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New year

So we are in 2021. I believe the previous year was different (difficult?) for all of us. Even if you and your family remain healthy, even if your business was not impacted heavily by the pandemic, the world is not and probably will never be the same as 12 months ago.

But as always, in challenging moments, we can choose whether we will be those who complain about fate or those who can appreciate what they have/achieve and seek learnings for the future. I wish you and myself to be the latter and be able to look for opportunities and good moments in the next 12 months. Stay healthy and positive!

New blog

I know, I know. This is going to be probably the fifth blog in my life… 😉

Then why would you start another one, man?“. Well, simply because I’ve been missing writing a lot. Blogging has always been for me a form of writing down my notes, knowledge and experiences. Historically it has brought me quite a lot of benefits as well, but that’s definitely not my WHY here. I wanted to have my own place to share thoughts with the world again.

Unfortunately, in the last few years I have fallen into the trap of an apparent lack of time. This year one of my resolutions is to find the right balance between what I have to do and what I want to do. And I WANT to find some time to blog as well. Period.

So what’s coming to this blog? I’ll divide my posts into several categories:

  • Life – mostly for posts about personal development.
  • Work – everything related to my work, but also thoughts on career development.
  • Technology – technical posts, mostly on cloud services and related topics (e.g. learning opportunities).
  • Community – meetups, user groups, events, speaking engagements.

Oh, did I mention the blog will be 100% in English?
The reasons are quite simple:

  1. I assume my readers to be mostly from IT. And I assume IT people can at least read English.
  2. Some of my friends do not speak Polish. I would like them to understand my thoughts as well.
  3. I want to practice my written English when blogging 😉

New learnings and resolutions

Learnings first…

TOP 10 of my learnings from the past 12 months (lessons learned or at least confirmed, based on my successes and failures from 2020):

  1. Done is better than perfect. This one comes back to me every year. I was able to confirm this simple statement many times last year, e.g. when I was involved in recording of Power BI video course for Elitmind Academy. Focus, break huge projects into small tasks, delegate things, stop complaining and worrying. If you plan something well and are determined, there is a good chance you will succeed. Or at least you will learn a lot… 😉
  2. What is “good enough” for you may be excellent for others. I’m a goddamn perfectionist. My perfectionism is a gift and a curse at the same time. I always want to do things “pixel-perfect”. But that stops me from doing many things in life (refers to the previous learning). What I learned last year was that it’s a best practice to ask my peers about their honest opinion before I give up on something just because it doesn’t meet my own inflated expectations (completely unjustified at the end of the day). Ask for feedback, stupid!
  3. Smart delegation and trust can develop people and give amazing results. Give a fishing rod, not a fish, if you want someone to develop. When delegating, let people do things their way (often better than the one you recognize as the best!). Avoid micro-management. Check progress on milestones. Value creativity and uniqueness.
  4. Saying “NO” doesn’t mean you’re offending someone. Say it when you are not OK with someone’s opinion. Say it when you are unable to take on one more task or project. Just have your arguments thoughtful and ready. If someone takes a well-explained refusal as an insult, it may not be worth discussing or working with this person.
  5. Saying “I don’t know” can significantly increase your credibility as an expert. It’s tempting to have answers for all questions when you’re recognized as an expert, isn’t it? 🙂 But in reality people want to hear about things you know from your experience, really. I didn’t count how many “IDon’tKnows” I fired last year, but it was really a lot. And I’m truly happy that I have developed the habit of saying “I don’t know” over the years. That helps a lot and releases tons of unnecessary stress!
  6. Great team is not a group of people who agree on everything. We are all different. We have our strengths, weaknesses and biases. It’s perfectly fine if someone from your team criticize your idea. It’s fine as well if you don’t agree on their solutions and ideas. But it’s never OK if any team member uses his/her powers to force a single point of view. And it’s never OK to challenge people instead of ideas.
  7. A meeting with no goal, owner, agenda, recap or next steps is worthless (unless it’s a birthday surprise). Going online with our everyday work requires meetings to be planned with redoubled care. Or we simply die of our inefficiency.
    PS. The same applies to teachers when they organize online lessons 😉
  8. Age can be just a number (if you give yourself a chance!). I’m turning 44 this year and still can keep up with my daughter who is 5. Take care about your physical and mental health. Do not live to work.
    PS. Being fit starts in the kitchen and ends outside (or at least after getting up from your chair). No marathons or even running required 😉
  9. Assume you don’t know/understand the context in which others live. This is especially important in hard times when we are burdened with additional emotional baggage. The empathy of other people can come back to you in return when you need it most.
  10. Celebrate every moment of the F2F meeting and don’t waste it. You just don’t know when (and if!) you are going to meet the same person in the future.

