Embracing Growth and Building Relationships in the Workplace


In the world of business, growth and building strong relationships are key to success. Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Michael, an engineer and VP of Engineering at Quandoo, to learn more about his journey and insights into these important aspects of professional life.

Building Strong Relationships

When Michael joined Quandoo, he was impressed by the detailed profile provided by Key Search, the recruiting organization. The profile gave him a clear understanding of the company’s structure, history, and the position he was applying for. This level of detail set Key Search apart from other recruiting organizations and piqued Michael’s interest in the role.

One of the first things Michael focused on when joining Quandoo was building relationships with his team and stakeholders. He believes that understanding the people he works with is crucial for effective collaboration. By taking the time to meet with each individual and learn about their interests and motivations, Michael was able to establish strong connections and create a supportive work environment.

Michael recalls discovering interesting stories about his team members during these initial meetings. For example, he learned that 11 of the engineers in his team played in a heavy metal band. He even found videos of their performances on YouTube. These personal insights helped him find common ground and foster a sense of camaraderie within the team.

Embracing Growth and Learning

For Michael, learning is a driving force in his career. He has a strong curiosity and a growth mindset, which aligns with Quandoo’s core values. He believes that continuous learning is essential for personal and professional development. Michael finds inspiration in books and has a rich library at home, but he also values the knowledge and insights he gains from his colleagues and stakeholders. By combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience, Michael is able to navigate challenges and make informed decisions.

One of the most influential books for Michael was “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni. This book introduced him to a simple model that focuses on the importance of human relationships within a team. It emphasized the need for trust, open communication, and collaboration. This model resonated with Michael and shaped his approach to leadership and team dynamics.

Overcoming Challenges

As a VP of Engineering, Michael faces various challenges, including balancing different contexts and making decisions that impact multiple aspects of the organization. Initially, adapting to the VP role was a significant challenge for him. However, through building relationships and seeking input from others, Michael was able to overcome these challenges and contribute to the growth and cohesion of the company.

One of the biggest challenges Michael faced was getting used to the VP role, which involved exposure to various contexts beyond engineering leadership. He had to navigate legal aspects, financial considerations, and people leadership. Balancing these different contexts and making well-informed decisions was a learning process for Michael. However, with time and support from his team, he was able to settle into the role and make significant contributions to the organization.

Work-Life Integration

Michael believes in work-life integration rather than strict separation. He sees work as an important part of life and strives to blend the two organically. While he acknowledges the benefits of working in a physical office space, he does not believe in mandating employees to be in the office for a specific number of days. Instead, he values collaboration and believes that effective teamwork can be achieved through various means, including video calls and specialized tools for remote collaboration.

During the pandemic, Michael experienced the shift to remote work. Initially, he tried working from home without any separation between work and personal life. However, he soon realized the importance of having a physical transition from home to work. He started taking 30 to 45-minute walks in the woods or park before starting his workday. This simple act helped him create a mental separation and improved his overall well-being.

The Reward of Supporting Others

For Michael, the most rewarding aspect of his work is seeing people thrive. He believes that when individuals are supported and given opportunities to grow, it benefits the entire organization. Michael’s focus is on creating an environment where people can reach their full potential and contribute to the success of the team and company.

Michael shared a story about a challenging period in his career when he faced toxicity in the workplace. Through building relationships and seeking support from his colleagues, he was able to navigate this difficult situation and find a healthier work environment. This experience reinforced his belief in the power of relationships and the importance of creating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture.

Wrapping It Up

Michael’s journey as an engineer and VP of Engineering at Quandoo highlights the importance of building strong relationships and embracing growth in the workplace. By prioritizing relationships, continuous learning, and work-life integration, Michael has been able to navigate challenges and create a supportive environment for his team. His focus on supporting others and fostering growth has contributed to the success of the organization. Through his experiences and insights, we can all learn valuable lessons about the power of relationships and the pursuit of growth in our professional lives.

Listen more in the podcast episode that delves the hearts and minds of remarkable leaders. 

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