An overview of who I am, what makes me tick, and how I work
This document lays out my personality, working style, and expectations to help us work effectively together.
This document is primarily intended for anyone I report to, anyone that reports to me, and then anyone else interested in how I operate.
This document is the expectation to which I hold myself accountable, and what I strive to harbor wherever I work. I request that if there is a dissonance of how I act compared to this document please do provide candid feedback.
Who is Rob Dinh?
There’s no way I can give a complete real answer. So here are some short cheesy quotes that reflect how I go about life:
- Find your inner peace. I keep a finger on my mental and emotional pulse as a metric for what decision I need to make. I look inward deeply and am ruthlessly honest with myself to see why I experience certain thoughts and emotions. Additionally, I look out for how my projections manifest. I believe that I, and we as a team, contribute in ways beyond shipping products. We unconsciously give off vibes, which have tremendous effects on how our customers see us.
- Practice what you preach. Passion, ownership, and empathy. I’m not a loud person so I tend to fail at using words. Instead, my actions do most of the talking. I hope they’re shown in my work, my approach to life, and how I treat others. Like Batman said, “it’s what you do that defines you.” My actions generally have premeditated intent. I lead by example, and by ‘example’ I mean my interpretation of what it is.
- It’s just a ride. Just like Bill Hicks said. There’s a difference between taking myself seriously and life seriously. I do the latter. I like taking my time, not wasting my time. I do my best to not take anything for granted by being grateful and savor my limited time here. Life is a thrilling rollercoaster experience. I seek every way to enjoy my ride as much as I can. A big part of that is helping and inspiring others to enjoy theirs. Might as well try to make the rollercoaster better than when I got on it!
What I value
- Time is our most valuable asset. Search for ways we can perform more meaningfully. Reducing toil, finding critical paths, using effective TL;DR’s, focusing on high value tasks, streamlining processes. If it could be an E-mail, be it an E-mail. If the response could wait, it can wait.
- Lead with a sustainable growth mindset. Keep learning and experimenting. Have a longterm view of the overall body of work. Done is better than perfect. Two steps forward, one step back is still a net step forward. Mistakes are opportunities to get better. Goals are milestones of a long journey.
- Assume good intentions. Behavior is not the problem, it’s an expression of the problem. That’s the root of most miscommunications. I don’t treat others like how I want to be treated. I try to treat others how they need to be treated. Knowing your intent serves as the basis of understanding how you express.
How I operate
My working philosophy is best described as following the Toyota Production System with a tech industry twist.
- Blameless culture. Focus on the system, not the human. I look at human error as a symptom of systematic weakness. If I ask questions, it’s because I want to understand. I assume best effort and good intent.
- Continuous improvement. Bill Gates famously said, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” I’m that guy. I look to make complex tasks easier without cutting corners.
- Nemawashi. The original definition is informally building consensus before making official decisions. To me, it’s about laying ground work. A good product is made by a team with good morale, processes, and standard practices. I seek to improve these areas behind the scenes.
Everything runs on trust.
I gel well with anyone who believes in the stuff I mentioned above. There’s more to life than work. There’s a real human behind the E-mail, the avatar, the role. I do my best to make it easy to work with me.
Guiding and empowering are the most rewarding leadership styles to me. But I adapt to you and go with what style of relationship and communication work best for both of us.
We all have needs and agendas. Part of being an Individual Contributor is to make my manager succeed. We have each other’s interest for that.
List of “qualities” that aren’t popularly good ones. Traits that I’m aware and am working on.
- Chaos human monkey. I don’t have the best talent nor the greatest mind. But I can at least give heart and grit. And that usually leads to me asking noob questions and break things.
- Responding over initiating. It’s best to ask me questions or get information out of me. My door is always open, I don’t mind being bothered. I’d initiate and get off my chair if no one else is.
- Imposter syndrome. It’s a bitch. I have no idea what I’m doing, I don’t know why anyone would trust me. There are so many people much more qualified than me, and it’s intimidating to work with them. I always feel like I have to earn their respect.