought in to, hey, I agreed to commit to this, by this day, it can be very easy to be like, well, somebody else committed me to this thing, here’s the problems I’m running into, I’m just not gonna think about the solutions, because you’ve committed me to this thing. And so that’s really where again, you might see this lack of bias.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  10:50

Yeah, and this is a really important one, again, like when I think about other places where this comes up, is in we’re talking about projects right now. But obviously, goal setting, that’s a major one, when you’re setting goals for the team. If people feel that the goals are not achievable, you know, from the get go, then you’re not likely to get the same level of performance commitments, you know, buy in from everybody else. And so yeah, these collaborative processes really go a long way. Yeah. And

Jossie Haines  11:18

speaking of goals, I think, you know, sometimes you do want to set stretch goals that you might not meet. But if you are creating stretch goals, that you think, Hey, this is really a stretch goal, it’s important to communicate that to the team. So they don’t think they’re going to be blamed if this stretch goal isn’t hit, and so it’s okay to have some pie in the sky goals. Right. And Zynga, specifically, I remember this all the time, we would always have at least like one big stretch goal per quarter. That was like, hey, it would be amazing if we hit this, and we’ll definitely celebrate if we do, but we’re not gonna penalize you for not hitting a stretch goal.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  12:01

Yeah, it’s very interesting. And it’s a good point to clarify those things. Because I’ve also been part of teams where nobody’s hitting goals, because everything was a stretch goal. But nobody said that they were stretch goals. So it just looks like everybody’s failing all together. And you know, that kind of a clarification can make a big difference. Oh, absolutely.

Jossie Haines  12:20

Again, it’s all about expectation setting, as well as making sure you’re building good agreements.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  12:27

So I know one of the other things that you know, we have a quote from you. I don’t know if you remember, when you first said this, but you’ve said that being an engineering leader is harder than being a regular leader. Why do you think Yeah.

Jossie Haines  12:42

So you know, I see this, especially at the executive table, but even at lower levels as well, if you’re sitting at the exempt table, and your VP of sales is showing your business numbers, right, and how many sales you have, everybody in that room understands exactly why you’re sharing those numbers, what those numbers mean, and what the directory should hopefully be going up into the right. Now, if you were to sit there and share your latest engineering architecture, with that same group of people, you might get a lot of funny looks, because they might have no idea what you’re talking about. And so as engineering leaders, specifically, we have to understand how do we explain these technical concepts in a way that makes sense to our non technical counterparts? And really ensuring that you’re tying the while you’re explaining this, back to the business goals, you know, what the company is working towards? And specifically, you know, if you’re in a one on one conversation, what is it that that other leader is really looking for? And what are they really valuing? And how are you tying what you’re explaining back to them? So for example, you know, if a project is going to potentially be late, and you’re sitting here explaining, like, oh, my gosh, this thing took longer than it was right, you can get really into this defensive mode sometimes. And it’s important to take a step back and explain things like, Okay, well, maybe this took longer, because the team actually ended up working on this other critical business project that actually made the company money. And so this had to slip so that we could accomplish this first business goal instead of being defensive about it.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  14:34

Yeah, that’s a really good explanation, and how can people know if they’re doing a good job of communicating things like that?

Jossie Haines  14:42

So I think you’ll see a couple of symptoms if you’re not. One is you might really just be getting blank stares across the room and people looking bored. I think that’s one and then the other one is people then blaming engineering, right because a lot of times When I see the blame game happening, it’s because the leader was not able to potentially clearly explain why things are happening, or waited too late to share, like, hey, this thing is going to slip if we end up prioritizing this other business perspective, right. And a lot of times as engineers, we’re optimists who try to get away too much done, or in short amounts of time. And we’re like, oh, man, we can just do it all. But your job as a leader is to again, going back to what we were talking about planning, it’s about really being realistic, realizing that, hey, things are gonna come up that you did not plan for, and ensuring that again, you’re clearly communicating that along the way,

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  15:47

yeah, so it’s communicating, often communicating early, and then talking about things in the language that the other party will understand. So if it’s about business objectives, and so on, so forth, being able to clearly communicate those sorts of things. And you’re right, it is harder to see a lot of things that happen in the engineering world, and especially if some of the things are not super visible changes, if their platform changes, or, or things of that nature, stuff like that definitely needs to be communicated much more clearly to everybody else. Yeah,

