My User Manual

Tue, Jun 2, 2020 4-minute read

Gojek has a culture of writing user manuals, after couple of years of procastination finally writing one.

Conditions I like to work in

  • I love to take walking meetings.
  • I like to work with whiteboards and writing spaces around me.
  • I like to take notes, in a nested bullet points format, when focused.

The times/Hours I like to work

  • I start my day around 9:30 AM IST, and close around 6 AM IST.
  • I am mostly a night owl.
  • I am currently on manager time, so my day is filled with interrupts. Still figuring out how I can get some focused time, with high productivity.
  • I don’t mind being contacted at any time but I will likely only respond during week daytimes
  • I typically workout and meditate post office hours.
  • My Calendar is open and accessible so everyone can see my availability. I don’t mind people booking things in my calendar if I am free

The best ways to communicate with me

  • Asana is for any focused task specific communication, and my preferred choice.
  • Slack is the quickest way to get a response from me, with upto a few hours of response time.
  • Phone call me in case of emergency.
  • I keep on top of my emails each week and usually respond within a few days at the latest.

The ways I like to receive feedback

  • I’d rather have difficult conversations than things be unspoken or unauthentic, so just be straight-forward with me
  • I like receiving feedback face-to-face
  • I see all feedback as a learning opportunity so I like any feedback to include examples and also suggestions on how I / it could be better/different
  • I feel examples are the best way to communicate any feedback.

Things I need

  • I love discussions with people where we can freely think about what is possible without conditionals. Although I can be intense in such sessions, asking tough questions which may have no clear answers.
  • Authenticity - I find it really hard to be around bullshit, inconsistency or incongruence
  • Preparation is absolutely important for me. Any meeting is an expensive affair in terms of time. I get annoyed if people are unprepared.
  • I need time to reflect and simmer my thoughts.

Things I struggle with

  • If I don’t understand the wider purpose behind why we are doing something, I find it hard to engage with. For me getting this clarity is absolutely essential.
  • I’m an introvert so working “in the open” is something I have to work hard at
  • Too much critiquing and logical reasoning drains my energy
  • Unnecessary process - I love agile and lean because it is a great way of being transparent and creates a brilliant learning culture, however, it’s not always necessary. I like minimum-viable-process - what is enough for the size of the team, the type of project, the types of people and the types of outputs looking to be created. On the other hand, I find structure and rituals crucial. Process should also be measured through the outcome lens.

Things I love

  • I visualise myself as a futurist, always thinking about how we are evolving.
  • I like hearing what others are working on and connecting up the dots of what we are doing
  • A generative, risk-taking culture
  • Technology is something that I am always passionate about.
  • If I ever do a PhD, it will be in Cognitive sciences, distributed systems or complex networks. For me they all are the same things.

Other things to know about me

  • I try to be very rational about decision making
  • I am an INTP / INTJ cusp
  • I recently discovered love for tea
  • I believe a lot in being stoic. That somehow makes things actionable and keeps me moving.
  • I can get very passionate in discussion, being naturally an aggressive person, my body language can leak so. I may appear angry, but I am not. There is no impact on the relationship for me post a heated debate.
  • In meetings I can be too methodical - always delaying on deciding while taking conversation in several directions, so people find me hard to read. If I am not happy I will say so otherwise assume I am fine!
  • Fairness really matters to me. If I think someone is not being treated fairly, or someone is having an unfair impact on others, I will find it hard not to call out.
  • For me it is extremely important to treat others with empathy.

My learning goals for 2020

  • Improve on Marketing and Networking skills. I always believed that my work would speak for itself, although that has been the case mostly. But a little bit of new elements can unblock growth.
  • Write consistently. I feel writing is a thinking exercise. It has helped me clarify my thoughts.
  • Pick a hobby. For most of my life, I have treated my hobbies as my work, but sometimes the going gets tough and I will love a break from monotony.