🔵⚪️ My team lost... By a lot!!
A tale of a Champions League night.
Hey there 👋🏼
I rarely talk about this, but I'm a football fan. I have a season ticket, and I religiously attend our home games.
It's a time that I use to decompress and be with family and occasionally friends. It's also a perfect time to release that extra steam through a primal scream here or there.
I love every second of it!
I love hearing the Champions League anthem as I walk through the tunnel and see the shiny green grass carpet lying in all its glory.
"These are the chaaaaappionnnnnsss"
This week my team lost. Lost badly. And they should have won by a landslide.
Ninety minutes of an unrecognizable team where we had a little bit of everything: absences due to suspension, premature returns from medical leaves, unfamiliar duos and no one serving as the team's brain.
At the end of the match, our coach had his head down. He was a shadow of what he usually is. No wonder. His team had just performed poorly in a Champions League match. A critical match.
We have a tradition at Dragon Stadium. The entire team gathers midfield in a circle at the end of every match. Arms over shoulders, side by side, waiting to hear the coach's words. After, players go around the stadium thanking the fans for their attendance and support.
That night was no different.
You could see how devastated the players were. They knew what had just happened, and you could see the shame on their faces. They didn't want to face the fans, but they had to. And so they did.
Contrary to what they might have thought, the majority of the fans received them with support and claps. I clapped. I supported.
Yes, we suffered a heavy loss. And yes, our players, head down, walked around the stadium as we could hear how the away fans celebrated, as they should, effusively.
You might be wondering why I'm writing about football in this newsletter.
Because on Tuesday, I saw many things at that stadium that correlated with what we see in our daily jobs.
My team should have won. They lost by a landslide.
I'm sure we've all been there once or twice.
Our team botching a release of a product or a feature. We send the code to live, and boom... All hell breaks loose.
I've seen this happen for many reasons: lack of testing, not paying attention to replacing variables, lack of product definition, etc.
As a leader, you need to prepare yourself for these days.
It sucks, but it will happen to you, to your team, and to everyone.
Use this as an opportunity to get stronger with better processes.
Fix the error, prevent it from happening again and move on.
The coach was out of ideas, head down.
The ship's commander saw that Titanic would hit the iceberg, but it was too late for corrective measures. No amount of turning, swerving, or braking would suffice. The Titanic was going to hit the iceberg.
How many times have we seen this happen? When it's just too late to fix the situation? When we see ourselves in a place that we can't get out of.
We think we're the only ones to blame. Everything happened because we did X or Y. But no.
Clearly and objectively looking at a problem is crucial for every leader.
We lost key players in the transfer season.
You've heard of the market fluctuation, especially in tech, since COVID started.
We lose critical players from teams and have to make dues without them. We need to adjust and still try to deliver the same results with the same quality with a less experienced or knowledgeable team.
We can't give the new members the right time to adapt, to learn the ins and outs of our projects and ask them to fulfil the same deadlines.
Even though this is inevitable in many cases, it's also a recipe for disaster. Your variables changed drastically, but you still expect the same result.
Players who don't know how to play together.
Rebuilding a team has its challenges.
One of the biggest ones is that people don't know each other, but they want to keep their way of working without any changes.
Depending solely on interactions leads to mismanaged expectations, failed interactions, and the spiderman scenario - "I thought you were on this".
Having the processes well-defined and documented guarantee independence from interpretation.
It's time to view this as an opportunity and start documenting every process and interaction that is currently failing so it won't fail again once the team rebuilds or new members join.
Remember that this is cyclical. You're always going to have people joining and leaving. Be ready for it.
The player came back too soon from an injury.
Here I correlated with mental health.
Sometimes we need to take a break. Time to get ourselves back to where we want to be. Time to work on ourselves.
Coming back too soon can take you right back to the beginning, sometimes to a worse place.
Make sure you have time to heal and get well so you're stronger and better than before when you return.
Fans supporting at the end.
And lastly, how the fans kept supporting the team during a heavy loss and a potential elimination from a crucial competition for our team's financial sustainability.
It's (almost) never the end of the world. There are more battles to fight. More features and products to deliver.
We need to mourn, take the hit and then put ourselves back together and be ready for the next one.
That's it from me. I hope you have a fantastic weekend and that this issue helps deal with a defeat. I’m still thinking about the 0-4 defeat… boooooo.
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Have an incredible week! 💪🏼
Parada 👊🏼 A Leader's Mindset