Leading with Impact: Essential Tips for Team Leaders

I have been leading teams for several years and have learned a great deal during this time. The journey has been challenging at times, but it has offered me a completely different perspective on many aspects of leadership. Today, I cannot categorically state whether I am a good or bad leader; this path is ongoing and continues to unveil new insights. However, I have formed opinions on certain topics and decided to share them with you. I believe these tips can significantly enhance the effectiveness of the team you manage.

I understand that there are various approaches to team leadership: some leaders focus meticulously on details, while others concentrate on the broader picture. Some adhere strictly to rules, while others prefer a more flexible, personable approach. I won’t suggest which method is superior; instead, these tips are intended to serve as a universal guide. So, let’s begin with the importance of listening to others—a skill that many of us find surprisingly challenging to master.

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How to Restore Focus and Wellbeing

Last year I have read amazing book Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention by Johann Hari. It was a part of checking what can cause issues during my life, why I sometimes feel bad and totally overwhelmed. This book does not resolve issues but gives a lot of information what can we do, to improve daily basics. Of course, as in many cases, after reading for a while I had some plans in my head, but then came other responsibilities and I lost them. In effect, last quarter was hard, I think the hardest in my carrer because I was even considering leaving the IT industry, temporarily or permanently.

There were a lot of factors: stress in work, some changes I did not accepted, other people actions and a lot of stuff on my head, not only in work, but also in personal life. I was “on the edge” when I was reminded of the most important principle of stoicism: focus on what you can control. So, I have decided to look for issues in my behavior and fix them, work on them to recover not only focus, but general wellbeing. During last few weeks, I have decided to cut, remove a lot of things from my life, especially digital stuff. Some of them may look strange, but results are amazing, especially for me, so I have decided to write a post about that, maybe it will help.

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ChatGPT Over a Year Later

Do you use ChatGPT or other, similar tool? I can say, I use it almost every day and for multiple purposes. Not only because of work – but it is probably the most beneficial in this area, but also in my personal life. To check some information, to get advice, to prepare trip plans or even to not forget about something important, when I will prepare to something. During last year it was transformed from some nice, maybe a bit exotic stuff into powerful tool we can – and maybe even should – utilize to simplify our lives and be more efficient. I know there is a lot of articles about ChatGPT, but I’ve decided to write what I think about that, also with some comparison to other “revolutions” we observed in last few years.

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Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail and How to Fix It

New year is always a time when people talk a lot about their resolutions. I stopped to doing that few years ago and try to not treat new year as a completely new beginning, but more something like a chapter in the book. Why? Because I know resolutions often do not have sense and have only minimal chances of success. It does not mean we should not set any goals; we just need to do this properly and, in this post, I would like to describe how to do this.

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Journey matters more than goal

Whoow, last time I added a blog post was in June, a long time ago, but many important things changed in my life, and I really did not have time for this part. It will never be like it used to be, but finally I found some time to write about my latest journey. My journey into myself, about a lot of pain, mistakes but also wonderful conclusions. Hope it will be nice to read for you but must warn: this post is a bit emotional and open, please respect that.

First 100 km run

Three weeks ago, I did my first 100 km run. According to many, many people, and friends, it was crazy idea: I have been running more for just a year. Of course, I ran a lot of times during recent years, but half marathon was always maximum distance, also my running was not regular. Every time the weather was good, cycling won. It was my biggest hobby. I loved that and cycled a lot in the local area and not only. The record was 400 km, one day (and night) long trip from my city to Baltic Sea, spending 2 hours there, going back by train on the second night and cycling a few more kilometers to my city. It was an amazing trip, but without any pressure. I was with a good friend, we often made stops, of course had some “crises” and required long rest after the whole journey, but no pain, no issues.

This 100 km was different. It was not a big competition, this event calls “Bike & walk marathon around Lubin”, there are few distances to choose, and it is not a race: there is time limit, but the general idea is to promote activity and discover local areas, because path avoid cities, even smaller towns and leads through forests, meadows, and fields. The goal is to visit ten special places and add stamps on the map you received during the start. Most of these points are in forests, without any people – just a box on a tree with a stamp inside. I cycled those three times, but never along the planned, “red route” because it did not make any sense, especially on cyclocross bike. This time I had an opportunity to do that, also during night. The weather was good, we were accompanied by the moon, the stars, and the sounds of animals such as wild boars. The plan was simple: try, run and walk, because there is nothing wrong with trying and failing.

Mistakes and pain

I made a lot of mistakes, and it was a good lesson. The most important was related to nutrition. There were two food points. First on about 33 km, second about 77 km. I didn’t drink enough (realized that I drank only about 300 ml in first 30 km), second it was too much sweet snacks. It is fine for shorter distances, but not for something like that. Also, I did not have enough food generally and my supplies ran out after about 50 km – had to walk/run 27 km without anything. Later, I felt it very much. The last ~30 km was almost constant pain and mental fight: like pain waves, starting from feet, through buttocks and back. Again, and again. A lot of thoughts like “I have enough, I want to end this, I should stop and call them to bring me back”. Few stops to check feet: slightly swollen, but no blisters or alarming changes so I kept walking.

Last 10 km or even more we ran. Why? It was faster than walking, so I preferred that way, to finish pain and rest earlier. Also, the closer I got to the finish line, I felt better, it was crazy. Finally, the finish line… quick rest, went to my car and back home, fortunately it took only a few minutes.

After the battle

When I got home, I felt… not bad. I ate something small, took a shower and then I started to collapse. A huge feeling of exhaustion and I only wanted to sleep. I slept only about two hours. Not sure why, maybe because I was too tired, maybe because of emotions. Emotions… When I woke up, I started… crying. Everything in me exploded, everything was released – it was not physical pain, it was happiness and sadness at the same time.

I have been tired many times after cycling or racing, but I have never experienced such mental ecstasy after an effort. Never ever, I swear. It was something like crossing “the thin red line”, without the option to return. When I think about that right now, when I write these words, it still stirs up emotions. Maybe this is how the warriors felt after the battle? I am not sure, but I know one thing: I want more. It beckons me, attracts me. After these three weeks, I know one thing: I will never again be like I was before. It changed me in many aspects. I am not crazy, I do not want to devastate my body, so I am not going to throw myself over much longer distances, but I will push forward, kept walking. There is no “impossible”, everything is just a matter of time.

Last weeks showed me one important thing: we should find time to celebrate, to experience it internally once again, but like a spectator, like observe ourselves during meditation. Then we can appreciate our own efforts and be happy, be proud – no one can take that away from us, no one can undermine it, we know we did that, and it is all. Finish line, the goal? Yes, they are important, but everything happens in the way, not after. Reaching the destination point does not change us, the whole journey does. Our life is one of these journeys, so it should always be clear, but it is not, and we need to remind ourselves of this.