Be Intentional. Be Consistent. Change at a Level You can Absorb.

There’s a lot of messaging out there right now for which none of us can control – layoffs in FAANG and games. Some weeks are simply hard. In honesty and transparency, I get many messages per week on LinkedIn and can’t answer all of them. I get messages that concern me from people I care about. As a manager I try not to be behind on any concerns for my co-workers and value the already existing open environment I get to be in everyday. This type of culture is challenging to find – and the world is challenging it.

My team’s honesty is one of the reasons I care about each person on it deeply. I was lucky to walk into that environment, as it had already been built by great leaders, and I challenge myself to not mess it up – we are great at informing each other, they are great at keeping me informed, and all of us are extremely passionate about what we do. That is unquestionable. This is not only true in our localized team, but also in my sister teams. They don’t always agree. Their outspokenness is super healthy – The opposite is silence and that’s exceptionally dangerous. Listening for who is silent in teams, in partners, and over-index into not being silent to them while making space for them and encouraging them to speak is important. My team and my leadership care a whole lot about keeping each other at the top of our game and making safe spaces, but it’s easy for the world itself to create uncertainty even when you are doing that. The universes’ timing can be poetic.

Trust requires everyone to listen. To make time on calendars. To not control. For leaders to show themselves as vulnerable. To admit their own mistakes in the moment. To give business units autonomy. To have ownership. It requires tenured individuals to prioritize themselves last. The more tenure, the more a person should practice the art of uncomfortable silence and delegating so people are given space to own their destiny and make mistakes. Mainly, life has taught me that those with experience should be humble when we get it wrong as a team to the people affected the most. To get them back on their feet together.

I can tell the best writer I know, it’s not that he doesn’t have a lot to write about, it’s that he’s practicing timing against being consistent, vulnerability, and writing between the lines. When trust is broken, it’s because things aren’t consistent. Consistency requires teams to slow down before applying decisions. It requires teams to take a step back, look at their calendar, and ask “Is there too much on my plate? Am I ignoring things I’ve signed up for that risk my own ability to be reliable to my team? Do I know enough? Should I trust myself or others more? If we have so much trust where is accountability when we were wrong? What can I let go?” It requires a willingness to experiment so others grow. In the weirdest requirement of consistency: It requires you to be occasionally, inconsistent, to want the unexpected, to learn from mistakes.

It took someone else being consistent this weekend for me to remember that was the beacon I had seen in the first place. I wanted so badly to be inconsistent this weekend – I never committed to releasing a blog every two weeks, it just started being the best time for me to write and was therapeutic. I’ve realized it probably matters a whole lot to the people I care about to be reliable. The world is challenging those I care about in our collective ability to be consistent because the world is not consistent for them at all right now.

I received a text I expected this week, but it’s not been the first time: “Are you looking again?!”

No. I love my team.

My resume is a byproduct of business being inconsistent. I have done wild things to try to work with the same people for a long time. When I ran a business for 6 years it was because I made my employer before that a customer in an effort for business to survive from Flash dying. I hate the fact healthcare is tied to a job. Reader, I’m sure you and I both try to be consistent, but to this day: I still have no children and I’m now at a point in my life where I know I will need help to have them. It will be expensive. It will be hard. Companies still lay off pregnant women, try to get people to return the office, try to get people to move without committing to them at all security, and understanding they need to stay near their doctors. And sometimes those hard decisions are on leaders to execute and evaluate against the other people in our personal lives depending on us. It’s equally unfun for everyone to force them to choose between their family and business.

The world constantly reminds me, that the business will always be first. The single most consistent person in my life is my husband. The 2nd are my mentors and mentees who continue to show up even when it’s tough because we simply like hearing from each other. I aim to be consistent to people I care about – my team and my family. But sometimes you are not given a choice to be consistent.

For now, I am saying out loud: I aim not to leave nor move. I have not been asked to do any of that and my husband also has a stable job that has not asked him to move. So while I appreciate the reach outs, it’s important for me to say: I love my team. It is fulfilling for me to wake up everyday to the human challenges we have and to do right by us in our technical and business contexts. Consistency to me means sticking around for the people you care about until you have been faced with a decision that makes you have to be inconsistent by choice. I love my job and the people around me and that is simply all that matters.

I ain’t going anywhere intentionally.

Image from Unsplash by Tobias Mrzyk.