… now the resolutions!

Now it’s time for my 2021 resolutions!

  1. Go to the mountains with my wife. This one depends on the pandemic situation a bit, but is really important 😉 Anyway, as every year I’m giving the top priority to the family.
  2. Establish at least one friendship. Take care about my network in general, especially about friends. Bet especially on people who bring positive energy and inspiration.
  3. Build my own framework for productivity. Work smarter, not harder. Regain at least 1h and some energy each day. Some bold parts of this one:
    • goals, goals, goals – long and short term,
    • fight perfectionism – use 80/20 rule everywhere,
    • eliminate disturbances – make fixed slots for e-mails, social media, phone calls,
    • automate things whenever possible.
  4. Blog at least twice a month, record at least two videos a month, engage in IT community at least once a month. Simply use available online channels to share knowledge and build community.
  5. Earn my first certifications on all three major clouds. For GCP and AWS I will start with fundamentals, and then go with data & analytics workloads. For my primary cloud, Azure, I’ve already taken some certification (Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate) and I’m quite familiar with fundamentals, so probably will give it a try and go a bit wider.
    Potential list of certifications to achieve this year:

Share your thoughts!

If you got so far, thanks for reading! I hope you’ll come back to this new blog and enjoy its content.

Make sure you leave your comments and thoughts on my lessons and resolutions as well as on your own ones. I’ll be more than happy to read about your plans for 2021!


4 Comments

Jacek Ciereszko · January 5, 2021 at 10:04 AM

First! 😀

Great list, inspiring. Thank you for sharing. I will pull to my list “Being fit starts in the kitchen and ends outside”. It’s too easy to get used to ordering the food = eat junk and avoiding exercises.

My biggest commitment for this year is to stop checking the work email in the evenings and try to keep them for myself and family.

Do you have any books recommendations?

    Pawel Potasinski · January 5, 2021 at 1:56 PM

    Congrats! 😉

    About this kitchen tip – I discovered that 5 years ago, when I did 3.5k km/year and still couldn’t build my ABS 😉 Believe me, by taking care about this one, even being 40+ each of us can look and feel 20y less or so 🙂

    Evenings (afternoons!) and weekends are priceless and I’m trying harder and harder each year to leave my work behind me and not disturb my private life with things that are interesting for me, but not necessarily for my family 🙂 Keeping my fingers crossed for your commitment!

    About books – one of my favorite and recommended to anyone is this one (probably well-known): Change Your Questions, Change Your Life (https://www.amazon.com/Change-Your-Questions-Life-Leadership/dp/162656633X/). I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to communicate effectively with others (family, coworkers), find the right ways to cooperate (even with difficult people in difficult projects), and lead teams or companies.

Michal · January 5, 2021 at 12:09 PM

New blog? News of the week!
Your blogs were very useful, eg. ~2012, but also ~2018 when you describe your career plans. So I keep crossed fingers for you now too! 🙂

Your plans for this year look cross-sectional, this is good. Personaly I think first two are the most important, always we put job/hobby on first place, but family and close relations with other should be equiail too.
To your point 3 I may recommend you “power lists” approach. It increases performance significantly.

On my list:
da-100
proffesional scrum product owner
avg 12k steps / day
power lists implementation

    Pawel Potasinski · January 5, 2021 at 1:41 PM

    Thanks for this comment, Michal! Appreciate it!

    Plans are something that has to evolve as the world is constantly on the move and change is the only constant 🙂

    Your plans look good (challenging, but realistic) as well! Good luck on meeting your goals this year 🙂

    PS. I’ll take a look at the power lists for sure.

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