Jossie Haines  16:21

yeah. And especially you touched on platform, right? I think sometimes it’s really hard for those teams to be like, but we do need to invest in doing this, even if it’s not moving the bottom line directly. But a lot of times, the reason you want to do a platform change, for example, is that it’s going to actually save the engineers time. And if the engineers are actually having time saved, that then means they can be more efficient and working in these other projects, right. And so again, it’s really about helping to connect the dots, because in our engineering brain, like it’s very logical, and it just makes sense to us. But we need to actually be really good at being explicit about making those connections.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  17:07

Yeah. So I think the other topic that is relevant to this idea of buying that we started to talk about, and also communicating really well, which we just touched on, is being able to gain the respect of the team. You know, one of the this is obviously, a super important skill set that any leader should have is just the ability to gain the respect of the team. I feel like in engineering, sometimes this is a little bit more challenging, because engineers sometimes do like to look to someone who may be technically superior and skill to them. And that is a large part of this respect, that has developed. But of course, it’s not like the only way to develop respect. And so I just wanted to get your thoughts on, you know, if you’re a new leader, or a leader that has been taking on a new team, what are some things that you can do to gain the respect of the people you work with?

Jossie Haines  18:02

Yeah, so first, I think it starts with understanding their perspective, listening to their concerns, are they actually feeling seen and heard, right? So often, we’re trying to jump into solution mode, but are telling somebody what to do. But we’re not letting them really voice? What is important to them? What do they value? What motivates them? You know, this goes to Daniel Pink’s drive, right? What motivates people at a certain point, it’s Hana, me mastery and purpose, it is not giving them more money. And so really understand what is it that makes your engineers tick? You spoke about, you know, technical chops, right? I think one of the things to really work with your team members on is having them really understand what is the value, you’re providing that maybe you’re keeping them from having to attend a million status meetings that they’d be bored out of their minds on? And maybe on the technical side, yeah, maybe you’re not coding every single day. But maybe you can really help them with, Hey, here’s a technical architecture that I think would really scale, and really showing that you do understand the technology, even if you’re not coding on a day to day basis. And then finally, with engineers, and I think this applies to everybody as well, is really offering constructive feedback. And you know, especially if there’s things that they’re doing that might be holding them back in their careers, explaining those to them in a way that’s empathetic and helps them see like, Hey, if you improve these behaviors, you can actually grow and being more successful and that goes back to the motivation piece, which is when you really understand your engineers and your team members motivations. You can really figure out how to give constructive feedback in a way that lands for them by tying it back to what they really want to accomplish and achieve.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  20:10

Hey, before we move on to the rest of the episode, if you’re an engineering leader, whether manager, director, or VP, all engineering leaders know that one on one meetings are a powerful tool for team engagement and productivity. However, not all leaders know how to run these meetings effectively. That’s why the fellow team just released a comprehensive guide on the art of the one on one meeting. For engineers. It has over 60 pages of advice from engineering leaders at organizations like Apple, MailChimp, Stripe, GitHub, Intel, and more. We’ve also included expert approved templates for you to play immediately to make your one on one meetings that much more effective. So head on over to fellow dot app slash Resources to access the guide and the exclusive templates right now. We’ll also link it in the show notes for you to check out there. But you can go on over to Fellow.app slash resources to get the guide and the templates today. And with that said, let’s go back to the interview. Yeah, that’s super helpful. And a lot of really good points around how to gain respect, I wanted to ask you, if you remember an example or story of when you first started to lead a team, or new team that you started to be involved in? What were some of the things that you remember doing in order to gain that respect? You know, like the first week, first month, like how are you thinking about things?

Jossie Haines  21:39

I think the first 90 days are obviously super crucial, right? And so usually my first one on one with folks, I really get them to get to know me as a person, and I want to get to know them as a person. Because that’s how you build trust. You don’t really build trust by sitting there and talking about technology, you build trust by being vulnerable, getting to know people, and then it goes back to those clear agreements that we were talking about, right? Helping them understand, hey, this is what my expectations are. This is how you can make me happy, right? These are the things that I’m looking for. And hey, let me know from your side. What is it that motivates you? Right, asking those questions, you know, what are your goals? Right, really getting to understand what are their career perspectives? And especially if you’re new to an organization, Hey, what are your current concerns with how the team’s being led? What would you like to see improved? And I think sometimes, especially for newer IT management, we can be afraid of asking those questions, especially what do we want improved? Because you have this belief that oh, my gosh, if somebody tells me something, I have to fix all of these things right away. And that’s not always the case. What’s important is that, again, the person feels seen and heard that you’re acknowledging, hey, these problems are happening. We’re going to prioritize the most important ones, some that we may not get to right away, but I promise I will be keeping things top of mind. And if something becomes much worse, let me know. Right. And that’s why it’s not just important to have these conversations and those first couple of one on ones. But really, as you keep leading, it’s important to keep checking in on these, at least on a quarterly basis, if not more often.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  23:37

