Healthy team relationships

I just came back from a meet-up on building great engineering and product teams and the key takeaway was to focus on building a strong, respectable and “loving” relationship (last adjective was from me) between the two departments.

No one department has greater influence than the other – if both are seen as having equal weighting but also invite “productive conflict”, there’s a higher chance the team will ship more and the quality of work will naturally be higher (not to mention that egos would be kept to a minimum).

I believe this helps people grow and develops better leaders in the long-term for the company. If a junior engineer sees a great bond between product and engineering and their respective leaders, they will go up the career ladder knowing that the relationship is absolutely key to building an invaluable product and building great teams.

Charts to give you hope

I came across a group of charts to give us all hope.

These group of charts show how the world has become a much better place compared to just a few decades ago.

A few which stood out: Life expectancy continues to rise, Global income inequality has gone down and the number of conflicts has declined.

Hans Rosling had identified most people believed the world is becoming a worse place – however, the data tells the opposite story.

Let us continue to look at objective information to tell us the true story about what’s really going on in the world.

The virtue of friendships

As I make my way back from a friend’s birthday dinner, each year I appreciate occasions such as these – it’s always a time to reflect on our school / university days together and realise how far we’ve come both from a maturity standpoint and in our professional lives.

I look forward to celebrations such as these in the years ahead and realise this brings me a lot of happiness, so I should always make time for occasions such as these, so I will be conscious about this in 2019.

Sleepless nights

I feel like writing about sleep and the importance of a good night’s rest.

It’s something we know is the most important thing for us to focus on, yet we always ignore it – we stay up late, expose our eyes to artificial screens and wake up bleary eyed from setting alarms too early which don’t sync with our unique sleep rhythm.

If we all slept an hour earlier, we’d be more productive and energetic the next day. We’d be calmer and make better decisions, and we’d be nice to our coworkers and all those we come into contact with on a daily basis.

Consumption Rules

There was an interesting long read on the Guardian yesterday that’s been circulating amongst my friendship circles around Protein Mania – it explains how the people who are getting the most protein, are the ones who least need it, and vice versa.

As with most things, it is down to clever marketing and positioning which are slapping the “Protein” tag on all sorts of foods from chocolate to water to all types of cereal. Weetabix are making an extra $7M per year from sales of its “Protein Bites”.

Most of us who can afford to buy “Protein Pancakes” or “Whey Protein” are the ones who already get enough protein, while those who are hard-pressed and budget-conscious are the ones doing away with sufficient protein on a daily basis, affecting their energy and hormone levels.

I’m sure all of us have probably felt it – our protein anxiety has become so acute at a time when the persistence of malnutrition in the developing world shows that without sufficient protein, these children lack the vital nutrients to grow.

This article has made me realise the importance of balance in our diets, as well as the amount of red meat I eat on a daily basis may deteriorate my internal organs, so I should have balance within my meals, not obsess over protein and keep my meals as clean as possible.

The impact of the 2008 crisis

I just watched The Big Short (starring Ryan Gosling and Steve Carrell) – a great film depicting the origins of the financial crisis – from sub-prime adjustable rates to CDOs and the impact to the taxpayer.

I loved the transparency and views portrayed in the film, as well as how the information was presented. While I’m sure the truth is stretched somewhat, as it generally is with movies, there’s a large amount of truth in the film, which is undoubtedly scary.

One part stuck out for me – where Brad Pitt’s character is annoyed at his two apprentices for dancing around at betting against the American economy. He was angry because they were essentially betting against the American people, which meant if they were proved right, millions of people would lose their jobs. In total, 8 million people lost their job, while 6 million families lost their homes.

I can only imagine what the average Joe must have been feeling, knowing they had to provide for their family while the big banks paid out large bonuses and essentially profiteered off of them.

I highly recommend watching the film if you haven’t already.

The past isn’t who you are

The past isn’t who you are. It doesn’t have to be. You have every chance to be th eperson you envisioned yourself to be. Because the real truth is that yesterday is already a place you’ve climbed over.

Your yesterday might be years ago. It might be months ago. It might have been last last night. But that doesn’t mater. Because today is your overcoming. Every second is a step forward.

H/T: @diariesofahuman on instagram