Making Yourself Vulnerable

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With Tilen Travnik we gave a talk yesterday about dysfunctions of teams to an audience of some 60 people. While we based our talk on the book by Patrick Lencioni, we spiced it up with many stories from Tilen's experience at D-Labs and my experience from Zemanta and Najdi.si. The stories were quite personal, from my final days at Najdi.si, to my initial resistance to Zemanta's shift to reader's recommendations and exposing what I like the best about working at Zemanta. I picked the stories in advance, so there was some redaction involved. But receptive audience pulled me in and I was exposing more than I've intended. Now I'm quite anxious to see video of our talk (due soon) and see for myself how things looked from the side of the audience. Leading teams and speaking in public has one thing in common. In both cases, your success is entirely dependent on other people. That's an uncomforting prospect, especially for engineers, who prefer to have 100% control of their environment. But once you make peace with the possibility that you might fail and embarrass yourself everything becomes much easier. As a public speaker you stop fearing audience and, as team lead, you start accepting team members for who they are and not what you want them to be.

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