Yeah, that’s good advice. And yet, the first 90 days are super important. There’s a great book on the topic, and definitely worthwhile to check out. We actually had Michael, you know, on the show who has authored the first 90 days, and if you haven’t listened to that episode, definitely recommend checking it out, too. Let’s talk about you mentioned, as you were saying, in passing, you were talking about constructive feedback, one of the words that you use was, you know, coming from a place of empathy. So I know you care a lot about this topic of not only just having empathy, but also reducing bias in general, especially in cases where you might not know that you have bias in a certain area. But how do you think about just like, What can leaders do to build more empathy and reduce bias in their day to day interactions?

Jossie Haines  24:26

Yeah, so let’s start with bias, and then we can go into empathy. So I think the first thing for leaders to recognize if they’re going to go on this inclusion journey, is that it is a journey. It is not a destination, and at some point, you’re going to make a mistake. And it’s important to acknowledge it and say, I made this mistake and this is how I’m going to improve in the future. But the first step, I think, for leaders is to really take some time to be introspective. recognize and acknowledge, Hey, what are some of these unconscious biases. And that really comes by again, realizing that this is also a learning journey for them. And they can’t just be depending on the underrepresented minorities in their organization to speak up when things happen, they need to be proactive in learning about these things, right? Watch podcasts about this, you know, read books, find places that you can really learn about, hey, what are my potential biases, um, Harvard has the, it’s online for free, the Harvard implicit bias test that you can take and really look at, hey, what might be some of the biases that are showing up. So that’s one of the bias side. And really, I think it’s about taking action as well. Because once you start doing small actions on a regular basis, that can have a big impact. So for example, a few years ago, I get added the ability to, instead of the default branch being a master, they defaulted it to me, and so one of the things that we did a tile was actually an exercise of moving all of our master branches to me, because master slave really refers back to, you know, slavery. And that’s not a very inclusive term, right, and really educating folks. And, again, it’s going back to empathy. Now, I think empathy is really about taking the time to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes, and really understanding their perspective. And one of the best places, especially for engineering leaders, where you can actually start applying empathy is in your code reviews, it is something that your team members are doing on a day to day basis. And so often, I see a lack of empathy in code reviews, because as engineers, we want to be efficient. And we’re not sitting there thinking about the language that we’re using, as we’re writing comments. But the problem is, especially in a lot of code reviews, today, they’re done asynchronously. They’re done in text only. And text already has a negative bias and connotation. Because you don’t get to see people’s facial expressions, you don’t get to see their tone. And so it is actually crucial in code reviews, to really look at it from a place of empathy. And so often, for example, in a code review, I’ll see something like, why didn’t you? Or why did you use this, you know, variable or something like that. And when you start with something like, why did you or why didn’t you, you’re already putting that other person in the defensive. And so it’s not about the fact that you have to, you know, over analyze every single thing that you say, but read it, if you are reading this out of context, how would it potentially make you feel right? And instead, you could switch it around and say something like, Oh, hey, I saw that variable x wasn’t used anywhere else in the code? Is it still necessary here? There, you’re really coming at it from a place of curiosity, instead of a place of judgment. And that is really the foundation for empathy.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  28:34

I love that coming at it from a place of curiosity, instead of judgment. And, yeah, it’s what I’ve also realized, just on a super tactical note, is the, you know, why did use typically never get the other party to be in a good state? It’s always, you know, in a defensive state, and what I have tried my best, and sometimes I still might make the mistake. What I try to do now is not used, why did you? But something more like? Can you explain a little bit more your thinking in how you arrived, like here in particular, but it just goes to say, I love the framing that you put, because I think what maybe I’m doing in that rephrasing is just being curious instead of judgmental. And so I think that’s a really, really good way to look at it.

