Traits I Admire
Five traits I observed from my foray into 'big tech'.
Last Friday was my last day at Meta after working there for two years.
While I’m excited for what’s next, I’m sad to be saying goodbye to the many incredible people I was lucky enough to work with.
I took the past week to reflect on what I learned, and I’ve distilled down the common traits that I’ve noticed all the high-performing leaders share:
Great leaders have the exceptional ability to look around corners and solve problems before they occur. They seek opportunities to fix things – no matter how ambiguous, complex, and difficult.
Do this by immersing yourself and increasing the number of high-quality signals in your domain. Regularly speak with a wide variety of people. Contribute to related side projects. Attend industry events to get a broader perspective on the environment.
The more information you have, the easier it is to proactively connect the dots.
The best strategists have a great sense of how their end stakeholders feel. They know what their stakeholders are longing for – what challenges they’re facing, and what their goals are.
Stakeholders are the people you serve. It can be your user, client, customer or internal group.
To be effective, you need to know their needs, desires, and challenges. And to do that, you need to deeply care.
Good operators are aware of the problems that exist. Great operators have a clear perspective on how to solve them.
What are the problems? Which ones are the most important?
Why do we need to solve them?
How can we solve them?
It’s not enough to understand the problems. You need to dissect, rearrange, and compartmentalize to put a vision, strategy, and roadmap in place.
In the end, strategy is worthless without execution.
When executing, only four things matter:
You deliver on time (or ahead of schedule)
You deliver a relevant, high-quality solution
You deliver in a manner that is efficient and optimal
You’ve made people happy along the way
The process is just as important as the final deliverable.
Silicon Valley embraces the “Day 1” mantra to encourage radical innovation and rapid iteration.
When you treat every day like it’s Day 1, you open your mind up to new ideas for improvement. You’re always surveying your users, gathering feedback, and improving your product (and yourself).
Put your ego aside. Adopt the belief that there is something you can learn from everyone you meet. Collect feedback from diverse sources, and constantly find ways to refine your work.
These are the five common traits that I’ve observed from the many high performers I’ve met during my time at Meta.
They’re not unique to the company or industry. These are generalist traits that, regardless of industry or sector, I believe will help an individual thrive in the workplace.
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