January 16, 2022

Gratitude (colleagues)

Reading self help articles and books has been a hobby since high school. Hundreds of quotes I admired sounded logical, even smart.

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

“Start with why.”

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

Not sure about others, but I struggled with putting any of these things in action. When I became a manager for the first time, I prematurely thought of myself as a leader. “Josh, although we are both interns here, now that you report to me, let me help guide you in your daily activities and purpose. Pull up a chair. I want to hear all about you. Yes, you. Tell me about your life goals, mission, dreams.” I truly wanted to dig into Josh’s purpose in life to understand his “why’s.” With a puzzled look, Josh walked away and concluded my early attempt at being a manager and leader.

What I realized is my best resource for learning are the unsung heroes at work – my colleagues! While great managers provide opportunities and guidance, the majority of my learning comes from the daily interactions with coworkers, including those who report to me.

Everyone has at least one or more skills that they are simply more gifted than most. Their superpower. It can be breaking down problems, navigating stressful situations, speaking publicly, or a million other amazing skills. My goal is to identify that superpower and hopefully learn from it.

Everyone became less of a coworker and more of a teacher. That paradigm shift impacted my relationships positively. People who used to annoy me are now people who I can learn from. People who I did not interact with before became fascinating for all of the things that I wasn’t. People who I admired already became people who I became lifelong cheerleaders for.

With that, I would like to thank a small subset of unsung heroes in my life from the past few years.

  • Mark Capps/ Anindya Sundar Das/ Espie B. Estrada/ Saskia de Jongh/ Mike Son/ Manasi Chadha/ Maisie Lam/ Dhruba Roy Chowdhury (He/Him)/ Fenton Chau/ Sridevi Ramaswamy/ Amit Ray/ Daniel Shen: Watching you navigate and solve the problems thrown at our team is inspiring, from how you approach problems to how you motivate your teams. Each of you have played a big part in my growth at Uber.

  • Lisa Stoner/ Kal Kuchimanchi/ Julien Cordonnier/ Roger Kaiser/ Jai Malkani/ Krishan Paramesvaran/ Deepak S./ Janelle Sallenave/ Eduardo Donnelly: Our meetings and travels have given me a window into your leadership styles, as you bring in perspectives that are often different and ones that I aspire to learn.

  • Nanjappa Palekanda/ Amy Kunrojpanya/ Pradeep Parameswaran/ Lucinda Barlow/ Anu Ambikaipalan/ Andrew Janis: Though we are in different functions, the expertise you have brought into our discussions introduced me to entire worlds that make Uber successful.

Thank you to my unsung heroes for the daily lessons you offer.

#DeliverbyWenSzuLin #TheUntaughtLessons #Learning #colleagues #growth

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Print version

  • Philippines: In the Philippines, the print version will be available at National Bookstore in the Philippines in January and can be ordered directly from Anvil Publishing (link here), from Shopee (link here), or from Lazada (link here).

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Electronic version (pre-order for Feb 1, 2022 release)

  • Amazon Kindle: You can pre-order here (link here) for a February 1, 2022 release.

  • Other publishers: Other publishers such as Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, etc coming soon…