Jossie Haines  29:24

And you’re asking an open ended question, right? Curiosity is very directly tied to those open ended questions instead of why did you or why didn’t she was much more binary. And so that’s an way you know, especially if you’re struggling to think about how do I rephrase that? How can you make this a more open ended question. So it really is coming from a place of curiosity.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  29:47

Yeah, I love it. I love it. And so one of the topics that you and I were chatting about before we hit record was something that I think is very topical these days, especially you have you work with a lot of different Exactly, you work with a lot of different companies. And one of the things that is very topical these days is just this idea of burnout. So maybe I can let you explain why is that more of an issue these days? I mean, it’s been a crazy last few years. Lots has happened. But in particular, now, there’s a lot of things going on in our environment. But yeah, can you talk to why we’re seeing burnout? And what people might think to do to manage their teams better in this environment?

Jossie Haines  30:29

Yeah, so I think there’s a couple of things right, especially in the United States, but globally, there’s like financial uncertainty, which has been leading to, especially in the tech industry, a ton of layoffs. Especially if you go look on LinkedIn, at least, it’s gotten better now been for a while, at the beginning of the year, it felt like on a daily basis, you were seeing a company or multiple companies doing a layoff. And so there’s a lot of stress. Also, as the pandemic has won down, companies are trying to figure out, hey, we hired all these people remotely. And now we want to be bringing people back to the office. And that is causing stress, and how, you know, folks are reacting to return to Office policies, especially when companies are just saying, Oh, well, it makes everybody more productive. But the thing is, especially for women and minorities, you could actually potentially thrive more in a remote environment for women, I think I’d be able to take care of their kids more effectively for minorities, they might not have to show up a certain way, where they feel they have to be more performative in an office setting, potentially and deal with biases, right. Once people started returning to the office, I saw that there had been an uptick in, for example, sexual harassment cases happening. And so I think we have to be more again, empathetic as we’re doing all of these things. And it’s causing stress to folks in tech, both folks who are employed and those who are unemployed. For the folks who are employed. Well, their job, maybe they’re now doing the jobs of two or three people. And there’s this constant stress in the back of the head, is my company going to have layoffs? Am I next, so many of the layoffs in tech are unfortunately not done in very empathetic ways, folks were laid off by either having their access shut off, getting an email in their personal account. So I try, I’ve spoken to a number of women who literally have PTSD, about checking their email first thing in the morning, and worried are they going to have access to it, then for the folks who aren’t employed and are looking for jobs, it feels like oh, my gosh, there’s hundreds of people applying to every single role. Nobody’s hiring. And then they’re showing up to interviews from a place of fear, instead of really shining and highlighting their strengths, which is then causing them to seem less hireable to the hiring team. And then that keeps causing them stress for every rejection that they get. And so I think those are some of the big issues that are going on in the world right now.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  33:22

Yeah, lots of things that I think you detailed a bunch of them. And it was really, I think, important to mention a lot of these things, because maybe if you’re not haven’t necessarily directly been affected, maybe you’re not thinking about it in those terms. But it’s really important to understand the other perspective. So knowing all of these things, what advice would you have for managers and leaders in a management position today?

Jossie Haines  33:49

Yeah, so first, I think, lead with empathy, realize that these are the things that are going through the back of your employees heads and acknowledge it right. I think it’s important to be bringing these things up, having conversations with your team about, hey, this is how the business is doing. I don’t believe we’re going to have layoffs right now. And really helping the team realize that they’re allowed to also give feedback about these things, right. If a project feels Oh, my gosh, way too crunched, you know, be sure to let them feel that they can bring this up, right. Again, people are wearing multiple hats now and feeling overwhelmed that they might potentially need to build new skills that they don’t have. So helping them think through this process is very crucial for the leaders and then it’s also important to model good self care and good practices yourself. Right. I was actually speaking to one of my coaching clients the other day, and she was stressed about whether she should take a vacation She’s not, because she’s working on a crucial project that’s due in three months. But she was feeling burnt out. And she’s like, I’m leaving this crucial project, how’s it going to look, if I take this vacation, and I said to her, if you take that vacation, what you’re doing is setting an example for your team to say, hey, even if things are stressful, this is really a marathon, right? Not a sprint, and we can’t keep getting burned out. Because if we get to burn out, we’re not going to be effective. And so by her taking a vacation, she’s actually setting that as an example for her teammates to say, hey, you can take a vacation to if necessary, because your mental health is super important to your productivity.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  35:50

Yeah, those are all really, really good points. And it just reminds me of the that adage around, you know, you have to stop to be able to sharpen the saw before you keep saying. And so this is I mean, and self care, I think I would put into that category. And you know, the reason is, you’ll just be less productive. Like you said, sometimes, you know, especially if you feel like you’re on the verge of burnout, or you feel really stressed like taking that kind of a break is actually helpful. And you’re more likely to be able to, you know, be more productive when you’re back like that recharging is super important. And in the self care category, sleep, sleep is all the rage everybody is now realizing that it’s very, if you can, you should be getting eight hours or more sleep. And so I would definitely put that in that bucket too.

