Weekly Reads – December 11th

This is my last week in the office ahead of the holidays and I am quite excited about the approaching end of the year. It’s been a tough and stressful year at work and I am looking forward to closing it, leaving all the chaos behind and diving into what 2020 brings. While I will be back in the office for the very last week of the year to catch up with some work projects due for early 2020, I am pretty much counting the work year closed. What about you? Are you ready to close your work year, excited about the new year ahead?

I will also be traveling for my holidays this time of the year and it will actually be the first time I will travel outside of Europe. This adds to my end-of-year excitement as I am looking forward to the experience while also winding down and fully disconnecting.

One more thing I want to share before we go into this week’s reads, some thoughts on leadership & managing people. I have a fresh graduate on my team that started a few months ago and I really enjoy coaching and mentoring her. Some of my past experiences with managing people were more complex and difficult, but with more and more experience I am gaining I am also discovering more sides of me. To my surprise, I am actually thoroughly enjoying managing people and not only my direct reports but I even enjoy spreading this coaching and mentorship to my extended team. I am definitely enjoying getting to know myself better and better!


Weekly Reads Dec 11-min
The light creeping through is the perfect metaphor for the holidays just around the corner, slowly easing my mood.


Work toxicity. Last week, The Verge published an article about the toxic work culture at Instagram-famous travel & luggage company Away. The company used what I would call a “strange” internal communication policy, where people are not allowed to send e-mails but need to have most interactions on public channels on Slack – where the CEO, Steph Korey gained a reputation for blaming & shaming people publicly. This makes me wonder whether success always comes at such a price?!

Leadership tools. Google spent a lot of time studying how high performing teams function and what makes an effective leader and the feedback they gather for their managers reflects the 9 traits of an effective leader. This involves qualities such as giving actionable feedback to being considerate towards your team as human beings or having meaningful career conversations.

Things to stop saying at work. An effective way of influencing how (well) you are perceived at work is by changing the way you communicate with those around you. No matter if you are asking for help, discussing a problem at hand (and the solution!) or simply sharing your perspective, you can use more powerful language in order to project more competence and confidence. The Every Girl shares five scenarios where you can apply this immediately, and start owning your knowledge, your opinions and your expertise – oh, and your time.

OOO. Don’t forget to set up an Out of Office message over the holiday season and make clear you are on holiday and enjoy your time off withot any guilt! The Every Girl has advice on how to handle situations where your manager still expects you to be available during your holidays.

Winter book list. For his annual list of book recommendations, Bill Gates reflected on several of the best books he came across in 2019 and he picked 5 books that “help wrap up your 2019 or start 2020 on a good note”. The list includes titles such as “Why we Sleep” which I’ve seen recommended quite a few times already. 


Thank you for reading and hope you are having a great week!

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