65: On working well with others
plus Vitalik Buterin, start-up investing and my personal user manual
I've heard the saying "a relationship dies one conversation at a time".
I've also heard that "while no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation can".
So I guess conversations are pretty important.
I've read a few resources recently about how to improve your conversations (which I've linked at the end of this email). But I think, more than aiming to have good conversations, there are meta-principles we can follow about how to work well with others more generally.
The principle I want to talk about today is communicating preferred ways of working and the technique I want to share is "the personal user manual".
🖇 Establishing ways of working
The COVID-enabled shift towards remote work has offered many people more freedom to design their own work schedules.
But as society re-opens (and some companies enforce working from the office), there'll be some figuring-out to do.
In my start-up, there's only two of us, which offers flexibility. Right now, we're doing around 2 days per week in-person and the rest remote.
But perhaps more importantly than the location we work from is the way we organise our work together.
📖 The personal user manual
I've seen a trend recently towards writing a 'personal user manual'.
The idea is that you outline yourself and how you like to work in a document - and then share that with your colleagues.
I think it's a neat idea, and probably becomes more useful as the size of your team grows.
So I've started drafting my personal user manual here. I basically looked at the personal user manuals of Roxine Kee, Camin McCluskey and Imran Mahmud and took the subheadings that I liked.
I found it a helpful prompt to reflect on how I work best, and I'm hoping (as my team grows) that it'll be helpful to exchange these with other colleagues.
The book prompting me to improve my conversations
Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. This was recommended reading from Entrepreneur First and I’m enjoying it so far. Will share my book summary once complete.
A talk I attended
Soulbound NFTs with Vitalik Buterin (creator of Etheruem). Vitalik explored the value of non-transferrable NFTs in a recent blog post and explored the idea further in this session. I’ve been following Vitalik for years - so fan-boyed out a little bit by asking 5 questions and taking a ‘metaverse selfie’ (ie. screenshot).
The Q+A was great fun, and turns out that, yes, Vitalik is mortal.
What I'm listening to
Cal Newport on the Tim Ferriss podcast. My top takeaways were:
Defining your life’s roles and values to help make quicker decisions
Scheduling 1+ week of time when you can’t be contacted every 3 months - to reflect, reset your system and to ensure you put systems in place that can enable it
An evening ‘shut-down’ routine
Check out the podcast for more context.
What I'm reading
Ins and outs of fundraising today (healthcare startups). A helpful insight into current state of play around investing in healthcare.
The Durability Formula – How It Will Determine Your Startup’s Future Value. A helpful framework for thinking about start-up outcomes. Mostly, contains helpful prompt questions to ask yourself.
Hope you’ve all had a great week,
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Hi! I’m Chris Lovejoy, a Junior Doctor and Data Scientist based in London.
I’m on a mission to improve healthcare through technology (particularly AI / machine learning), and share what I learn along the way.
In this weekly newsletter, I share my top thoughts and learnings from each week, as well as links to the best things on the internet that I come across.