Jossie Haines  36:39

Yes, so don’t be sending emails at 11 o’clock at night. That’s another one because then you’re setting an example for your team, like, oh, my gosh, I shouldn’t be working late all of these things. And self care also doesn’t mean you have to go and take a vacation. One of the things that I used to do at title is, even though I was super busy, and in meetings all day, every day, three times a week, I did Pilates in the middle of the day, and everyone knew you do not book over Jossie as Pilates, because she will not show up to that meeting. And I just made it very clear that that is my self care time. And that’s when I’m going to go work out and take care of myself, right. And again, I think that sets an example for the team like, Hey, if you need to do self care stuff, that’s important. It set an example for the moms like, Oh, hey, I need to leave at three o’clock to go take care of my kids for a little bit. And then I’ll be back. Right? It didn’t powered folks to figure out what it is that is their self care what it is that they need to thrive in their personal lives so they can show up as 100% at the workplace.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  37:49

Yeah, you know, I think this is super important that it is different for everybody, right? Like everybody will have their own sort of self care rituals, but it doesn’t need to be prioritized. And I think like if it’s a sort of thing, that you have a ritual on an ongoing basis that makes sure that you’re, you know, healthy and you’re coming in with a lot of vitality into the work that you do. That’s way better than having to recover after a burnout incident, you want to like avoid, you know, basically take care of yourself along the way. And so it is a marathon and not a sprint. So, Jossie this has been super insightful, lots of different topics that we’ve touched. We’ve talked about, obviously, what’s going on in the world in terms of burnout, we’ve talked about how to get buy in from your teams, how to gain the respect of your teams, better communication, empathy, and bias. So lots of different topics. The question we like to always end on is for all the managers and leaders constantly looking to get better at their craft. Are there any final tips, tricks or words of wisdom that you would leave them with?

Jossie Haines  38:50

I think, you know, I mentioned this before, but it’s a journey and not a destination, right? I think in tech, we’re always trying to chase that next outcome. But it’s really take time, smell the roses along the way, celebrate achievements and accomplishments and wins along the way, you know, realize you’re gonna make mistakes, you’re not perfect. And so make sure to admit when you make them be willing to be vulnerable, but it’s okay to hold your team accountable to I think going back to something I mentioned a few times, make sure you’re setting good agreements, and what does a good agreement look like? You’re clearly setting the expectations for what you want, in what timeframe? And you ask the other person, are they willing to commit to that? I think that last piece is the one that sometimes gets forgotten. And if they can’t commit to it, what are the trade offs that need to happen? So they potentially can and I think that is such a crucial part of it. And yeah, just take some time to enjoy and not just be trying to hit that next goal. But one of the things especially with Laura thing with women leaders I realized is we haven’t slowed down to ask ourselves what it is that we really want. And then we get in 2025 years into our careers, and we’re like, why am I doing this day in and day out? So take the time to ask yourself, what is it that I want? Not just in work, but in my personal life? And how can I really, you know, set myself to not go into I used to do three month burnout cycles is what I would call it right, I would get burnt out, I would take a vacation, I’d feel better, I’d come back, then I’d overwork myself and the cycle would continue. But that is not a healthy way to be leading a team. And you’re not setting a great example for your leaders or for your team members, either. And so those are some of the tips that I give a lot of folks as they’re working on their leadership skills.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  40:54

You know, those are all great tips and great advice, Jossie, thanks so much for doing this.

Jossie Haines  40:59

I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  41:02

And that’s it for today. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of the Supermanagers podcast. You can find the show notes and transcript at www.Fellow.app/Supermanagers. If you liked the content, be sure to rate review and subscribe so you can get notified when we post the next episode. And please tell your friends and fellow managers about it. It’d be awesome if you can help us spread the word about the show. See you next time.

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