I’ve written a bit about the interfaith journey my wife and I are on, but mostly this has centered on the conversations around what it would mean to marry.
Now we’re married and the process of forming a rich tapestry from our combined backgrounds is well underway.
Some of our tensions and questions and feelings and choices around this inter-weaving feel quite comfortable already.
Many others do not (yet).
But I think this dichotomy of comfort and discomfort is precisely the point.
Don’t study like I write wedding thank you cards. Study like my wife wrote hers.
Data slog: The often grueling and mind-numbing process of cleaning and standardizing your data to ensure it is reliable enough to use for analysis
Data slog: A management tool for operationally oriented teams
In operations, no one is above a data slog.
That statement is core to the operations team I lead. And it’s not just because 75% of what we do depends on good data (the value of good data is generally obvious).
What’s seldom talked about is how orienting your team around thankless data projects contributes to both a better functioning system AND a better functioning team.
When you become a manager what you do, how you spend your time, and how you are measured all changes. You rely on people more than ever. And they rely on you more too.
Managing is hard. And rewarding. And interesting. And occasionally frustrating.
It’s also a learned skill. Parts of it are a little unnatural. It will take time, especially if you are a star individual contributor, to adjust.
The first time I fired someone was one of the hardest experiences of my life.
It didn’t make it easier that I had zero doubt that this was the best decision for the company and my team. It didn’t help that we had exhausted multiple measures to try and course correct.
Sometimes knowing something is right does nothing to make doing it easier.
So OK, it sucked. Obviously. You have to pretty messed up to not be affected by making this kind of decision.
But the emotional side isn’t really what I want to focus on here.
I think it’s probably more useful to walk you through the key mistakes I made during the entire three month process from making an offer to letting my team member go.
I walk into the Rosh Hashanah service. It’s the evening before, so admittedly not the high point of the High Holiday.
But the synagogue is mostly empty. The parking lot’s vast concrete scale a testament of a recent past, part I guess, a post-WWII resurgence of faith and community and part a remnant of a suburban growth that in this part of Baltimore County and for this community spoke of a kind of golden age.
Which is maybe the point. Suburban synagogues may physically be in the wrong place for a new generation.
Anyway, we’re here now.
So we enter the synagogue. Me a former outsider, likely to never be fully comfortable in this space, but surrounded by a family I love. My family.