Don't expect repay, encourage paying forward

Feb 28, 2020

Not so long ago, I interviewed someone for a Design lead role. The person had a commendable work portfolio, experience in managing a fairly decent team size for a few months. After a few hours into the discussion, I asked him, “if you could change one thing in the team you inherited, what would that be?”. He took sometime before a confirmatory expression followed by, “I wish my team appreciated me a bit more… you know I stand up for them a lot in front of our clients.”
It was honestly a courageous and difficult thing to share during an interview, and I appreciated that he did.

Now here’s the thing: try to be the person whose motivation is not driven by the inflow of appreciation from peers and subordinates… don’t expect a repay of your effort in the form of kind words and such. Just hope and encourage that they, someday, stand up for their teams, peers. A win for you should be to know that they’re paying the learnings forward!