A few rules I’ve made for myself along the way; call me out if I fail them. I offer them to anyone who wants them, either working with me or maybe just about anyone else:
1. Show up!
Be on time. Be prepared. Bring things to take notes with. But more than that, “showing up” to me means getting engaged. Having a positive, problem-solving attitude, not just taking up space.
2. Listen up!
Be open. Listen to those around you. Invite others to weigh in. Really hear what they’re saying, and what they’re not. And be observant of the larger context around youーthere’s a lot to learn if you look.
3. Step up!
Lean forward and take things on, even if (particularly if!) you don’t know how to do it. And don’t just do it on the fun stuff; be the one who offers to call the unhappy customer with bad news. This rule also includes, duhh, doing what you say you’ll do. Keep your promises.
4. Speak up!
Be brave; speak truth to power. And, advocate for yourself. Nice girls weren’t raised to do that in my day; instead we were taught to wait politely for others to recognize our contributions. I’m over that, and I hope you are, too.
5. And... shut up!
I’m a talker. All my life, I’ve struggled to notice when it’s too much, and how much more useful I could be if I didn’t use *all* the oxygen in the room. Which makes me pretty qualified to notice when other people have the same problem. If this is you, monitor yourself. Don’t have a comment for every topic. Be concise. Leave out the details and backstory and side trips.
Make space for others who’ve shown up, listened, and are ready to step up. Don’t repeat what other people have already said. Unless, sole exception allowed here, you think someone else’s contribution got overlooked. Then you can amplify: “Hold up, folks; we need to think about her idea.”
Onwards and UPwards...
About this Doc
Delighted to have been invited to create this and start using Coda, as part of Underscore.vc’s participation in the Coda Series C.